Before Midnight (film)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Before Midnight is a 2013 American romantic drama film, the third in a trilogy featuring two characters, following Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004). It was directed by Richard Linklater and stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Co-written by Linklater, Hawke and Delpy, the film picks up the story nine years after the events of Before Sunset; Jesse (Hawke) and Céline (Delpy) spend a summer vacation together in Greece.

Following a limited opening in May, the film was released wide in June 2013 and grossed over $23 million worldwide. As with the previous films in the trilogy, Before Midnight received widespread acclaim and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay

It was filmed in the former home which Patrick Leigh Fermor and his wife Joan built in Kardymili on the Peloponnese coast in Southern Greece.


Nine years have passed since Before Sunset. Jesse and Céline have become a couple and parents to twin girls. Jesse struggles to maintain his relationship with his teenage son, Hank, who lives in Chicago with Jesse's ex-wife. Jesse is now a successful novelist, while Céline is at a career crossroads, considering a job with the French government. After Hank spends the summer with Jesse and Céline on the Greek Peloponnese peninsula, Jesse experiences a disconnect with Hank when he drops him off at the airport to fly home and finds himself reflecting on his inability to serve as a good father to him.

The couple discuss their concerns about Hank, and then about Céline's choices for her career. Over dinner they talk more about love and life. Friends staying with them have pre-paid for a hotel room for Jesse and Céline so that they can have a night alone. While walking to the hotel, the couple reminisce about coming together and whether they would still be attracted to each other if they were strangers.

After reaching the hotel and checking in, they begin to get intimate and prepare to have sex but are interrupted by a brief phone call from Hank, who seems to have bonded with Céline more than he has with Jesse. The couple eventually have a fierce argument, expressing fears about their present and future together. Among other issues, Jesse wants them to consider moving to Chicago so he can be closer to Hank, which Céline thinks will cost her any chance of a career outside her family. In the heat of the argument, Céline tells Jesse she no longer loves him.

Céline leaves their room and sits alone in the hotel's outdoor restaurant. Jesse joins her and jokes that he is a time traveler (referencing their first meeting) bringing her a letter from her 82-year-old self, describing this night as one of the best of their lives. Unamused, Céline says their fantasies will never match the imperfect reality. Jesse proclaims his love, saying he does not know what else she could want. After a moment, Céline joins in Jesse's joke, and the two reconcile.


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