Midnight in Paris review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
From world renowned neurotic and cult director Woody Allen comes the film that has quickly become the most commercially successful of his entire career, Midnight in Paris. The movie stars Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams as a couple, engaged to be married, who take a trip, with her parents, to Paris.
Wilson plays Gil, a cranky screen writer whose experience of Hollywood is making him disillusioned and apathetic, however an interest in 1920’s Paris and a strange incident with a vintage car find Wilson thrown back into the past and a guest at a fabulous high class party where he meets F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Cole Porter and falls in love with Picasso’s mistress. Wilson returns to his past Parisian dream every night, leaving his fiancé behind after a failed attempt to bring her with him. As Wilson’s appreciation for the 1920’s grows the divide between McAdams and him stretches.
This is a movie about nostalgia, which seems a very potent subject with current fashion traits and Allen’s poor performance since his cinematic heyday; yet it ends with a conflicting message about enjoying the presence for what it can offer, rather than – literally – living in the past.
The movie is surprisingly enchanting, Wilson is excellent and I note that he grows on me with every film he makes, whilst the 1920’s setting is simply fabulous. Beyond this there is enough comedy to keep the plot afloat throughout, without distracting too much from the nostalgic charm of the piece as a whole.
For what it is, which ultimately is a romantic comedy, Midnight in Paris is classy and adult, and a genuine pleasure to watch.