Midnight in Paris, now available On Demand, stars Owen Wilson (Gil) and Rachel McAdams (Inez) as an engaged couple traveling to Paris with her conservative family on business. Written and directed by Woody Allen, it’s a beautiful reminiscing of a time when Hemingway, Stein, Fitzgerald and Picasso walked among us (at least, in Paris), a consideration of our illusions about the past and whether or not a different life would be a better life. View trailer.
The magic of the film transports Gil, a self-deprecating film writer and aspiring novelist, every night at midnight to the Paris of his dreams. There he encounters luminaries of the past including Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates, assured as ever) and Salvatore Dali (Adrian Brody, clearly enjoying the role) as well as the sultry Adriana (a resplendent Marion Cotillard), a young woman with a particular appreciation for the genius artists and writers around her.
When Gil manages to catch her eye, it throws into question his impending marriage to a wholly unlikeable Inez. McAdams plays the mean girl exceedingly well, and I think there are those of us who will shudder at the remembrance of being on the receiving end of some of those looks and warnings she throws Gil’s way.
Owen Wilson handles Allen’s dialogue of a neurotic romantic masterfully – delivering it with a charm that is his own. The film climaxes with a sweet but sad realization that everyone views the past as better times and that the fantasies he’s been living out each night are just that – fantasies. Even in Paris, one must face down the choice of living in your own nostalgia for the past or pressing forward with your life in the present.
Fans of Allen or Wilson will not be disappointed. Neither will Francophiles who revel in seeing the City of Light on film. The cinematography is beautiful and will leave you ready to discover the magic of Paris for yourself. I loved it and hope you enjoy it too.
Midnight in Paris has now been nominated for fourAcademy Awards including Best Picture, Art Direction, Director and Best Original Screenplay.
Have you seen Midnight in Paris? Tell us your thoughts!
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