Midnight in Paris
Directed by: Woody Allen
Cast: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates
Running Time: 1 hr 34 mins
Release Date: June 3, 2011 (Portland)
PLOT: Gil (Wilson) and his fiancee (McAdams) travel to Paris. Gil loves the allure of the city and on once magical night he travels back to classic Paris in the 1920s.
WHO’S IT FOR? If you love Woody Allen, you see everything and this will be included. If you like Woody Allen, this falls under his “good” category. If you don’t like Woody Allen, please rewatch Annie Hall. Also, if you’ve wanted Wilson to do something of substance (yes, Hall Pass, I’m offending you) than this one is for you.
Midnight in Paris is a dream Woody Allen, and most importantly you, won’t want to wake up from. This is classic Woody Allen with a lovely twist. Gil is a hack screenwriter (his words, not mine) who wants to write a worthy novel. As a journalist/writer it’s easy for me to soak up this passion, but it should translate to anyone, because passion is passionate and Wilson is likable. Gil has admired the concept and history of Paris and finally finds himself there with his fiancee who is plenty happy with a screenwriter who earns good money. She’s settling, but happily/willingly.
Early on there’s great comedy by Woody Allen’s way to turn a phrase, but also with Michael Sheen playing Paul. You will love hating him as a man with an ego that has to get out, but only Gil sees it. “If I’m not mistaken” made my skin crawl in a good way. The true adventure of the film begins when Gil is transported back to 1920s Paris and he hob knobs with F. Scott (Tom Hiddleston) and Zelda Fitzgerald (Pill), Gertude Stein (Bates), Pablo Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo Bo), Cole Porter (Yves Heck) and most importantly Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll). Why is Ernest most important? Because he’s the funniest. Full of life, rage and love, Ernest drops lines like, “If your prose it clean and true,” and “Have you ever shot a charging lion?” or simply, “You box?” with such vigor you HAVE to have a strong drink with the man, even if he could take or leave you. While Ernest is most important to me, Gil’s answer would be Adriana (Cotillard). He begins to question his love for his fiancee, and who could blame him with Adriana’s allure.
Woody Allen doesn’t do time travel like others. It’s more of a slight of hand. Wilson does a great job capturing the confusion of it all. Gil’s disbelief eventually turns to “screw it, I want to be here.” Wilson isn’t just doing an impression of Woody Allen, he brings more boyish charm to the role.
Midnight in Paris is a dream. It’s one that I thought I didn’t want to wake from. Eventually, Woody Allen shows us why you need to live in the present. It’s a nice touch in a film I was truly curious with how it would end. Gil falls in love with exactly what he is supposed to.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10