Every Monday until the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, EW is celebrating a great success story from independent film’s most prestigious showcase. So far, we’ve revisited Lee Daniel’s Precious, Courtney Hunt’s Frozen River, Greg Mottola’s Adventureland, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon, and Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station. Today, we look back at Before Midnight, the much-anticipated 2013 sequel from Richard Linklater.
Sundance and sequels don’t typically go hand-in-hand. But Before Midnight, the third film in Richard Linklater’s accidental trilogy about the ongoing romance between Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), felt right at home when it debuted at the festival last year. The original 1995 movie, Before Sunrise, was a studio film that became beloved despite barely making a blip at the box office, and the latest installment was completely independent.
When Before Midnight debuted last January, fans were obsessed to see where the couple would be nine years after Before Sunset, the Paris-set sequel that left fans hanging on whether Jesse would catch his plane back to New York or start a new life with the “one that got away.” That film earned won the trio an Oscar nod for screenplay, and the three collaborated again on Midnight, which finds the couple together, with kids, in Greece.
Critics and fans adored the latest film, which featured combative marital scenes that were raw and honest. (Who hasn’t wanted to call one’s spouse the mayor of Crazytown?) The romance was still there, but it was no longer an ideal or a wish. It was real and grounded, evolved and maturing along with its characters.
Click below to see the trio at last year’s Sundance, discussing the movie and the future of their “franchise.”
Take another look at the film’s trailer.
Not for nothing, but Before Midnight has the best musical score of any 2013 movie. Just saying.