Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy is beloved by many, and arguably one of the most vivid, authentic depictions of love (and its day-to-day remnants after the so-called “happy ending”) in the history of cinema. But in order for it to come together, the “Dazed and Confused” filmmaker had to reunite actors/collaborators Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in relative secrecy to try and re-create the largely-spontaneous chemistry created in the 1995 classic “Before Sunrise” and teased in its 2004 follow-up “Before Sunset.”
Prior to 2012, fans were well aware that nine years had passed between “Sunrise” and “Sunset,” and now another nine were on the verge of expiring, so a third part felt like it should arrive in 2013. “Sunset” also ended with one heck of a cliffhanger, as “Baby, you are gonna miss that plane” had become a modern-day classic in final movie lines — and people had spent nearly a decade wondering where a perceived tryst would deposit Jesse and Celine.
In the summer of 2012, Hawke told Indiewire that shooting for the sequel was going to begin soon; his co-star Delpy denied it a month later. Sure enough, in September of 2012, news of the film was officially confirmed by a Deadline report that said it “wrapped late last night.”
“It’s great to be back together again,” said Linklater, Delpy and Hawke in a statement, “this time in beautiful Greece to revisit the lives of Celine and Jesse nine years after Jesse was about to miss his flight.”
The resulting film, “Before Midnight,” was a critically-acclaimed masterpiece that is not only considered by many to be the best film in the trilogy, but also offers viewers the all-too-rare opportunity of watching a married couple grapple with the hard work and arduous day-to-day that ultimately determines whether a marriage lasts. Since last seeing them, “Before” fans learned they had become parents to two girls — and faced ups and downs, constantly coming back to the same disagreements that threaten to diminish the passion and love audiences remembered so fondly from the previous two films.
Ultimately, “Midnight” concluded on a mixed note after a devastating fight, with the portrayal of their relationship feeling more real than ever; 2022 marks nine years after “Midnight” — and fans would love nothing more than to wake up one morning, surprised by another “wrapped late last night” announcement.