Midnight in Paris

midnight in parisIn my review of The Conspirator, I talked about highlighting hidden gems in theaters that get lost amongst the noise of the big tentpole pictures.  This is the second movie I referred to in that review.

Woody Allen has been making movies for as long as I can remember.  Sadly, though what sticks out in my mind is his personal life.  While I have seen clips and sections of some of his work, I have never sat through an entire movie of his.

Until now…

Midnight in Paris is a simple film that follows a Hollywood writer on vacation in Paris.  He falls in love with the city as he imagines what it was like in the roaring 20s, with Picasso and Hemingway.  His fiancé is not as enamored with Paris as he is and that provides our tension for the story.  As our protagonist explores Paris at night, we follow him as he seemingly steps into the 20s and interacts with those of that time.  Woody Allen does a great job of keeping things very simple, allowing the audience to accept what is shown without challenging the willing suspension of disbelief in each person.  Much like reading a book, we accept the idea of time-travel because it is kept in terms we understand.  After all, it does not matter how we go to the 20s, just that we are simply there.

What helps this movie shine is Allen’s ability to let the images of Paris speak for itself in such a way that it becomes as vital a character to the story as any human cast member.  Speaking of cast, there are some really good performances to be seen.  Owen Wilson, playing down the idiot/buffoon and playing up the pure innocence, turns in one of his best performances.  Rachel McAdams seems to channel part of her Mean Girls character as the fiancé who just doesn’t understand.  Supporting turns by Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody help flesh out a relaxing 90-minute story.

My advice: Pay full price if it is still playing in your area; it is a great date movie, and I think Spaldy would agree with me that this is more of a film than a movie…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *