FILM: Before Midnight (15)

Nine years after Before Sunset, the gorgeously romantic sequel to Before Sunrise, director Richard Linklater and actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reunite for this third chapter in the lives of Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy), who met by chance on a train and spent a magical day together in Vienna.

Unlike the previous two instalments, Before Midnight, does not unfold entirely in real time, stitching together a handful of scenes which lay bare the precarious state of the couple’s relationship and assess the likelihood that they might stay together for another nine years. Jesse and Celine are now married with three children.

Having kissed goodbye to Jesse’s son Hank (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick), who is going to spend the summer with his ex-wife in Chicago, Jesse and Celine drive their two daughters Ella (Jennifer Prior) and Nina (Charlotte Prior) down the Greek coast to spend some time in the sun with friends.

En route, Jesse and Celine chatter about the past and the future, including his career as a novelist and her job prospects working for the government.

Their hosts arrange for Jesse and Celine to enjoy some quiet time together in a hotel room without the girls but this wonderful evening of togetherness forces the couple to confront fractures in the relationship.

Released: June 21 (UK & Ireland, selected cinemas), 108 mins