More so than most filmmakers who treat their characters like human beings, rather than cardboard plot inhabitants, the writer-director Richard Linklater intuits his way into finding the right tone, or mixture of tones, for whatever story he’s telling.
His good and great work has come from all over the place: science fiction novels (“A Scanner Darkly”), young-adult historical fiction (“Me and Orson Welles”), memories of Texas childhood, teen years, college and true-crime sagas (“Dazed and Confused,” “Boyhood,” “Everybody Wants Some!!”, “Bernie”). Spanning 18 years of real time, his “Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight” reminded audiences before and during the age of perpetual digital agitation: Talking things through, without screens and with verifiable eye contact, usually gets you somewhere. At his best Linklater does the same thing. He makes eye contact with the people in his movies.