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Ce film est parfait!
Midnight in Paris(DVD)
Member Name: mummy2harry
Midnight in Paris(DVD)
Advantages: Everything about it!
Disadvantages: This won't be for everyone.
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).
Summary: A wonderfully magical film from Woody Allen