Easily one of the year's most anticipated films is not a high-concept Hollywood blockbuster, but instead a modest film about the travails of love, the finale in Richard Linklater's Before Trilogy, Before Midnight. Though the film opened stateside on May 24th, the wait in the UK is a little more agonising (it bows for us on June 21st), yet having seen the film at a press screening this week, I can add my overwhelming praise to the stack the film has already accumulated. I came out of Before Midnight exhilarated and completely satisfied, unable to find any fault at all with what is presumably the capper to this unlikely franchise. Having slept on it, there is certainly a case to make that Before Midnight is one of the greatest films ever made, and I hope this is recognised in some small way at next year's Academy Awards; short of a surprise film blowing me away, I will be rooting for it to scoop Best Picture honours. Here are 10 reasons why Before Midnight is one of the greatest films ever made...
One cannot imagine that when Richard Linklater set out to make Before Sunrise that he ever anticipated it would simply be the first chapter into easily the most involving cinematic love story of all time, one that has only grown with each progressive installment. Though Sunrise was a breath of fresh air, there was never any expectation from viewers that it would transpire into a sequel-ised format, yet this history only gives Before Midnight more to back itself up with. If many claim that TV has overtaken cinema as the more artistic visual medium, it is largely because of TV's serialised ability allowing so much more in terms of character depth, whereas films are naturally limited by 2 hours-or-so. This trilogy is accentuated by the same logic; we've already soaked in around 3.5 hours of dense conversation between these two characters, before this new film even starts, so we feel like we know them. The passage of time between the films - 9 years each - is also a clever way to bring the characters to us in a new, evolved state each time.
Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.