Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Before Midnight (2013)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Before Midnight (2013)

In Richard Linklater's final film in the "Before..." trilogy series, set 18 years after the first film, with the married couple experiencing serious personal issues on a summer vacation in Greece with their twin girls:

  • the sequence of Celine's (Julie Delpy) and Jesse's (Ethan Hawke) lunchtime conversation - a so-called "bimbo fantasy" - that she play-acted, about how it was important to stroke a male's ego and play the part of a bimbo to get a man: ("Let me tell you right now, Anna, how to keep a man. You gotta let them win at all the silly little games they like. When I met Jesse the first night, we were playing pinball. And of course, I was winning.... And at the last minute, I let the ball go down the middle... It builds their confidence. If I didn't let him win at every game, we would never have sex. I mean, I'm sorry to say it, but he's actually a closet macho. He dreams of having a bimbo for a wife")
  • this was followed by Celine's sarcastic reenactment of their first meeting together: "So you're a writer?...So you write, like, books?...Wow, I've never met a writer before...You must be really smart....Okay, well, you're very, very smart. (whispered) And I bet you have a gigantic penis" - he ended the charade with: "Why am I finding myself so attracted to this woman?!"
  • the scene of Celine's theoretical and hypothetical question if Jesse now found her attractive, like he did during their initial train meeting 18 years earlier: "If we were meeting for the first time today on a train, would you find me attractive?"; when he didn't take her seriously and finally joked: "Hey, baby. You are making me as horny as a billy goat in a pepper patch" - she supplied what she thought his answer would have been: "The fact is, you would not pick me up on a train. You would not even notice me - a fat-assed middle-aged mom losing her hair"; he finally admitted that their first train meeting "was the best thing I ever did"
  • the authentic relationship between the couple, including a realistic sex sequence between the two when they became flirtatious and intimate
  • the scene of a 20-minute long, painful, heated and vicious argument between Celine and Jesse in their hotel room suite, about issues affecting their future together - the possibility of a move to Chicago, gender roles, their children and careers and the promise of her "dream job", and the current state of their complex relationship - including Jesse's assessment: "You are the f--king mayor of crazy town, do you know that?", Celine's cutting judgment on their sex life: "You like to have sex the exact same way every time....Kissy, kissy. Tittie, tittie. Pussy, (snoring sound)"; he delivered a pronouncement: "I don't wanna live a boring life where two people own each other, where two people are institutionalized in a box that others created, because that is a bunch of stifling bulls--t!"; she reacted with a climactic bold confession before leaving the room: "You know what's going on here? It's simple. I don't think I love you anymore"
  • the ending scene between the two a few moments later in the hotel's outdoor restaurant (in the southern Peloponnese), when Jesse came up to her and she claimed that she was still angry and wanted to be left alone: "I don't wanna talk right now...I'm by myself and happy to be. I'm an angry person and I hurt my kids, my work and everyone I love...Okay. I'm not in the mood. I came here to be alone"; to soften her up, he pretended to be meeting her for the first time, and offered to buy her a drink and get to know her - he called her "the best-looking woman in this place"
  • then, Jesse described how he wasn't a "stranger" to her and had met her before (and he also "fell in love" with her) - he relived a summer night from the year 1994 - calling himself a "time-traveler"; his objective was to prevent her "from being blinded by all the little bulls--t of life"; he told her: "I assure you, that guy you vaguely remember, the sweet romantic one that you met on a train? That is me"; he read a letter she had given to him after fantasizing that he had just met her 82 year-old self - it included thoughts such as: "Celine, my advice to you is this. You're entering the best years of your life...Celine, you will be fine. Your girls will grow up to become examples and icons of feminism....P.S. By the way, the best, by the way, the best sex of my life happened one night in the southern Peloponnese. Don't miss it. My whole sexual being went to a new, ground-breaking level"; then Jesse admitted to her: "You're just like the little girls and everybody else. You wanna live inside some fairy tale. All right? I'm just trying to make things better here. All right? I tell you that I love you unconditionally, and I tell you that you're beautiful. I tell you that your ass looks great when you're 80. Huh? I'm trying to make you laugh....All right, I put up with plenty of your s--t. And if you think I'm just some dog who's gonna keep coming back, then you're wrong. But if you want true love, huh, then this is it. This is real life. It's not perfect, but it's real. And if you can't see it, then you're blind, all right, and I give up"
  • eventually, Celine came around to his time-traveling story, and seemed to be reconciled to him, and he spoke again about the one night in the southern Peloponnese that she would never forget, as the camera slowly pulled back: "There's somethin' that I've been thinkin' about, about your letter....You mentioned the southern Peloponnese? Yeah, yeah, and, uh, we're in the southern Peloponnese.. Yeah, and do you think it could be tonight that you're still talking about in your 80's?" - her reply was the last line in the film: "Well, it must have been one hell of a night we're about to have"

Celine's Description of "Bimbo Fantasy"

Hypothetical Question: "Would you find me attractive?"

Realistic Sex Sequence

Long and Vicious Argument in Hotel Room

Final Reconciliation at Outdoor Restaurant


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