Cert: 12A Runtime: 94 mins Director: Woody Allen Cast: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kurt Fuller, Michael Sheen, Marion Cotillard, Adrian Brody and Carla Bruni
No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest, and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure
Paris is one of those cities that you instantly fall in love with.Woody Allen and Paris “fell” in love with each other, and, as the result, we, the viewers, received a precious gift from the master of subtle, intelligent and charming dra-medies, gentle and charming “movable feast,” the new movie “Midnight in Paris “.Woody Allen hasn’t been having a good time when it comes to critics lately. It seems like whenever he does a movie that takes place in a different city, it does better. Lets see, he did Match Point in England, which did good. Then his next two films took place in England, and didn’t do well(I still liked them). Then he did Vicky Cristina Barcelona, in Barcelona, and that did well. Then his next two films took place in New York and England, and didn’t do well either.The successful Hollywood screenplay writer Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is spending vacation in Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents since his future father-in-law is doing a merging business with a French company. Gil is an aspirant writer that loves Paris, and dreams on living in the city after getting married with Inez. Further, the romantic Gil believes that the golden age of Paris was in the 20’s and he loves to walk on the rain through the streets of the City of Light. When the shallow Inez meets her former boyfriend, the pseudo-intellectual Paul (Michael Sheen) with his girlfriend Carol (Nina Arianda), they spend sometime together visiting touristic places. In the night, they drink wine in a party and Paul invites the couple to go dancing with Carol and him. However, Gil prefers to return walking alone to the hotel. At midnight, an old car stops and the passengers invite him to go a party and sooner he realizes that he is back to the 20’s, where he meets his favorite writers, musicians and artists and lives his dream.
Midnight in Paris is a delightful, kind (yes, this is Woody Allen), light, and charming film, which can be described as A Paris Midnight Magical Movable Feast. Paris in the film is beautiful during day light, night time, bright sun, and rainy hours. Oscar nominee, the master cinematographer of many remarkable films, including Panic Room, Se7en and Evita, Darius Khondji worked with Allen on three films: Anything Else (2003), Midnight in Paris (2011), and the next film, the Roman project Bop Decameron (2012).Soundtrack consists of Allen’s favorite songs from the 1920s-30s by such songwriters as Cole Porter, Glen Miller, and Enoch Light, and from the repertoire of Josephine Baker and Juliet Greco. For the original film theme, Allen picked the guitar composition of the French jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel “Bistro Fada”. Wrembel’s influence and source of inspiration has been the music of the famous French Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, whose longtime fan and admirer is Woody Allen himself. According Wrembel, Allen was searching for a typical French-Parisian melody, reflecting the spirit and atmosphere of Paris. I can confirm that the film theme and the songs that Allen picked up for Midnight in Paris are important, integral component of the film’s charm and add to the romantic and joyous feeling that the film brings to the viewers.
As always, in Woody Allen’s movies, the actors give uniformly good performances. Owen Wilson is very convincing and likable as Gil, Hollywood’s successful screenplay writer who works on a first novel, a protagonist, a much younger, attractive, and funny Woody Allen stand-in. Adrien Brody played the best role since The Pianist (very small cameo, but memorable and hilarious). Kathy Bates was very believable as a famous literary critic and friend to the struggling talented writers and artists. Alison Pill was impressive as the bright, outgoing but showing the signs of instability wife of the celebrated American writer. I hardly recognized Corey Stoll but liked him a lot as another famous American writer. Watching Marion Cotillard, I had no problems believing that the character she played, Adriana, could have been the muse and the girlfriend of not just one but three amazingly and uniquely talented world renowned painters. Rachel McAdams (Inez, Gil’s not so romantic fiancée), Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy (Inez’s parents on the business trip in Paris who don’t seem to approve their daughter’s choice), and Michael Sheen (Paul, Inez’s pedantic and arrogant former boyfriend from college) were quite good as not very likable Americans. The First Lady of France, Carla Bruni appeared in a small role of a museum guide.The story itself was so lovely in using the time travel as the plot device and brought so many funny and sharp one-liners, dialogs and scenes as well as the plenty moments of recognizing the beloved literature and art figures of the past, that I sat and smiled happily during the whole film.8.3/10