DVD Reviews 'n More
Woody Allen’s star-studded love letter to Paris won him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2012. Midnight in Paris is very, very cleverly written. It’s definitely trademark Woody Allen. Allen’s movies are wordy, so it’s no wonder the French love him. And with this movie Allen sends his love back.
In Midnight in Paris a young couple, Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams), tag along with Inez’ parents on their business trip to Paris. Gil is a successful Hollywood screenwriter who aspires writing a novel set in a nostalgia shop. Gil falls in love with Paris and wants to explore the city, but Inez is more interested in shopping and partying with the pompous professor, Paul (Michael Sheen) who tries to outdo a Rodin museum tour guide (played by France’s First Lady, Carla Bruni).
One night while taking a walk on the Left Bank Gil gets transported to what he considers as Paris’ Golden Age – the 1920’s. There he meets his literary heroes including Scott (Tom Hiddleston) and Zelda (Alison Pill) Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll). The line of artists does not stop there. Several filmmakers and painters – like Dalí (Adrien Brody) – make short appearances. While getting his manuscript read by Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) Gil meets Adriana (Marion Cotillard), who feels like his kindred spirit.
The cinematography by Darius Khondji is mesmerizing. Paris has never looked better (and emptier of people). Wilson gives Gil the right combo of vulnerability and humour.
Midnight in Paris has a message that nostalgia is a form of denial and every era looks back to another one and thinks that was the ideal. Live in the now! This is something that Gil realizes while getting transported even further into the past – to the Belle Époque.
Thoroughly enjoyable – full attention demanding movie.