“That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me.”
Cast: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates
If you could go back to an era of your choice, in any city of the World, which would it be?
For Gil it would be Paris in the 1920s. Iconic, classic and very influential in progressive societies, it’s pretty easy to see why.
Owen Wilson plays Gil, a Hollywood hack that has recently discovered the true beauty of literature and art from the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso. When on holiday in Paris with his materialistic and shallow fiance Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents, he is magically whisked away to this fantastic era at the stroke of midnight every night meeting the people who’s work he has become a great admirer of.
Films that go back in time always confuse me. Surely that whole issue would immediately change and rewrite history, never mind if it involves and influences main players like Picasso. That’s why to get my head around this film I had to discard my many questions. However Allen directs the film in such a way that science fiction is the last thing from your mind. Whereas most time travel films take up a large majority of the film explaining the ins and outs and logistics, Midnight in Paris is so sweet and charming that it boils down to something as simple as getting into an old car, no questions asked.
Owen Wilson stays true to his typically grounded and simplistic characterisation that we see in many of his films. This is great in that it deflates the ego the film starts to build up around itself. At times a bit pretentious, Wilson really does save it from being too ostentatious and glorified. After all, these actors aren’t actually the characters they are portraying.
The actors were all fantastic though. Cory Stoll as Hemingway, Kathy Bates as Gerude Stein and Marion Cotillard as Picasso’s mistress Adriana, were all main players for me. Giving convincing and interesting performances, it was great to see these actors play such infamous people that have become cultural icons over time. Hopefully Midnight in Paris will spark an interest amongst today’s younger generation towards the fascinating and influential period of the 1920s and onwards, including the pieces of work that were produced by the forever famous stars at that time.
Midnight in Paris is perhaps Woody Allen’s finest film of the past decade. Losing his spark and touch that had seen films such as Deconstructing Harry being sprung into success with high praises, Midnight in Paris will surely see his name back in the spotlight.
For anyone that is interested in the arts this film will be a great watch. Featuring the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter and Salvador Dali, it really is a dream for admirers of such work. Beautifully shot with some delightful scenes and in a true artistic style, Midnight in Paris is a must-watch for Allen fans, romance fans and literature fans alike.
Star rating: 7.5/10
Directed by Woody Allen.
Running time 94 minutes.