Recapturing the Magic

Midnight in Paris

Owen Wilson has never been a brilliant actor. Mainly a comic actor and often cast in similar roles in a long series of American comedies from You, Me and Dupree to The Wedding Crashers. Under the right direction and script, Wilson is the type of actor that would shine. This is proven in Woody Allen’s simply delightful nostalgic film Midnight in Paris, which won him the 2012 Oscar for best original screenplay.

Wilson, like Jason Biggs and similar actors including Larry David plays a version of Woody Allen, a young idealistic  and neurotic playwright/author who is on holiday in Paris in the 21st century with his fiancée a wealthy American played by the effervescent Rachel McAdams. Wilson plays starry-eyed Gil who wants to recapture the Paris of the twenties, the enchanting city of lights as the epicentre of literary and artistic culture and bohemian ideas as it was decades ago. The Paris of Henry Miller, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein. The Paris immortalized by F. Scott Fitzgerald in such novels as Tender is the Night.

Partly to avoid his annoying future in-laws, the hapless Gil strolls the streets of the French capital and by some magical twist at the stroke of midnight is transported back to the late 1920’s where his literary figures come to life. With real interaction with the artists and writers of the 1920’s and also of the earlier more elegant Belle Epoque, Gil is inspired to forgo all the promised commercialism of an America career and remain in gorgeous Paris,  a move that so many of his literary heroes did more than 80 years ago.

Midnight in Paris is a homage to Paris as an inspirational city not just for a whole generation of American literary greats, but Spanish artists such as Dali and Picasso but also filmmakers such as Luis Bruneul. Woody Allen deftly integrates a French and American ensemble cast including Oscar winner Marion Cotillard as Picasso’s muse, Adrien Brody as Dali, Allison Pill as Zelda Fitzgerald, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein and even Carla Bruni.

Moving away from his Manhattan obsessions, Woody Allen is clearly enchanted with such European cities as Paris, Barcelona and London completes his European set of films with Midnight in Paris, an equally brilliant companion to Vicky Christina Barcelona and Matchpoint, with each film not just capturing the essence of these cities but also the ambiance and social characteristics of its famed residents, whilst throwing an American hero or heroine into an essentially foreign continental culture.

 

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
April 2012
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  
  • Grupo Morbido, Ventana Sur’s Maquinitas Team for Let’s Spook (EXCLUSIVE)
    Maquinitas, a program of Latin America film market Ventana Sur, is teaming with Mexico’s Grupo Mórbido to launch Let’s Spook, a new showroom for fantasy/horror video games in development in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. The news comes as the Mórbido Film Fest has confirmed dates for this year, plus its move into the Web […]
    John Hopewell
  • Swedish Movie Biz at a Crossroads
    Half a dozen Sweden pics and co-prods are set to storm the Croisette, flagships of the solid public support system in place, and fully or partly shot in a foreign language. Headlining the slate are the completion entries “Triangle of Sadness” by former winner Ruben Östlund (“The Square”), shot in the English language, and the […]
    Leo Barraclough
  • Deepika Padukone on Cannes Jury Experience: ‘The Palais Gives Me Goosebumps’ (EXCLUSIVE)
    Top Bollywood star Deepika Padukone, who also has a Hollywood presence (“xXx: Return of Xander Cage”), is having the time of her life serving on the Cannes jury. “It gives me goosebumps every single time I walk into the Palais and we leave – it gives me goosebumps because every single person on that seat […]
    Naman Ramachandran
  • ‘Paris Memories’ Review: Alice Winocour’s Heartfelt Evocation of Post-Terrorism Trauma
    It’s over six years since the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris that ruptured the country’s national consciousness and political agenda, but the events are only gaining currency for European filmmakers. This year’s Berlin festival brought us Isaki Lacesta’s “One Year, One Night,” an impressionistic reflection on survivor’s guilt in the long-term wake of the […]
    Guy Lodge
  • Roman Polanski Always Thrived in France, But Now Even His Adopted Country is Turning On Him (EXCLUSIVE)
    There was a time, not so long ago, when Roman Polanski was the toast of the film industry in France, where the director has been living since 1978, when he fled the United States before sentencing after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. Despite the scandal and ongoing legal issues, the […]
    nvivarelli
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90