16 sept. 2011

My Review: Midnight in Paris (9/10)

¨That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me.¨

Woody Allen has directed more than 40 films in over four decades and I can honestly say that his last film is one of my favorites. If you think otherwise then you are just probably living in nostalgia and trying to remember the past as being much better than the present. Like Micheal Sheen`s character would say: ¨Nostalgia is denial - denial of the painful present…the name for this denial is Golden Age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one ones living in.¨ Woody Allen has directed numerous great films and this is one of them that will be remembered nostalgically in years to come. It is not a romantic film as we are used to seeing, it is more of a nostalgic film; the true romance isn`t between Wilson and McAdams, but between Wilson and Paris, between Wilson and art. The romance is in the city, in the art, in the past. The central theme of this film is clear: nostalgia. Woody Allen manages to deal with these issues in a very comedic way and the dialogue and story is just great. Midnight in Paris is a very funny and nostalgic film. The city of Paris may have never looked as great as it does in this movie. The characters are memorable and it is interesting how Allen intertwines the present with the past and makes fun of some of the stereotypes these artists have. I had a great time with Midnight in Paris; Woody Allen has done it again!

Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams) are an American engaged couple who are visiting Paris with Inez`s parents, John (Kurt Fuller) and Helen (Mimi Kennedy). Gil instantly falls in love with the city and the rich story it has to tell, while Inez on the other hand doesn’t like Paris that much. Gil insists they should move to Paris once they get married, but Inez would rather stay in Beverly Hills where Gil has had success writing scripts for Hollywood films. Gil is unhappy with his Hollywood life and has decided to try his luck on writing a novel. Inez insists he should stick to what he does best. In Paris, Inez runs into some friends: Paul (Michael Sheen) and Carol (Nina Arianda). Paul is a very pedantic sort of guy who always has an opinion on everything and is showing off his great knowledge. Gil can`t stand him, but Inez insists on hanging out with him and his wife Carol, and asks Paul to critique Gil`s novel for him. One night the couples decide to go out and dance, but Gil says he`s too tired and decides to head back to the hotel on his own. While wondering the streets of Paris the clock strikes midnight and a group of French partygoers invite Gil to a party. In this party, Gil runs into Zelda (Alison Pill) and Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston), and Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll). Gil realizes that somehow he has travelled to 1920 and is meeting all these artists who he`s admired all his life; he`s in the decade he considers as being the Golden Age. Ernest tells Gil that he can get Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) to proofread his novel for him; but when Gil goes to get his novel he is back in 2010. Gil realizes that he can only travel back in time when the clock strikes midnight, so the adventure begins every night where he meets interesting people like Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo) and his mistress Adriana (Marion Cotillard) who he falls for, and other great artists such as Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody) and Luis Buñuel (Adrien de Van), among others.

The true heart of the film relies on Owen Wilson`s performance. He is great in this movie and reminded me a lot of the younger Woody Allen who used to star in his own movies. The funniest moments of the film have to do with these stereotypes that these great artists of the past have been given. Adrien Brody is great as Salvador Dali, and the rhinoceros scene is extremely funny; Corey Stoll is equally great playing the courageous Ernest Hemingway. His dialogue with Wilson`s character about love and death is powerful and funny at the same time. Marion Cotillard and Owen Wilson also had great chemistry together and it was fun to watch them on screen. McAdams is one of my favorite actresses, and this time she plays sort of the villain, instead of the sweet role she is used to playing. This is a much different role from the one Wilson and McAdams played in Wedding Crashers. Midnight in Paris is just a terrific movie, with a lot of heart, and Woody Allen proves once again that he is a great director and writer. I absolutely recommend this movie as one of the best the year has had to offer.

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