Midnight in Paris

Instead of watching the Republicans debate, I found a better way to spend my time by going to see Woody Allen’s latest film. A Hollywood screenwriter, Gil Pender (Owen Wilson, who talks and even gestures like Woody Allen in this film), travels to Paris with his fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams), and with her uptight Republican parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy). There they run into Inez’s friends, Paul (Michael Sheen) and Carol (Nina Arianda). Since this is a Woody Allen movie, Paul turns out to be a pretentious pseudo-intellectual. Gil eventually gets weary of listening to Paul’s gaseous lectures, so he goes wandering off by himself and gets lost. When a clock strikes midnight, an antique car suddenly appears, and its occupants invite Gil to join them, which he does. Gil suddenly finds himself transported back to the Paris of the 1920’s, where he meets Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and other famous artists and writers from that era. Gil discovers that by going to the same spot every night at midnight, he can make these magical journeys into the past. During one trip, he meets a model, Adriana (Marion Cotillard), with whom he falls in love. Gil feels increasingly torn between his life in the present and his life in the 1920’s.

The famous people that Gil meets in the twenties all behave the way we imagine they would. Allen has the most fun with Hemingway (Corey Stoll), whose dialogue sounds like a parody of Hemingwayesque prose.

Midnight in Paris pokes fun at our tendency to romanticize the past. We try to escape the problems of our lives by imagining that the past was better. A very funny comedy.

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One Response to “Midnight in Paris”

  1. notes from obscurity Says:

    Can’t wait to see it. Seems to have all the elements of classic Woody!

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