Probably no surprise whatsoever to my regular readers. Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight” is my favorite film of the season. It’s also my choice for the finest movie of the entire first 8 months of 2013, and it will undoubtedly be a major contender when my year-end Top Ten list rolls around by February 1st, or so. “Before Midnight”, btw, also has the highest Metacritic rating of anything released yet this year. I’m super high on Julie Delpy possibly securing an Academy Award nomination—this may be her finest work as an actress. Of course, there is an even stronger chance for a screenplay nod—which she would share with Mr. Linklater and co-star Ethan Hawke(the trio was nominated for their 2004 “Before Sunset” script, nine years back). With Labor Day weekend upon us, I’ve seen 20 releases from the 2013 calendar year at this juncture. “Before Midnight” is the top dog of that extended bunch, too. In 1995, “Before Sunrise” was my #1 film of the year, likewise for “Before Sunset” in 2004. Could there be a three-peat? Only time will tell, as I expect to see roughly 40 new films during the insanely furtive fall/winter season. Runners-up for top honors? Both “Byzantium” and “Mud”. The new season begins next week…and I’m foaming at the mouth for “Riddick” in IMAX 3D already! Stay tuned!