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Midnight in Paris

March 13, 2013

Midnight in Paris (2011)
Director: Woody Allen
Actors: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard

Midnight in Paris

Synopsis: Hollywood hack, Gil (Owen Wilson), is holidaying in Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her repellent, materialistic parents. Finding in Paris inspiration for his grander writing ambitions, Gil is whisked off every night at midnight to the world of Paris in the 1920s to meet his literary and artistic heroes….

Review: Although admittedly a very simple premise, which pays homage to an extremely romanticised – some might say ‘obvious’ – notion of Paris in the 1920s, Midnight in Paris is still a lovely and joyous piece of work which is comfortably Woody Allen’s best film of his European ‘phase’. The film’s opening montage which giddily documents the most famous tourist sites of Paris does a great job of setting in motion this central, idealised sentiment of Midnight in Paris, and it also appropriates the rapturous way that its main character, Hollywood hack Gil, will receive the city.

Midnight in Paris’ nostalgia theme is in some respects similar to that of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie, but where Jeunet’s manic film digressed from that soft remit and had an almost nasty tinge to it, Allen maintains the light, breezy spirit of his scenario all the way through. In many respects, Midnight in Paris has the ethos of a pantomime, with all the actors who play the famous writers and artists Gil comes across – we meet Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Stein, Picasso, Dali and Buñuel among others – colouring their roles so entertainingly. Even if Allen does shade the piece’s ‘villains’ a touch too archly – Gil’s materialistic fiancée and de facto parents-in-law, and the awful bore of a pseudo-intellectual who plagues Gil – it’s all part of the unashamedly simplistic bent of a film which wants the viewer to sympathise with Gil’s plight as he wrestles with the mundanity of his everyday life, versus the inspiration of his midnight ‘fantasies’. I certainly wouldn’t argue for Midnight in Paris being a major piece of work, but in its unadulterated submission to the fantasy-life of its protagonist, it does offer an uplifting ode to the notion that honouring the idealistic sides of ourselves is often the best therapy. (March 2013)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rosalie Guevara permalink
    March 13, 2013 4:10 pm

    I really want to watch this movie. It’s not coming out here till the 20th. I usually like all of woody Allen’s movies. I think he’s crazy & I love it. & of course one of my favorite Hollywood actress is Rachel. I think I’m going to wait to read your review till after I watch the movie. I don’t want you to persuade me either way. 🙂

    The most recent Woody Allen movie I watch was To Rome with Love……got to run to work, ill email you later. Ciao!

    Sent from Rosalie’s iPhone

    On Mar 13, 2013, at 8:29 AM, CineMaverick wrote:

    WordPress.com pjnabarro posted: “Midnight in Paris (2011) Director: Woody Allen Actors: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard Synopsis: Hollywood hack, Gil (Owen Wilson), is holidaying in Paris with his fiance Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her repellent, materialistic parents. “

  2. Rosalie Guevara permalink
    March 14, 2013 9:42 pm

    I just realized that I had a blond moment. I asked my cousin if we can watch this movie & she told me that it came out last year. I thought I had seen previews for it last month. Anyways she said she has the DVD & she would let me borrow it. She loved it. She says she’s going to sign up to your blog. She also loves watching movies.

    Sent from Rosalie’s iPhone

    On Mar 13, 2013, at 8:29 AM, CineMaverick wrote:

    WordPress.com pjnabarro posted: “Midnight in Paris (2011) Director: Woody Allen Actors: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard Synopsis: Hollywood hack, Gil (Owen Wilson), is holidaying in Paris with his fiance Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her repellent, materialistic parents. “

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