Never having seen the previous two movies in this Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy written and co-starring trilogy vehicle directed by the great Richard Linklater, I was not prepared really, I guess to see “Before Midnight.”
IOW I had no back story with these two characters. I think you really have to have that to appreciate this one.
Not having that reference point, although I read all the reviews, goodness knows, and they all were positive, I wasn’t ready to be put into the deep, deep sleep that “Before Midnight” put me into. It was scary how bored I eventually got with these two talky, upper middle class, privileged white characters.
Oh, and of course, it’s mainly about heterosexuals and how great they are.
I was soooo bored.
“Before Midnight” is endlessly self-referential and if you haven’t seen the two previous movies which they cite endlessly, you are shit out of luck, following all the *ahem* subtle twists and turns*cough*cough* that these bland WASPs go through.
The film starts with an ENDLESSSSSS two-shot of Delpy and Hawke in the front seat of a car driving to some vacation spot in Europe. I think it was Greece.
It went on for sooooo long, I wanted to scream “Cut”. The camera never moved once. What was Richard Linklater thinking? Well, I guess he wanted to convey the claustrophobia and confining suffocation that marriage can bring. Stultifying, it sure was. Was that shot twenty minutes long? Forty? It seemed like an hour. This prolonnnnnged car shot was preceded by the only dramatic moments this film possessed. Ethan Hawke’s wrangling his divorced son, who excliams, “MOM, HATES YOU!” Well, that outburst I believed.It was all down hill from there.
But if you want an audience who hasn’t seen these two oh-so-in-love-with-themselves rich people before, to identify with them, it was a very dicey way to introduce these two.
The filmmakers just ASSUME you’ll like them, if not love them already.
And well, I didn’t.
I think I lost them and consciousness completely towards the latter part of the film, when they eventually ended up bickering in a hotel room in France somewhere, or it could have been Greece.
“Before Midnight” is currently a critics’ darling, but I just don’t get the love. I guess I have to go back and watch their first two movies. But I’m afraid they’ll send me off to Dreamland again, if I do.
My rating: zzzzzzzz…..