Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Before Midnight

Five minutes in, when Julie Delpy started railing against some unnamed mob who won't let her put up a wind farm somewhere, I thought, 'Groan'. All the same, I continued watching. That is how it has always been for me with this series of films by Richard Linklater. I find myself viewing them through my fingers, cringing and yet unable to turn away. Worse still, I cringe and at the same time I identify. Delpy's character is extremely irritating and yet she says things I recognise. Ethan Hawke's character is very attractive, but her criticisms of him are spot on - and his of her. I have no idea why but this film, like its predecessors, despite being very little more than a portrait of a couple who talk endlessly, are fairly selfish and self-centred and are surrounded by people whose speeches sound exactly as if they have been scripted - which of course they have been, but scripts should never draw your attention to themselves - is riveting. Nothing happens - they eat a meal with friends, they go for a walk, they have a fight, they make up. I wouldn't recommend the film, even though I enjoyed it. It's a pleasure of which I am ashamed.

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