* Owen Wilson
* Marion Cotillard
* Rachel McAdams
* Michael Sheen
* Tom Hiddlestone
* Kathy Bates
Director:- Woody Allen
Frankly, Woody Allen has always been a hit and miss filmmaker for me – perhaps its my naive, young mind unaware of the rich back catalogue of Mr Allen.. Or it may be my own stubbornness due to the obviously ‘dated’ approach of style that the director continues to use. However for all the excuses I could make, Midnight In Paris is one film that I am proud to be a fan of.
This is a tale of a young screenwriter Gil Pender (Wilson), disillusioned with his Hollywood lifestyle, and looking to gain inspiration for a novel with a trip to Paris with his fiancée, Inez, portrayed by Rachel McAdams. The film transports to 1920’s Paris, in a subtle, but well-executed twist in the film’s narrative – Where Gil meets his literary idols and succumbs to the charms of another woman, a mistress of Pablo Picasso (Cotillard).
Gil is an obvious romantic, constantly lavishing his affection for the city’s beauty while in the company of Inez, her friends and parents. While Inez is dismissive and seems more interested in priceless furniture and jewellery to be appreciative of Paris’ more notable charms. She also is far more in-sync with friend, Paul (Michael Sheen), who is a certifiable pompous jerk that spares no effort in trying to impress her on the history of Paris – but is corrected by an aloof Gil on more than one occasion. The character is a pitch-perfect for an actor such as Wilson – his most precise and admirable performance to date, and Sheen is effortlessly smug and patronising as his opposition.
The film’s transportation to Bohemian-era Paris of the 1920’s is as much an eyebrow raiser, as it is a welcoming turn for the books. For Gil’s character, a man truly passionate about his craft and inspirations, the face-to-face encounters with such literary masters such as F. Scott Fitzgerald (Hiddlestone), Ernest Hemingway (Stoll) and Gertrude Stein (Bates) allows the audience to fully connect with him personally and sympathise with his plight. As well as delving humourously into some of the shaded personal lives of a few, truly cementing the movie’s light-hearted take on such iconic figures, while not shamefully removing the ideals that made them highly regarded.
While it’s certainly not a patch on Allen’s great works from previous decades, the film is a refreshing new take on the genre of romantic comedy. While ignoring the stagnant aesthetics that the Hollywood-types have plagued on the nature of love and mutual companionship. Midnight In Paris shows a love that blossoms from the most simplest of things. And brings enough of the sophistication, light humour and charming warmth that we have come to adore from Allen.