May 21, 2011
Review - " Midnight in Paris " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Midnight in Paris
Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Adrien Brody, Alison Pill,
Carla Bruni, Corey Stoll, Gad Elmaleh, Kathy Bates, Kurt Fuller, Léa
Seydoux, Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen, Mimi Kennedy, Nina
Woody Allen is a man who can divide a room. Love him or loathe him,
it seems the majority of people have an opinion about him and his
When word started spreading from across the giant pond that his
latest offering, Midnight in Paris, was his finest work in years, the
countdown until it landed on our shores began.
Thankfully the wait is over and was entirely worth it. Midnight in Paris is
without doubt Woody Allen’s best film in the last decade.
Though he doesn’t appear in this film his voice is, as always, dripping
from opening to closing credits, and Owen Wilson as Gil, the
disillusioned Hollywood screenwriter, is perfect in this lush, dreamy film
that pulls laughs and delights its audience.
This is a romantic comedy set in Paris about a family that goes there
because of business, and two young people who are engaged to be
married in the fall have experiences there that change their lives. It's
about a young man's great love for a city, Paris and the illusion people
have that a life different from theirs would be much better.
When Gil and his fiancé Inez (Rachel McAdams) are on holiday in Paris with her parents, Helen (Mimi Kennedy) and John
(Kurt Fuller), he discovers the magic of the city that comes alive each night at midnight.
While his fiancée is content with the lifestyle Gil’s career affords her, he is discontent with being a Hollywood hack and is
working on a novel, his attempt to be more like his idols, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.
So imagine his surprise when he meets the famous literary duo, played by Tom Hiddleston and Corey Stoll respectively, as
well as Zelda Fitzgerald (Alison Pill), Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), Pablo Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo Bo) and Salvador Dali
(Adrien Brody) amongst other famous artists.
When the clock strikes midnight Gil finds himself transported back to his idea of the Golden Age, the roaring 1920s in Paris,
when artists drank, danced and shared ideas.
While his relationship to Inez is questionable, just why the two are together is never really clear; it provides the catalyst for
his falling for Adriana (Marion Cotillard), the artist’s muse. Back in the modern day Inez is striking up her own love affair, that
with her former flame Paul (Michael Sheen), who seems to know everything about everything and isn’t shy to let you know.
Soon Gil is longing for midnight each day, to return to the 1920s and to Adriana, but he soon discovers her ideal Golden
Age is not the same as his and so he begins to question where it is he is really meant to be.
Allen’s screenplay is as delightful and witty as some of his earlier, most loved, works, like Annie Hall.
He effortlessly captures the charm of Paris, of the 1920s jazz age, of the modern day obsession with wealth and status, and
of the exasperating nature of the overachieving prep stud (Sheen) – whose scenes earned some of the film’s biggest laughs.
Most of all Allen creates a classic-style romance with just the right balance of fantasy and realism that you can’t help but
dive into as you barrack for Gil’s success.
One of the most delightful films you’ll see this year!