“ Genre: Comedy / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Woody Allen / Actors: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, Carla Bruni ... / DVD released 2012-02-06 at Warner Home Video / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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- Story -
A young American couple (Gil and Inez) are staying in Paris. Gil is an aspiring writer working on his debut novel, who harks back to the 1920s, that being when many of his literary idols were around. One night, as he's stumbling around the streets at night on his own trying to find his way back to the hotel, the clock strikes midnight and suddenly it seems that he's transported back to the 1920s and its not long before some big names from the past are showing an interest in him and his work - is this possible? are there lessons to be learnt from a trip to the past and will this be a recurring event? to find out what happens, of course you'll have to watch the movie.
- More info., Thoughts & Opinions -
The movie opens with an extended montage featuring shots of different parts of Paris, set to a slow piece of instrumental music that harks back to probably the 1920s-1940s, 'the good old days'. There's quite alot of music used both in the background and foreground, some Parisienne accordion music and other more general jazzy music, which certainly helped to set the scene. The film also features quite a strong yellow tint to it throughout, the lighting used giving even the modern scenes a quite retro feel.
This is a very atmospheric movie, its clearly very nostalgic and quite sentimental. Its pretty slow in pace and a little confusing I suppose when he goes back in time for the first time as its not obvious what has happened (presuming it to be down to drinking too much vino at a wine tasting earlier). The dialogue is quite poignant, with a subtle humour throughout - its a very subtle, sentimental movie overall, though there are some moments that are more funny than others but its not what I'd class as a laugh out loud comedy as such. The depictions of various famous characters from the past (Picasso, Hemingway etc.) all come across quite solidly as it were, with a good cast present (including Martin Sheen, Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson, as well as some lesser known names playing Gil's idols, apart from Kathy Bates who plays Gertrude Stein, Hemingway's publisher I believe(?)) with the scenes set in the past seeming rather realistic and yes, quite atmospheric. Gil's naive confusion and optimism show clearly, with Owen Wilson once again playing the role of a rather happy-go-lucky, head in the clouds type, I suppose you could say.
This is a very...pleasant movie, I think thats probably the most appropriate term to use, if I had to describe it in one word. One issue could be if you don't feel much interest in the main character Gil, for being clearly rather upper class, the fact that he seems to be slowly distancing himself from his fiancee and her plans and interests while he explores his personal, some could say selfish literary interests may not exactly bring out the tissues as such but I found myself quite curious to follow the story and see what the ultimate outcome was for him and his novel - I can't deny I was rather engrossed by it mid way through, mainly due to the good use of cinematography, the realistic retro feel it had, something about it does pull you in I think, or it did for me.
One thing I would note (though it is rather trivial) - as authentic as it clearly tried to be, having been to Paris myself, I found it a bit unrealistic in the scenes set in the 20s how clean and tidy the streets all appeared to be(!) there's plenty of fog/smog but the pavements and roads seem immaculate, which I don't believe would be the case at all lol but then thats probably more a reflection of Gils mind depicting his dream version of Paris in the 20s. Also I should point out that there is a fair amount of French spoken and there aren't any subtitles, although one of the characters (I can't remember her name, sorry) translates some of what is said back to English for Gil, who (as you might expect) barely knows any French. Finally, it would be hard to talk about this movie without pointing out that its both written and directed by Woody Allen, so that might help give you an idea of the type of movie it is.
There is a message present which becomes clear by the end, one about looking back to the past, although I suppose I shouldn't perhaps spoil it by saying exactly what it is but it does make you think. The movie also features a few plot twists, which are fairly small but quite nicely done, things I (obviously) didn't see coming. Overall, as a movie I enjoyed it, its naive and has some amusing dialogue, plus its very atmospheric and quite engrossing due to that, if your interested enough in the story.
- Would I Recommend It? -
Yes I'd recommend this movie, as I say its quite atmospheric, with a good plot and cast. It may be seen as a bit sentimental or 'namby pamby' to some people perhaps, its certainly not an all out laugh out loud comedy as such, being alot more subtle in comedy but I found it to be pretty engrossing and all in all I enjoyed watching it, so on that basis I'd be happy to recommend it.
Many thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful. Thanks for all rates and comments as well, of course.
Just like many other Woody Allen movies, "Midnight in Paris" represents a portrait of a city. In his unique way Woody Allen manages to connect the scenery, music, images and provide us with a complete picture of the city.
"Midnight in Paris" is dealing with the creative crisis of one writer, played by Owen Wilson. He is involved in a mysterious double life. He is trying to overcome some problems that he has with his lovely wife, played by Rachel McAdams, and at the same time by using his imagination he is traveling in early 20th century Paris. He hangs out with many famous writers like Hemingway and painters like Dali.
Carla Bruni appears in this movie in a supporting role as well as beautiful Marion Cotillard, always spontaneous talented.
"Midnight in Paris" is a pleasant movie and you will most certainly enjoy the romantic atmosphere, beautiful costumes and music.
I picked this film from 2011 up for £5.00 on DVD from Amazon the other day. It had been particularly recommended to me by a friend whose taste in films I share more often than not. I also have a particular interest in F.Scott Fitzgerald which has been piqued by the recent Baz Luhrmann Great Gatsby remake and knew that this film tapped into this a bit.
I have watched a number of Woody Allen over the years and as you would expect from his prolific output, I like a lot of people have found them to be hit and miss but I have to say that I was quietly optimistic with this one.
The story revolves around Gil who is played by Owen Wilson. He is visiting Paris in the present day with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) in order to gain inspiration for a novel that he wants to write so that he can stop being a Hollywood scriptwriter. His planned blissful time there is interrupted however by his ambitious and controlling fiancées insistence that they spend time with her overbearing Republican parents who are highly disapproving of his artistic endeavours and a pretentious and domineering friend of Inez's (played by Michael Sheen) who may or may not have romantic designs on her.
Frustrated and still nursing a bad case of writer's block he decides to take a midnight walk out on the streets of Paris when a old-fashioned car pulls up and the passengers summon him in. He then finds himself transported to a bohemian party in 1920's Paris where he firstly encounters F.Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and then over the following nights he also meets Picasso, Salvador Dali, Hemingway and Luis Brunel and gradually starts to piece together a novel whilst increasingly falling under the spell of both Paris and a mistress of Picasso's (played by Marion Cotillard). His unbelievable night time escapades soon make him question the decisions he is making in the present.
On the good side: it does contain a lot of the tropes that the better Woody Allen films have. The dialogue is witty and sassy, staying on the right side of comedic rather than over-the-top. The performances are also great, as you would expect from the cast involved which also includes cameos from Tom Hiddleston, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody in 1920's artistic incarnations. Owen Wilson in particular is a bit of a revelation, taking his slightly over-confident persona that he normally displays in films and playing it down a little whilst having a lot of fun with the character.
The time-travel trope is obviously slightly bonkers and it doesn't really go into the whys and wherefores of that, and why would it, its not a science-fiction film but I would imagine that it would probably bother some people. Obviously, even within the fantastical nature of the plot, the whole thing is contrived to say the least done with such a lightness of touch and knowingness that I found it quite easy to get past it.
No filmmaker does loving, longing shots of a city that he admires like Woody Allen does and he certainly does an amazing job of how he makes Paris look and certainly makes it look like a character and makes you want to go there. He certainly appears to be having fun with the fact that the story requires him to shoot extensively both during the day and night.
On the bad side: I'm afraid to say that to be completely honest, my overall impression of the film is that as pleasant and well put together I found it a little dull and lifeless for quite a lot of the time. Despite the fantastical premise I cannot help but think that it was a little too staid and perhaps didn't work hard enough to draw the audience in.
Another thing I will say is that whilst I think I have pretty good literary knowledge (less so artistic), but I definitely felt that there were probably quite a lot of jokes that I missed out on because I wasn't necessarily hugely knowledgeable about some of the characters involved so if you are you might well get more out of it humour-wise.
Overall, I have to say that perhaps it was my fault for having quite high expectations beforehand but I was quite disappointed with this film. As much as I liked the individual performances and the overall feel of the film, I can't help but have been left a bit cold by the whole thing and I do not think that it will stay long in my memory.
Please note that this DVD does not have any extras other than options for subtitles and audio description.
Director: Woody Allen
Actors: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates
Runtime: 90 mins
[Can currently be bought for £7.00 on Amazon.co.uk]
I feel I'm in a world as surreal as Gil's. I am at a complete and utter loss as to why on earth this film has been as well received as it has. A plot with potential is ruined by poor acting, dire script, a useless soundtrack and an overall deluded vision. I feel like I've watched a completely different film to that of which everyone else has been watching. Please, if there is anybody out there who shares similar views to what you are about to read, drop me a comment so I can retain my rapidly-diminishing sanity...
-== Plot ==-
Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is an American screenwriter who is on holiday in Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams). Despite his popularity and success in Hollywood, Gil feels unhappy and unfulfilled. He is currently writing a nostalgic novel, and considers moving to Paris, while Inez would like to live in Malibu. Gil is a Romantic, and loves the idea of Paris in the 1920s. As Inez and Gil's numerous differences become apparent, she happily lets them go their separate ways in the evening. Gil, sitting on some Parisian steps at midnight, is picked up by a retro car as he transported to 1920s Paris, where he meets an array of literary and artistic figures, from F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway to Cole Porter and Pablo Picasso.
-== The Review ==-
Midnight in Paris is ultimately a fantasy film. The shortcut writer and director Woody Allen rightly takes is that he quells any rule-breaking by creating a 100% unbelievable world; therefore, anything can happen. However, that does not excuse a god awful film. I see what Allen has tried to do; in essence, Midnight in Paris aims to be fun while conveying a message, but does not intend in any way to be serious. He creates two polar opposite worlds by ultimately squashing the modern day down into an ignorant and uncultured one. I'll give Allen this, he certainly portrays protagonist Gil as a Romantic in this sense, but it simply doesn't permit such a lazy filmic effort on any level. He may have ripped up the rulebook, but we still have a desire to watch a decently-put-together movie that doesn't leave you cringing intensely and craving subtlety.
I feel it important to start at the root of the problem. Now I will admit I've not seen a single Woody Allen film prior to this one - I'm a 20-year old and I've only really took a great interest in film for the past few years. But I heard that this was Allen's best effort for quite some time - 'disappointed' just doesn't even begin to cover it. It's a nice idea, the plot; the 20s and 30s are known as The Golden Age, and where better to set such a time than in Paris. I love reading and watching things from that time; 'The Great Gatsby' is one of my favourite novels. But Allen's initial execution was greatly disappointing for me. Starting with the 20s world which Gil finds himself in, the aforementioned writers and artists are portrayed with as much depth as a paddling pool. It's an insult to the figures involved. Allen uses primary traits of the writers and artists to construct the portrayals. For instance, the character of Hemingway (Corey Stoll) speaks metaphorically and epically like he's writing a novel, and Adrien Brody, who plays Salvador Dali, admirably delivers an explanation of what Surrealism is that wouldn't be out of place in a book titled 'Surrealism for 2-4 Year Olds'. The Golden Age just isn't conveyed anywhere near a satisfactory level, and it's a great shame.
Now, Rachel McAdams. Why in God's name this awful, awful actress keeps getting film roles is beyond me. She's more intolerable than her character, and that's saying something, considering Inez is an insufferable, arrogant, ignorant piece. The only excuse I have for her is that the script is bad, but that covers about 5%. It's not the first time she's been seeing playing Owen Wilson's other half, as they were both seen together in 2005's Wedding Crashers. As for Owen Wilson, many have said that this is the performance of his career - couldn't agree less. He's better in some of his other comedies, and is ten times better in 'Marley & Me'. He's just same old Owen Wilson in this, delivering sub-standard dramatic scenes and providing us with oh-so-familiar mannerisms. I found myself burying my head in my hands on numerous occasions in the film, but not so as extreme as when these two share the screen, particularly the lost earring scene. One of Allen's main issues is that he doesn't seem to be able to approach anything in a subtle way. Rachel McAdams' character is OBVIOUSLY not right for Wilson's, but by God does he push this notion. There is not a minute trace of ANYTHING that this couple EVER had and ever will have, so why they are still engaged is anybody's guess. But McAdams just makes it worse by poor line delivery and, overall, an abominable performance. Meanwhile, I feel slightly sorry for certain other actors/actresses; most predominantly, Kathy Bates and Marion Cotillard. They are both very good actresses, but there is just little for them to play with here. Allen's choice of cast is bizarre, in a word.
The music is irritating too, and used ineffectively and basically. We get a ten-minute chunk of film, followed by some music that should be immediately recognised as French music but is more reminiscent of Greek, and then film, then music, then film, then music. He didn't hire an original composer, but rather uses the non-diegetic music (the incidental music; the music that doesn't form part of the story, and that the characters can't hear) to ill effect. If you manage to look past all of the above, you may manage to have a little bit of fun. Paris is beautiful and that's something Allen has little control over. And I'll give this to the bloke: the message that the film conveys come the end of the film is rather touching and true. But I ain't giving him anything more. Midnight in Paris is just utterly dire. But I can't leave this review without telling you that it has been received very positively since its 2011 release, and even received a nomination for Best Picture at the Oscars, along with Best Director and Best Art Direction, and it won Best Writing, Original Screenplay. How on earth the latter came to be is a mystery to me, but I'm in the minority. Watch it, don't buy it, for now, and make up your mind.
When young American Gil travels to Paris with his girlfriend Inez and her parents for a special holiday, he instantly falls in love with the city and decides it's where he belongs. Inez is more keen on spending money and having a good time, but Gil wants to soak up the culture and enjoy his time in Paris. Gil begins to wonder if Inez really the woman of his dreams after all but then something strange happens at midnight. After a few drinks, Gil takes a seat out in the middle of Paris, when a horse and carriage comes by. Curious, Gil climbs aboard and oddly finds himself in an alternative Paris... that of the 1920's, complete with every famous name you could think of in the Arts. Gil is in heaven, and is desperate every night to join his new friends in the 20's, a time period where Gil feels he really belongs. But when the time comes, will Gil be able to leave his Parisian heaven behind?
If I'm honest, I don't generally watch Oscar nominated films because I find they aren't usually the sort of thing I enjoy watching. So when I found out after watching that Midnight in Paris was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar 2011, I was shocked because it was just so good - and although I could see why it was nominated, I was pleased to see this sort of film up for such a prestigious prize. I only saw this because it was my parents Lovefilm choice for the week I happened to be down there, and we had nothing else to watch one evening. So the five of us sat down to watch, not really sure what we were going to get with this, but hoping that being a romantic comedy it'd be the sort of thing we would all be able to enjoy watching!
I was shocked to see the amazing cast list for this film when I first looked it up online. It's headlined by Owen Wilson, a brilliant comedy actor so I was interested to see how he would fair in this sort of arty film. He was joined on top billing by Rachel McAdams, who is quickly becoming a favourite actress of mine after seeing several films of hers which have been brilliant, and also Oscar-winner Marion Cottilard, who I haven't seen in anything before. Alongside these big names we also see Adrien Brody, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates, and Carla Bruni amongst many others, and they really are a superb cast on-screen and are a joy to watch. Allen has really assembled the best of the acting world for this movie, and to be fair it was probably an honour for them all to work for such a talented writer and director. Allen creates a gorgeous dreamworld for Gil in Midnight in Paris, and even now, a few weeks after watching it, I keep thinking about the film and it's certainly going to make its way into my DVD collection sooner rather than later.
I was really impressed with Owen Wilson's performance as the main man of the film, Gil. Gil is a bit of a dreamer, living in the world he creates within the pages of his books, keen to get away from his career as a Hollywood screen-writer, instead wanting to live in 1920's Paris, much like the book he is writing. He's engaged to Inez, who seems to like the finer things in life, and gets exasperated at Gil wanting to take things at a slower pace than she does. Wilson somehow nails this performance, his whole demanour, line delivery and body language encapsulating Gil's character, and he was mesmerising to watch. As he's transported back in time to the 1920's socialite lives, he's as much in awe of what he is seeing as the audience are, and it all the more draws you in, and you love Gil that bit more. Wilson's performance here is nothing short of stunning, and Allen cast this role perfectly.
McAdams actually plays a dislikeable character in spoilt Inez. I hated her from the beginning (in a good way!), and I loved how you could begin to doubt her relationship with Gil simply from her body language, and the relationship she has with her parents compared to that of Gil. It felt awkward of screen due to the skill of the actors, and I thought McAdams did a really good job. However, the female star without a doubt is French actress Marion Cottilard. She's utterly mesmerising as artist's muse and designer Adriana. Her eyes, her whole body brings to life this sultry character, and my gosh when she delivers those rambling narratives to Gil, she is superb to watch - a real star in her craft and an utter joy on screen. Something about her and Wilson works so well, and between them, they are so wonderful to watch. There's a lot of unknown names to me amongst the cast, but they all did brilliant jobs, and in particular I enjoyed watching Alison Pill as Zelda Fitzgerald, Tom Hiddleston as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway, they were excellent. Michael Sheen is as ever brilliant, but goodness what a loathsome character he plays, Paul the know-it-all!
The movie was shot entirely in Paris, and is so gorgeous to look at on-screen. Allen manages to find not the tourist hot-spots that we see time and time again in movies and on television, but instead the 'real' Paris, the gorgeous back streets, small street cafés, the wonderful history all brought to life. It looks so amazingly beautiful, I just wanted to hop on a plane and get there, the cinematography on this film is nothing short of stunning. I especially enjoyed the 3 or 4 minute long opening to the movie, just a montage of Parisian scenes set to some lovely jazz music - in fact my brother commented that they'd accidentally sent us a French tourism DVD, it looked so fabulous.
Even though I very much enjoyed the scenes of the movie set in the modern day with Gil, Inez and co, I think the best parts of it were those set in the 1920's. Allen and his team have really excelled themselves, the costumes, sets, and storylines are all spot on, and you can really believe you are watching Paris in the 20's. It was so much fun to try and guess which famous names are going to come up next, from the famous writer's F. Scott Fitzgerald, T. S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway, to painters Matisse, Picasso and Salvador Dali. The actors who played these parts were brilliant, and although I didn't know much about these people aside from the obvious, Allen weaves their own stories into the movie with ease, and uses them to move Gil's own tale along with them too. Another thing I really want to mention is the soundtrack. Music is a film is very important, but without the soundtrack this film has, it wouldn't be as good as it is - simple. It's so evocative, so perfectly written for the movie and I loved listening to the dulcet Jazz tones, and the typically French sounding instrumentals throughout. It's also so perfect for the time periods used, and really made the film that bit more special.
As you can probably tell, I adored Midnight in Paris and can't recommend it highly enough. At first, when Gil went back in time, I wondered if Lovefilm had got their label wrong and this was meant to be some sort of romantic/sci-fi hybrid, but no. It's just a gorgeous romantic movie about a couple discovering their compatibility (or lack thereof), and of someone realising where he truly belongs. With a fabulously talented cast, a stunning setting and perfect soundtrack, this film has all the ingredients to make it a classic, and I hope that more and more people give this little gem a chance. Woody Allen is such a talent, and a movie like this can only come from someone like him. This isn't a film that is plot driven - not a huge amount happens in the running time, instead it is character driven, with the journey of the characters being more important, and for this film, it really works and I was content just to sit and enjoy it. Romantic, classy, touching and funny all at the same time, Midnight in Paris is a truly stunning cinematic triumph, and one I shall want to watch again and again, just to relive the magic a few more times. Simply beautiful.
Written and Directed by Woody Allen
Running Time: 94 minutes
Owen Wilson ... Gil
Rachel McAdams ... Inez
Kurt Fuller ... John
Mimi Kennedy ... Helen
Michael Sheen ... Paul
Nina Arianda ... Carol
Carla Bruni ... Museum Guide
Yves Heck ... Cole Porter
Alison Pill ... Zelda Fitzgerald
Corey Stoll ... Ernest Hemingway
Tom Hiddleston ... F. Scott Fitzgerald
Sonia Rolland ... Joséphine Baker
Kathy Bates ... Gertrude Stein
Marcial Di Fonzo Bo ... Pablo Picasso
Marion Cotillard ... Adriana
Léa Seydoux ... Gabrielle
Adrien Brody ... Salvador Dalí
David Lowe ... T.S. Eliot
Yves-Antoine Spoto ... Henri Matisse
Laurent Claret ... Leo Stein
The DVD is available on Amazon.co.uk for £7.00 (June 2012 price).
I have to be honest and say that recently I've found most of Woody Allen's films deeply flawed, I found Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona to be overlong and as ever more suited to his own personal lusts and desires than the requirements of the watching audience, Match Point was a serviceable story that was let down by prose dreamed up by somebody who had listened to too many Noel Coward songs whilst Cassandra's Dream isn't even worth discussing.
This film for me is the best he has made in many years, it's not overcomplicated, the dialogue is sharp and amusing but also gentle and sweet, the story is enjoyable, silly but utterly enjoyable and the acting is well done, it makes for an enjoyable little piece which I will remember for a long time for its naivety and its love of an era and a city, Paris.
Gill is a Hollywood script writer who is tired of his job, he wants to be a serious writer but has no confidence in his work, he is holidaying in Paris with his fiancé Ines (Rachel MacAdam) and her parents, when they bump into her arrogant old teacher, Paul (Michael Sheen) and his wife, and Gill is subjected to following this frightful bore around town listening to his views and pontifications, one night as Gill laughs off an evening out with the group he is picked up by a mysterious old car with a group of friendly folk and taken to a club where his life and his outlook on life are changed for ever, his experience of Midnight in Paris will shape his life and his career in ways he could never have imagined.
This is a decent cast, Owen Wilson stars as Gill and perfectly plays the role of a Naïve American who dreams of the days of poor artists living in Paris, he wants to live that experience and yet doesn't know much about it. His scenes in particular with Rachel MacAdam as Ines and Michael Sheen as Paul are excellent, in comparison to these weary, slightly sarcastic and knowing characters his innocence shines through beautifully, MacAdam and Sheen are both great in their selfish ways, both constantly thinking more about their own lives than the City they are visiting whilst Gill immerses himself more and more in the culture and lifestyle of the beautiful city, I won't spoil the interesting twist in this tale, but Tom Hiddleston, Alison Pill, Corey Stoll and Marion Cottilard are integral to the film and add a sense of charm and perspective which helps our hero reassess himself, his life and his relationship and become somebody he really wants to be.
This is the first Woody Allen film in a long which I have enjoyed and I think it takes a step back from being too pretentious and self-serving, in some respects it is over-reverential about the arts scene in Paris in the early 20th century, but it does find a solution to this by suggesting that people then harked back to an earlier golden age wishing they were there too.
The thing I liked most about this film was that it has heart and soul, you feel for Gill and whilst at times his life seems too easy you do feel for him and want him to be happy even though his dreams are slightly wimpy and outside of the realities of everyday life.
This film is almost that of a man having a mid-life crisis but it is also about somebody wanting to stray from the expected norms of convention and the lives we are expected to lead. The use of historical characters from the past is good, the idea of Gill moving between present and past is whimsical and nonsensical but fun nonetheless and the film passes in a gentle romantic bluster leaving no irritation, no question marks about Allen's intentions and no creepy lingering ideals about why he cast certain females to portray the roles essentially as his main character/his love interests.
If you ever dream of living in another time and place, this sweetly romantic film is for you, if you loved the art scene in Paris during the early 20th century, the references are fun although signposted slightly too heavily at times.
Allen has stepped back from some of the melodrama of his previous films and directed and written with heart and soul, the film is funny, charming and the cinematography tells the viewers how much the Director adores Paris, this is a love story about a City but also a sweet tale about how looking to the past can improve our present.
This film is as autobiographical as ever but steps away from some of Allens odder idiosyncrasies and is a lovely dreamy tale about a man who feels lost in the present day until a memorable trip into his ideal time and place puts this right.
The film is £11.40 on Amazon but I found it enjoyable and so did my family and friends, so I would suggest waiting until it is £7-£8 and adding it to your DVD collection.
Another year means another Woody Allen film - this time shot entirely in Paris, a first, even for Hollywood's quirky rare gem of a director, "Midnight in Paris" is a warm, nostalgic trip around the beautiful city, infused with dreamy sequences of 1920's Paris, with Allen taking a lighter, more casual approach to telling his original story. Much like its lengthy opening sequence of no dialogue that shows a montage of Paris in the mellow backdrop of fading yellow colours backed by a jazzy saxophone solo, Allen's latest is a charming and immensely appealing romantic comedy that may lack the more deliberate, unsubtle humour of many laugh-out-loud Hollywood comedies but is thankfully more reliant on the breezy, relaxing nature of the script, and the likable presence of his well-rounded stars.
It is however, advisable to do a quick brush-up on your knowledge of literary history: not necessarily in much depth or detail, but just make sure you are familiar with the basic list of famous authors and artists who, as a part of the "Lost Generation," (une génération perdue) after the First World War spent time in Paris during the 1920's. This includes Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, T. S. Eliot, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Luis Bunuel. No need to be an expert though, because Allen is not interested in diving into a profound analysis of the era - he is more focused on the mood, the ambiance of what he imagines the post-war 20's would have been. There is almost something magical and mystical about the way Allen transports his characters and audience alike to a different time period.
Because "Midnight in Paris" does kick off in the modern day. Owen Wilson plays Gil, a Hollywood sell-out script writer whose true passions lie in writing what he considers a true novel, whilst idolizing the period in Paris during which his favourite authors (Stein, Hemingway, etc) lived. Whilst constantly mocked and dismissed by his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams), and snubbed by Inez's arrogant, pretentious friend Paul (Michael Sheen), Gil finds his true calling and happiness by wandering around the city. One night, when a city clock strikes twelve, he stumbles on a mysterious old-fashioned car with its passengers urging Gil to come and join them. Slightly drunk on wine from another pretentious party in which Inez was completely infatuated with Paul, Gil decides to go along for the ride: but before he knows it, the clock has turned back around 90 years, and he finds himself socialising with the literary legends and artists he admired for his entire life.
Hemingway (Corey Stoll) is comically distant, masculine and cynical about life, Zelda Fitzgerald (Alison Pill) is a cheery, but boozy southern lass, and F. Scott (Tom Hiddleston) is the loyal husband. Gil cannot believe his luck when Stein (Kathy Bates) offers to proof-read his manuscript for him. Artists who were regulars in Stein's salons, Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo Bo), Dali (Adrien Brody), Bunuel (Adrien de Van) are all there, much to Gil's amazement. This period becomes an even bigger temptation for Gil when he meets Adriana (Marion Cotillard), a beautiful young woman who first came to Paris to pursue fashion, but becomes an inspiration for Picasso. The two connect, and through their shared passion for culture and desire for leading a more fulfilling life in a surrounding that suits them more, Gil is wholly taken not much by her looks, but also by her intelligence and romantic views, both of which his current materialistic fiancée seems to lack.
The more you know about these authors, the better. The script is peppered with small jokes that relate directly with their works, and what is known of their personal lives. The need for a certain level of cultural literacy, although sounding incredibly snobbish, is a refreshing change when watching a film. But "Midnight in Paris" is careful to not alienate those who may not be too interested in the 1920's Paris. Performed to great precision by an ensemble of talented actors, both the 20's scenery and modern times are a joy to be a part of.
Although it may not convince straightaway that Wilson plays a writer who is obsessed with the works of Stein and Hemingway, his Gil has plenty of appealing, likable qualities which Wilson plays to low-key, humorous perfection. His sincerity and enthusiasm for the specific era and his amazement as he meets his heroes one by one are what hold the film together. He has many long scenes of dialogue, all of which he smoothly delivers, adding the priceless, unique, laid-back spin to his words he often does. Of the supporting characters, Pill, Brody and Stoll generate the most laughs, with the comic portrayals of their characters, and Bates is as reliable and sturdy as ever here. Cotillard shares many deep and meaningful moments with Wilson all of which carry the cosy warmth of a blossoming romance. As the two very likable, charismatic leads connect and share a special bond, we are further drawn to the tender, affectionate ambiance of the past - an aspect boosted by the embracing cinematography of Darius Khondji who achieved a similar dreamy, hallucinatory scenery with "My Blueberry Nights."
No explanation is necessary for this time travel and Allen is absolutely correct in refusing to bother. We wonder if another magical car ride will transport us to a different era - a question which is answered towards the end of the film. The illusion the past creates for us, how we are never truly fully satisfied with where we are at the moment, and our constant desire for a better life, are the challenges Gil faces when he sees something so glamorous, cultured and more to his style. But Allen is here to tell us and assure us that it's not really all that bad - an idea comprehensibly and emotionally explained during Gil and Adriana's touching exchange.
Allen has his ups and downs, and this is definitely one of the very memorable, moving piece of work in recent years. His other recently successful film, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" might have had more energy, more zest, but "Midnight in Paris" is a more humble, restrained offering, something that works just as well. This also became a record-breaker for Allen's career for becoming the director's highest grossing ever in the States and worldwide - and rightly so. This is a film that would appeal to a wide demographic, not specifically to Allen fans. Anyone yearning for something nostalgic, a heartfelt love story, some fun time travel, or just a good visual stroll around Paris, should seek this one out.
Star - Owen Wilson
Rating - Rated PG-13
Country - USA
Run Time - 94 minutes
Awards - 4 Oscar nominations
Rental - £2.99 per night@Blockbuster
Amazon - £12.00 +
Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen's 41st movie and his best since Bullets over Broadway for me, a painful 17 year gap for his hardcore fans, both films receiving four Oscar nominations, this one winning Woody's fourth Golden Statue from a total of 19 nominations in his amazing anti establishment career, a record 14 of those nods for 'Best Original Screenplay', Hannah and Her Sisters his last win, still a long way behind all-time record holder Walt Disney with 26 Oscars. As predicted Woody yet again failed to attend the Kodak Theatre to pick up the treasured statue last month and hasn't been to The Academy's big night since 2002, there not to raise an Oscar but hard cash for the 911 fund, the attack on his beloved Manhattan the only reason to show. He is that type of east coast artist that refused to sellout and you can only respect him for that. Woody makes movies for himself and a calculation made revealed his movies have lost an accumulated $280 million dollars over his career. Clever cinema doesn't make money and so we can only be grateful for this guy to be able to keep doing what he does.
Midnight in Paris is his first film to gross $100 million world-wide, very much back to the themes he knows best that made his unrivalled reputation with his intelligent and welcome wordy romantic comedies from back in the day. Whisper it quietly but Woody Allen is a commercial success this time. His brilliant Annie Hall (1977) was the first rom-com to win an Oscar and so coming full-circle here with the delightful Midnight in Paris. Interestingly the theme of France could have been the clincher for the Oscar as nine of the films up for big awards in 2012 had strong French connections, The Artist, Hugo and Tin Tin to name but three.
Van Gough's stunning iridescent painting 'Starry Night' sets the Parisian scene setter here, this, Woody's first film totally shot in one city that's not New York, Paris a fabulous canvas for the old master to get to work with his cinematic paintbrush, the reason I went for the BlueRay option on my player. Normally its only action films I take the BlueRay pill for but this film is just as much about color and contrasts as it is romance in Paris and looked fabulous on my new telly in the format (I'm posting this in the non BluRay bit as it will take 8 weeks for that category to go up here).
Woody conscionably pulls on the inspiration of the great painters for this films feel and texture and it works to great effect. It really is like he painted this, Matisse, Degas, Picasso and Gauguin all present in this fairytale.
The adorable Owen Wilson is cast as the now perfunctory neurotic writer in Woody Allen movies and effectively playing the actor version of Woody we know from back in the day, all questions and twitches with a mouth full of anti anxiety pills. Owen Wilson doesn't look much like Allen but he certainly tries to act and sound like him, whether asked to or not. I'm pretty sure Woody would like to look like Owen Wilson, Hollywood's most likeable actor on screen by far, one actor who didn't need a nose job to make it.
Owen Wilson as Gil Pender
Rachel McAdams as Inez
Kurt Fuller as John, Inez's father
Mimi Kennedy as Helen, Inez's mother
Michael Sheen as Paul Bates
Nina Arianda as Carol Bates
Carla Bruni as Museum Guide
Marion Cotillard as Adriana
Léa Seydoux as Gabrielle
Emmanuelle Uzan as Djuna Barnes
Yves Heck as Cole Porter
Alison Pill as Zelda Fitzgerald
Tom Hiddleston as F. Scott Fitzgerald
Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway
Sonia Rolland as Josephine Baker
Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein
Marcial Di Fonzo Bo as Pablo Picasso
Adrien Brody as Salvador Dalí
David Lowe as T. S. Eliot
Yves-Antoine Spoto as Henri Matisse
Vincent Menjou Cortes as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Olivier Rabourdin as Paul Gauguin
François Rostain as Edgar Degas
Successful Hollywood screenwriter Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is unfulfilled as a writer and
heading to Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) on a business trip, and hoping to take the chance for inspiration in the stunning city to finish his book, and discuss wedding arrangements with her parents, dad John (Kurt Fuller) and mum Helen (Mimi Kennedy) in town but staunch Republicans to Gils wet behind the ear liberal approach to life.
Also in Paris are friends Paul (Michael Sheen) and Nina Bates (Nina Arianda) from Los Angeles, Paul a pseudo intellectual who seems to think he knows more about Paris than the tour guides, a museum attendant (none other than Carla Bruni, President Sarkosy's wife) quickly ready to correct him. Paul also has a thing for Inez.
After going out for a meal together Gil decides to let them dance the night away and walk alone in Paris in search of the inspiration, where he meets pretty curio shop owner Gabrielle (Léa Seydoux) and starts to drink in the city. He longs for the Paris of the 'Roaring 20s' and, low-and-behold, when the clock strikes midnight he is back there, a man called Djuna Barnes (Emmanuelle Uzan) and two pretty and fragrant maidens offering him a ride in their horse drawn carriage. Gil, being a man of letters, knows exactly who Djuna Barnes is and when he died and soon in a packed jazz club with Cole Porter (Yves Heck) on piano and Josephine Baker (Sonia Rolland) on vocals, over in the corner Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody) and TS Elliot (David Lowe) playing checkers. Is it a dream or is something very strange happening to Gil Porter?
After returning to bed and Inez when the illusion disappears he decides to take her the next night to see this other Paris, which fails to materialize, of course, Cinderella returning to bed before midnight, the time when Paris comes alive for Gil Pender. Again a carriage pulls up and he is soon breaking bread in a noisy bar with none other than F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston) and a moody Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), Gil confident enough now in his apparent time travel to suggest to a young George Orwell to write a book about some animals trapped in a room. He also has time to fall for the muse of Pablo Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo) that second night under the stars, Adriana (Marion Cotillard) intrigued by his Texas twang. By night three as the magic continues he has even asked Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) to browse his manuscript to suggest changes. But all this is weighing on his relationship and he is realizing that perhaps Inez is not the girl for him and a change of scenery is needed, Paris in the rain the new love of his life.
Lets be honest, Woody Allen has really tanked in recent years and I stopped my love fair with his films soon after Mighty Aphrodite back in 1995. But Midnight in Paris is a return to form of sorts and the chatty neurotic style and familiar soundtrack is back and so a fun two hours to be had here for his fans and that wider audience the large gross suggests. The combination of whimsy and romance is, for me, much more successful than Allen's previous European city film, the tiresome Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Wilson is as lovable as ever in the lead and dominates the film like no other he has done, a man who normally needs a sidekick, and clearly enjoying the fact he has been given a smart movie to do by the king of intelligent romantic comedies. Not since Before Sunrise with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke have I enjoyed the now insipid genre. It's little known but Owen Wilson always wanted to be a writer and only fell into movies ad so effectively playing himself here.
Like many capital city movies all the landmarks are present to help sell it internationally, but not a Paris, Parisians would recognize, even Monet's pond of lilies included in a beautiful but fantasy screenplay Paris. As I say it looks fabulous in BlueRay and director Woody Allen emphasizing the important of color throughout. It's a typical 'talky' Allen script and seeing Michael Sheen effectively play Alan Alda made me chuckle some. For its budget of $17 million it looks great and most of that was Owen Wilson's standard fee of $8 million dollars, which he did cut later on to help production cost. The film company decided to really market this hard with a $10 million budget for the Oscars as they knew it was good and also that Woody was sidetracked by his contracted promotion of Cars 2 voice-over work at the same time of the films early release in Oscar season, until this film, the cartoon genre still Woody Allen's biggest hits. Woody does not care for awards. 80% of modern Oscar winners are released at least no more than two months before the Oscars.
Now this is no Manhattan guys so don't get too excited but it is what we like about Woody Allen movies. I'm glad he won the Oscar and pleasing that McAdams and Wilson have bought a younger audience to Allen's movies and maybe that was the key to this working. Woody's films became rather stale, especially when he was still the romantic lead in them well over his 60th birthday. But here he has cast well and it's just the best fun to see him find a formula to be able to make those movies he used to. It was a big surprise to see President Sarkosy's misses there; no doubt a favorable tax break or two on offer for Allen's film from her hubby! I await his next project with great interest once again.
Imdb.com - 7.8/10 (89,456 votes)
Rottentomartos.com - 92% critic's approval
Metacritc.com - 81% critic's approval
Empire Magazine - "Light, assured, and utterly charming: Woody Allen's sublime gifts are still intact"
New Yorker - "As a conceit, the visit with literary celebrities may be thin, and the episodes are brief and sketchy, but wish fulfillment is part of the movie's charm".
The Guardian - "An accomplished film that's as entertaining as it is deliciously offbeat".
The Melbourne Age -"The most acceptable Woody Allen film in a long time"
No Special Features guys other than aspect ratio and sound stuff!
Gil (Owen Wilson) is a writer who has sold his soul to Hollywood and wants to turn his hand to a literary novel. His fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) seems to control every aspect of his life, but if it were up to him they would move to Paris after they were married. When they tag along on Inez's parents business trip to that lovely city, cracks start to show in their relationship. They bump into Inez's friends, quite ignorant, pedantic people who clearly look down on Gil, and Inez sides with them every time. When he tells them of his dream - he wishes he had been born in Paris, in the 1920s - they laugh at his naïve idealism: they deal only in the harsh present of business deals and golf games.
One night, when Gil wants some time alone, he leaves the group and wanders the streets of Paris alone. At midnight, a vintage style car approaches, and a group of people inside it urge him to join them. He decides to hop in, and is taken away to a different world: that of artistic society in the 1920s.
I didn't really feel like characterisation was a big strength in this film. The main character, Gil, is a complete pushover and he has absolutely no will of his own. He seems to drift through his life, accepting whatever comes next and rarely taking action. When Gil is thrust into another world each night, he meets it all with such calmness and acceptance that it really did stretch my credulity. His air of faint surprise fits the situation so poorly that it almost spoilt the film for me. Instead of questioning his own sanity and tearing his hair out wondering if he'll ever get to the present day, he just drifts along.
His relationship with Inez is a total mystery, as we barely see a single scene of them being loving and supportive towards each other. Instead, Inez is constantly picking at him or telling him what to do, and he just takes it. I know there are many couples who have that kind of dynamic, but with an underlying love and chemistry that these two just don't have. Inez's parents dislike Gil, her friends dislike Gil and it's really not clear why. Although he is portrayed as someone with little ambition or discipline, he is a successful scriptwriter - he's not exactly a layabout or bum, taking advantage of her.
On the other hand, though, whilst Gil is off on his adventures, he does of course come across a love interest or two. He seems to be a bit of a flirt, or at least very familiar with the women he meets, and it all seemed a bit inappropriate when he was still engaged to Inez. Fair enough, their relationship might have been a bit loveless, and as he was in a different time period you can see why he might think he was on to a bit of a free ticket, but there are a few scenes where he is hatching very real plots to seduce women whilst in the same room as his fiancée. I suppose that fits quite well with his aimless character, but it put me off a bit and make Gil a bit less likeable.
The most interesting characters are the ones Gil meets on his journey. Ever wished you could meet Hemingway? Gertrude Stein? Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald? Hemingway is played fantastically, and he has some fabulously deadpan lines that made me laugh out loud. His delivery is perfect and he is just as you might imagine Hemingway to be. He's intense and uncompromising, and next to Wilson's wimpy Gil, Corey Stoll just shines and practically leaps off the screen. My eyes were glued to him every time he was on the screen. Meanwhile Zelda Fitzgerald is instantly likeable and hilariously fun. Whilst Gil is wandering around in awe of his heroes and trying to take everything in, she is cruelly practical and easily bored. These characters provided a splash of fun in what could otherwise have been a fairly straight, dull affair.
Finally, Marion Cotillard is perfect as Adriana, the flirtatious, impulsive society girl that catches Gil's eye. She is flirtatious, intriguing and mysterious, and you can see why Gil is drawn to her.
The musical accompaniment is a bit of a mix. Half of the songs are your typical, sax heavy, French style tunes that conjure up images of a dark jazz bar, thick with the smoke of Gauloises, and the other half are classic 1920s tunes from the era's greats such as Cole Porter. Whilst this could be seen as a really safe choice, I did think it added to what the film was trying to achieve, and really contributed to the setting and the mood overall.
Normally I wouldn't even mention the costumes in a film, but I think one of the really fantastic things about the 20s is the fashion, and the costume department really knocked this one out of the park! The costumes are just gorgeous; all sequins and headbands and feathers; I loved seeing all the amazing outfits. Meanwhile, back in the present day, Inez has a wardrobe full of holiday style clothes that we could never wear in boring old England.
You can probably tell by that short description that this is a film that demands a slight suspension of belief. You can't ask many questions, because things just start falling apart! There's no effort to explain any of the mechanics of what's happening, or to give a reason for it, either. You really just have to go along with the ride, which is something some viewers might find quite difficult.
The story on the whole is quite engaging. It's not exactly an exciting rush to a desperately tense climax, but I did find myself wondering how everything was going to pan out. The fun is mainly in the environment: the parties and coffee shops and bars that Gil goes to are packed with the cream of French society in the 1920s, and he meets many of his literary and artistic heroes. From the very opening scenes - lingering shots of Paris in the summer, including all the most famous landmarks, tree lined avenues, and lazy sun-drenched views of the Seine - it is clear that this is a celebration of Paris, both now and as it was. Everything here is idealistic and seen through the rosiest of lenses; there is none of the grit or realism exposed in films such as Irreversible or La Haine.
As Gil continues his adventures, he learns that 'la belle epoque' is different for everyone. Everyone thinks the grass is greener and everyone harks back to a golden age just outside of their reach. I didn't think this was a groundbreaking observation, to be honest, and the point is made rather clumsily. But, the charm of this film kind of lets it get away with a lot.
~~Who would enjoy this film?~~
I think this would appeal to both men and women - my husband and I both enjoyed it. It's happily lacking in any slapstick or gross-out humour that seems to feature in so many romcoms, and instead depends on gentle, intelligent jokes. Because of all the references to that particular period in Paris' history, I'm sure there were a lot of jokes that went completely over my head, but I still enjoyed it. As I've said, Hemingway is hilarious and there's a particularly funny scene where Gil tries to explain his predicament to a group of Surrealist painters, with little success. If, though, you happen to be quite well versed in this era, then I'm sure you'd love this film even more. (Unless, of course, there are glaring historical inaccuracies that I didn't spot, in which case you could conceivably hate it! I haven't heard anything about such inaccuracies being present, though.)
I'm not sure you could really describe this as a masterpiece. I think my husband summed it up nicely when I told him it had won Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars and he laughed and said 'It wasn't very original.' It's really just a mild romantic comedy, but in a gorgeous, charming setting that somehow forces you to love it. It's utterly lacking in realism and probably a bit too cheesy for some to swallow, but it's a relatively amusing, intelligent film that has good appeal to both men and women.
I'm giving this four stars. It's not the best film I've ever seen but it was gently funny, intelligent and served to temporarily satisfy my cravings to go back to Paris! Recommended.
About the film
Midnight In Paris is a 2011 romantic comedy/ drama film. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival before being released at the cinema. The film has a rating of 12A due to some sexual references and the film has a run time of 94 minutes. It was directed and written by Woody Allen.
Tagging along on her parents' business trip, Inez and her fiancé Gil head to Paris. Gil was once a Hollywood screen writer who is now trying to write his first novel, which is set in Paris during the '20s. Gil is so in love with the city that he would love for he and Inez to move there after they get married but she isn't having any of it. She doesn't share his love of Paris and doesn't understand his obsession with Paris in the '20s. During their stay, Gil gets drunk and wanders around lost. The clock strikes midnight and he is transported to a whole other kind of Paris - Paris in the '20s, full of people he could only ever dream about meeting.
Owen Wilson as Gil Pender
Rachel McAdams as Inez
Kurt Fuller as John, Inez's father
Mimi Kennedy as Helen, Inez's mother
Michael Sheen as Paul Bates
Nina Arianda as Carol Bates
Carla Bruni as Museum Guide
Yves Heck as Cole Porter
Alison Pill as Zelda Fitzgerald
Tom Hiddleston as F. Scott Fitzgerald
Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway
Marcial Di Fonzo Bo as Pablo Picasso
Marion Cotillard as Adriana
Léa Seydoux as Gabrielle
Emmanuelle Uzan as Djuna Barnes
Adrien Brody as Salvador Dalí
What I thought
Even though I have never been to Paris, I am quite in love with the idea of it in my head. I'm desperate to go and don't mind teasing myself by watching films or reading books about it.
Midnight In Paris begins like a dream. With scenes of the city being shown from all angles, it instantly made me want to go even more. The opening to this film was extremely beautiful and from the very first shot shown of Paris, I knew that I was going to love this film. I'm sure for anyone else that hasn't been, it will make you want to go. For those of you that have, I'm sure it will make you want to go back.
Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams play the leads in Midnight In Paris, Gil and Inez. The couple are in Paris after tagging along on Inez's father's business trip but Gil is actually writing a novel set in Paris during the '20s. It is obvious from the start that Gil and Inez have completely different view on Paris - they both want to do, see and experience different things. McAdams plays the more dominant part in the relationship by being a strong woman and pretty much overruling anything that Gil says or wants to do.
As Gil, I thought that Owen Wilson did a great job although I couldn't picture him in a film like this to begin with - it definitely isn't his usual straight comedy film. Owen makes Gil sweet and likeable and the character has a real genuine side. You can tell from how he acts that he means everything that he says and that he is passionate. I enjoyed watching Gil progress as a character over the course of the film and I really like how much he changed.
The plot was not quite what I was expecting it to be but then I didn't really know much about the film before watching it, apart from it being set in Paris. As Gil goes for a drunken stroll around the city on his own, a clock strikes midnight, taking him to a whole other time - Paris in the '20s. At this point in the film, I'd advise you that if you aren't brushed up on your knowledge of writers and artists, you might get a little confused and not understand who everyone is and what is going on. As an English student, I loved seeing this famous names come to life, especially Hemingway, who was one of my favourite characters in the film.
While the pacing is slightly strange, not feeling like much is ever really happening, Midnight In Paris is a magical, heart-warming film that I really enjoyed.
I'll admit that what drew me to this movie was ultimately Rachel McAdams, but I've always enjoyed Woody Allen's films- there's a quirk about them which is lovable, so this was sure to be good.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Writer Gil (Owen Wilson) goes on a trip to Paris with fiancee Inez (Rachel McAdams) whom he has nothing much in common with. He has always wanted to live in Paris in the 20's. One night during a walk alone at midnight, Gil gets picked up by a vintage car, and is taken to the 20's. There he meets Picasso, Hemingway, Dali and many great minds, but amongst the famed, he also meets Adriana (Marion Cotillard), a beautiful woman who he really connects with.
Through his adventures in the 20's, Gil develops as a writer, learns how to truly love and what he is searching for in the present, in reality.
Being unfamiliar with France in the 20's, I was probably one of those who got a bit lost amongst the characters of this alternate universe, though thankfully there were some renowned characters: Dali and Picasso, of which I knew well.
The immediate thing to notice is the beauty of the cinematography- Paris is shown through beautiful eyes. The three minute opening sequence showcasing Paris from day to night was wonderful. Even if you hate the movie, you'll fall in love with Paris. And not just Paris, Paris in the 20's.
The pacing of the film was good though it could've gone faster. However, there was great attention to detail which makes this a lovely artistic film. There was great suspense towards the climax of the film when 'the message' hits you, and the film ends with a brilliant catharsis.
Whilst the happenings of the film could just be complete fantasy, the delusions of a drunk, to dwell on technicality would be missing the point of the movie- the exploration of fearing the modern day, the yearning to escape to the past to the 'golden age' and dealing with it are just some of the themes found in this movie.
Owen Wilson- Gil
Rachel McAdams- Inez
Kathy Bates- Gertrude Stein
Marion Cotillard- Adriana
Also stars Michael Sheen, Carla Bruni and Adrien Brody.
I've never liked Owen Wilson, even in his comedic roles, and to be honest, found him rather annoying in this movie. To me, he is very much like a Woody Allen when Allen acts- and it just bugs me. Rachel McAdams plays the uninterested insensitive selfish fiancee well and I'd love to see her in more comedic roles and perhaps even being a villain!
There are also some great guest stars here as the 20s famous figures.
'Midnight in Paris' was a surprising commercial success. Beautifully shot, with an intriguing story and message, this is definitely one of Woody Allen's better films of late. Whilst it was a bit slow to start, the pace picks up and you will be absorbed into the movie. The ending is also brilliant! Fall in love with Paris with this movie!