Midnight in Paris Movie Review

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Given that time travel is usually the realm of science, it is extremely refreshing to see it used for literary wonders with Woody Allen’s latest. This amazing director/writer/former actor is second to none, perhaps other than Clint Eastwood in terms of putting out new films in extremely quick succession, but it is pleasing to say that Midnight in Paris is a definite hit, and his best effort in many years.

Midnight in Paris tells the story of Gil Pender (Owen Wilson doing, naturally in an Allen film, his best Woody Allen impression), a successful Hollywood writer who hates his job and possibly Inez (Rachel McAdams), who is unfortunately also his fiancée. During a trip to Paris with Inez, her dreadful parents and a gloriously slimy Michael Sheen, his lifelong dream is realised and, as the clocks chime midnight, he is transported back to the 1920s where he meets a veritable catalogue of great artists, from a charming F. Scott Fitzgerald to an utterly insane Salvador Dali. During this time he inspires Un Chien Andalou and falls in love with Adriana, Marion Cotillard playing the muse of Picasso, Hemingway and just about everyone else.

Owen Wilson is perfect as a bumbling husband-to-be, Each historical figure is exactly the way we would like to imagine them, Fitzgerald being a caring husband, Hemingway (depressingly one of the less impressive acting roles) a ridiculously poetic drunken man.

Script aside, the cinematography and lighting effects do an excellent job of conveying when and where we are, with the dark greys and blacks of the 21st Century replaced by gently glowing orange yellow lights of the 20s, an era which somehow feels genuinely cosier through Woody’s lens in comfortably furnitured rooms cluttered with art and history. It does however create something of a disconnect with Gil, as the audience never feels lost as he does, with clear camerawork throughout, but then again, this is a beautiful world, that should be experienced fully.

Overall, despite its small flaws, Midnight in Paris is nice, devoid of harsh language, shocking violence or anything else that could detract from our experience of a more innocent man in a more innocent time, and it is notable how a film packed full of nostalgia can create a sense of longing for the past of movies, where everything was simpler, and being jolly was a respectable aim (it definitely still should be). It should also be commended for proving that time travel is not limited to space, lasers and Dr. Who, but open to all genres of cinema. Now I'm longing to watch more of this kinds of movies. :) Plus..let me just say I totally Marion Cotillard & Rachel McAdams. This movie made me research what happened to Owen Wilson's nose which after googling it, I read that he had an accident when he was 9 years old then another accident when he was in college playing football. Oh well.. he's still cute anyway.

watch the trailer here:

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