In the second clip from Before Midnight, Ethan Hawke's Jesse is presented with a conversational Kobayashi Maru from Julie Delpy's Celine, and he somehow turns it around so hard that even she must admit he is "a very skilled manipulator."
Like the first clip from Before Midnight that Sony Pictures Classics unspooled online two weeks ago, this new excerpt from the film finds Hawke and Delpy walking and talking. Because that's pretty much exclusively what Celine and Jesse do when we visit them once a decade, and they're exquisitely good at walking and talking together.
We first met this couple as youngsters on a train to Vienna in Richard Linklater's 1995 gem Before Sunrise, in which the American traveler and French student spent one deliriously romantic night together before an uncertain conclusion. Then, in 2004, Linklater reunited with his stars for Before Sunset, a bold reunion between two characters who moved on without ever quite moving on. That sequel was written by the director and his two stars, all three of whom received Oscar nominations.
And now they're all back, nine years later all over again. The circumstances are different, as are both of the central figures, but as you can see below, they're different like people you actually know. In that they're different, yet pretty much the same. There's a helium joke in here that could have come from Jesse in 1995.