The title Midnight in Paris evokes all kinds of charm, doesn’t it? Alone these three words inspire all sorts of dreamy thoughts, when in reality, the movie really isn’t this. At first, this starts out with the right idea but unfortunately, I don’t think this movie had the right set-up to be truly great.
Midnight in Paris (2011) Film Review
Gil (Owen Wilson) is a tag-along on his future in-laws Paris business trip along with his beautiful and opinionated fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams). Being in Paris is all about wonderment for Gil. Unfortunately, his fiancée doesn’t share his opinion. A screenplay writer who wants his work to be deeper, he hopes this trip will help his writer’s block. While Inez spends nights out with friends, Gil instead takes a walk in the night air. Imagine his surprise when Paris at midnight turns into Paris in the roaring twenties – the era that Gil thinks of as the “golden age.”
Inspiration soon floods Gil’s senses. The world of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemmingway, and Cole Porter sweeps him into their world, as well as Gertrude Stien (Kathy Bates). It isn’t until he meets the alluring Adriana (Marion Cotillard) that his life really changes.
There’s usually a line between something that’s creative and then, unique. Part of me thinks this movie has both characteristics but another part of me has to admit that this Woody Allen movie is just odd. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this movie. In fact, I laughed myself silly over some of the quirks but it lacks a lot. It is as if it didn’t finish “polishing” its story and as a result, the movie leaves a lot to be desired.
I’ve not seen any of Allen’s films save for one and while it’s cute enough, it leaves the viewer unsettled. For me, it’s for this reason this title is too peculiar to watch beyond once or twice. Some movies just don’t resonate with the viewer. (AS an aside, my blog friend Ruth saw Midnight in Paris and her conclusions are completely different than mine, so do check out her thoughts for a different perspective.)
One of the positives of this is the scenery. It’s really quite lovely and charming. It captures your eye and leaves us travel hopefuls excited to someday see these Parisian landmarks. Likewise the costuming is a small wonder. Anything that covers the Roaring 20s never did appeal but with BBC recently commissioning series and movies from this era, I have been asked to change my opinion or give up British period pieces altogether. Quite unexpectedly, I now love 1900s costume dramas (Duh! Downton Abbey, anyone?). These costumes are just as lovely as anything else I’ve seen, although they don’t play a large role. Another thing I’m going to be picky about as regards this one is the acting.
Wilson always plays the bumbling idiot (sorry fans), and here he’s no different. He rambles on and never seems to stand up to Inez, who in an irritating manner just “shushes” him. Rachel is somehow still charming in the role (yes, I know, I do like her as an actress), but at the same time we never really grow fond of her, or anyone really. Allison Pill really shines in this movie but she is here for all of ten minutes. Part of my detachment to everyone may is perhaps because for nearly four minutes nary a word of dialogue is heard. That seems as good as any distinction to blame.
Watching Midnight in Paris isn’t a waste of my time, but will I ever see it again? Probably not, but it does have some good things to say. This includes a certain character finally making a choice. If we let it, the story can be a lesson that teaches us to live in the present, not the past because no matter how badly we may want to, we cannot change it. All we can do is live each new day to the best of our ability and strive to see those same mistakes don’t repeat themselves.‘Midnight in Paris’ (2011): One of the Woody Allen Movies. #Movies #OwenWilson #Reviews #FWArchives Click To Tweet
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You can find Midnight in Paris (2011) digitally on Amazon Video
CONTENT: there’s a few sexual innuendoes; one woman admits to having a brief fling, and another suggests in a diary she “made love” with someone who is not her “significant other.” References inform us that a woman has a history of living with her
boyfriends. Profanity is rare but not absent. Social drinking is prominent. The film is PG13.