Opera House Cinema series to screen ‘Before Midnight’

“Before Midnight,” the third installment in Richard Linklater’s trilogy of romantic dramas, is the next featured film in the Fredonia Opera House Cinema Series. It will be screened on Saturday and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

“Before Midnight” is the sequel to “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset,” each produced roughly a decade apart and all of which follow the lives of characters, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julia Delpy).

Jesse and Celine, who met in their 20s and spent one romantic evening together in Vienna in “Before Sunrise,” found their paths intersect again in their 30s and spent an afternoon in Paris in “Before Sunset.” Now, in “Before Midnight,” Jesse and Celine are a couple and parents to twin girls conceived when they got together nine years earlier. Jesse is a successful novelist, and they’re in Greece at a writer’s retreat, staying in a bucolic country villa. As a treat, their Greek friends have gifted them with a night at a luxurious seaside hotel while they babysit the twins.

So what does a long-term couple do in a sleek hotel room besides throw off their worries, responsibilities and clothes and make love? But for Jesse and Celine, realities intrude the weight of children, work, ambitions and disappointments; the ebb and flow of romantic love; the strains of an evolving, deepening relationship. In the end, their idyllic night tests them in unexpected ways as they face the past, present and future, family, romance, and love all before the clock strikes midnight.

Peter Howell, in the Toronto Star, calls the film “one of the best films of 2013 and the irresistible climax to Richard Linklater’s trilogy of on-the-run amour.”

Stephen Rea, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, calls it “a remarkably intimate and provocative study of a marriage.”

Cary Darling, in the Seattle Times, says it is “a film that feels so authentic it’s like overhearing a conversation you’re not sure you should be hearing.”

Mary Pols, in TIME magazine, says “if I were only allowed to see one movie this year, I’d want it to be ‘Before Midnight.’ If I were only allowed two trips to a theater this year, I’d see it twice.”

Rated R for sexual content/nudity and language, “Before Midnight” runs 109 minutes.

The Opera House Cinema Series is sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank. Tickets are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students) the night of each screening. A book of 10 movie passes is available for $60 at the door or online at www.fredopera.org. For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 679-1891. The Series continues with “Unfinished Song,” starring Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave on Aug. 10 & 13; and the Kevin James-Adam Sandler-Chris Rock comedy “Grownups 2” on Aug. 17 & 20.

Chautauqua County’s only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.