Midnight in Paris (2011)

9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Nice strong story, great acting, nice view of Paris

Nothing

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: Midnight in Paris

Studio: Gravier Productions

Genre(s): Comedy/Romance/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): May 20, 2011

MPAA Rating: PG-13

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I just want to toast that I hate all of you

Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is an aspiring writer in love with the past. He longs to live in Paris in the 1920s when it was the cultural hotbed of writers, artists, and creators. On a trip to Paris with his fiance Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy) a miracle occurs. Rather spending time with Inez and her former know-it-all crush Paul Bates (Michael Sheen), Gil decides to wander the streets of Paris. When the clock strikes midnight, he’s pulled into the past and gets to experience the world he’s always dreamed of. In addition to that, he’s good with the in crowd meeting writers and artists like F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda (Tom Hiddleston and Alison Pill), Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stole), Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), Alice B. Toklas (Thérèse Bourou-Rubinsztein), Pablo Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo Bo), Cole Porter (Yves Heck), T. S. Eliot (David Lowe), Henri Matisse (Yves-Antoine Spoto), Salvador Dali (Adrian Brody), and more. When Pender meets a French woman named Adriana (Marion Cotillard) his whole life, vision, and relationships come into question.

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The Fitzgeralds know how to party!

Written and directed by Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris is considered one of Allen’s best films in ages. It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Art Direction. If it weren’t for the large cast, I’m guessing that there would have been some acting nominations for many of the characters who really seemed to enjoy their screen time and made the most of it.  It is also quite surprising that there is a bit of a sci-fi twist to the story with trips to the past…It is a bit Somewhere in Time in feeling.

Owen Wilson is a good Woody Allen substitute. I don’t enjoy Woody Allen as an actor and many of his “great” movies he’s the star. Seeing this, I wonder what I would think of his earlier films if someone else had been cast in his role. As Wilson speaks, you can tell they are Woody Allen’s words, but Wilson brings his own direction and real sense of someone who has found something wonderful to believe in.

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So you’re telling me that you are some sort of time-traveling writer?

Wilson is aided by a great supporting cast. Rachel McAdams, Kurt Fuller, Mimi Kennedy, and Michael Sheen are great “ugly Americans” who can’t see the real beauty of the city they are in. Sheen’s pretentious nature does make you want to strangle him and it is amazing that Wilson’s character can restrain himself from doing it. The people Wilson meets in the past not only provide guidance for him but also really kill the scenes they are in. Kathy Bates is a great Gertrude Stein and Tom and Alison Pill make nice Fitzgeralds. I particularly liked Corey Stole’s Ernest Hemingway who delivered some of the best lines.

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Gertrude, Hemingway…I’m totally tweeting about this when I get home!

Paris also creates a great backdrop for this story with the rich settings, but the story and history of the city is what drives the main ideas of the story. The idea that someone isn’t happy with the time they are in is very accessible for most people. Gil wants to live in the ’20s, but Adriana wants to live at the turn of the century which results in a trip back to an even earlier time in which Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Vincent Menjou Cortes), Paul Gauguin (Olivier Rabourdin), and Edgar Degas (François Rostain) appear. It helps Gil learn to appreciate what he has where he is.

Midnight in Paris kind of surprised me. I really enjoyed the ideas and style of it more than many of Woody Allen’s even more popular movies. The themes were very accessible and it is just a nice fun movie. It is a romance on many levels and not just relationship-wise…it is the love of a city and an idea. You might night laugh your way through the whole thing, but it will keep you enjoying the ride.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by

Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn’t afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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