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Have you ever wondered why some critics review films? They don't even seem to like movies that much from what they write. I LOVE movies, and think about them long after the last credits roll across the screen. My reviews are meant to inform, entertain and never have a spoiler.
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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen won Best Original Screenplay at the 2012 Academy Awards for the wonderful film Midnight in Paris. The film begins with a very leisurely stroll through the charming streets of Paris, past monuments and recognizable landmarks, before zooming in on our main characters, Americans visiting the city of love.

Gil (Owen Wilson) is a successful screenwriter engaged to Inez (Rachel McAdams), and they are staying in Paris along with Inez’s parents. Gil aspires to be a novelist, his heroes being the writers who lived and wrote in Paris in the 1920’s. Gil is awash in his love for Paris and wants to move there, but Inez will have none of that.

Unexpectedly, friends of Inez are also in the city, and they accompany Gil and Inez on a trip to Rodin’s museum. Paul (Michael Sheen) is a pedantic know-it-all, and Gil is not fond of his company. One evening, Gil goes for a stroll by himself and this is where the magic happens.

He is transported to 1920’s Paris in a classic Peugeot at the stroke of midnight. All the best intellectuals, artists and musicians are in attendance at a party: the Fitzgerald’s, Hemingway, Cole Porter. He is of course enchanted, and is introduced to Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), who agrees to read his novel.

Adriana (Marion Cotillard) is a beautiful free spirit who associates with all the freest painters of the day, including Picasso. Gil is inexplicably drawn to her, and the fun never stops. I love the way we meet famous people as he explores this alternate universe each night.

Allen asks the question in this film of which era would be the best to live in: the ‘20s, the 1890’s, the Renaissance? Each generation longs for the mystique of the one preceding it. It all makes for a very good story, lots of creative sets and costumes, and the great dialogue that Woody is known for.

I like Woody’s films, but Midnight in Paris is my all time favorite. Besides his screenplay winning at the Oscars, he also won Best Original Screenplay at the Golden Globes that year. I remember the camera focusing in on Owen Wilson when it was announced Woody had won. Woody was of course not in attendance. Owen was looking quite pleased at the film’s being honored. He does a great acting job, and without him, the story just wouldn’t have been the same. Marion Cotillard is perfect as a sort of femme fatale that Gil falls for. And the city of Paris is shown off to great advantage in virtually every scene.

I’ve been to Paris and was impressed. I think even if you’ve only seen Paris in pictures, this film will enchant you. The story is inventive, meticulously staged on camera, and the comedy between the characters helps alleviate some of the serious questioning that Gil does about his life. It is rated PG-13 for some sexual references and smoking.

Put this high on your list of must see films.

10 comments:

  1. This sounds like a fascinating movie, and I'd like to see it. By the way, when I was in journalism school, I was hoping to become a film critic because... well... I love movies! The idea of getting paid to watch movies and get entertained almost constantly made me so happy. Unfortunately, it never happened, but I still have fun.

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  2. I love watching films, and then writing a review of them. I also write screenplays. Maybe one day I will sell one of them! In the meantime, I'm enjoying myself. Thanks for visiting!

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  3. Impressive review....Now, I am feeling like watching this movie...

    My M for ‘That Mysterious Lady’
    LINK

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    1. When you watch Midnight in Paris, it will leave you with such a warm feeling. Thanks for visiting!

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  4. This is such a fantastic movie for opening your imagination for adventure you cannot experience in real life. Granted, Paris will always be my go-to city for emotional comfort, but this movie opens up possibilities for anyone to give their imagination free rein, or reign.

    http://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com

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  5. I agree. It's a great film that celebrates imagination and adventure. Thanks for visiting!

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  6. I have been a Woody Allen fan my whole life. In fact my wife and I on our first date went to see a Woody Allen movie and when she told me that she is a big Woody Allen fan, I knew that I had met the right woman. So I was so happy to see him win an Oscar for Midnight in Paris.

    Owen Wilson did a great job at being the nebbish type of character that Woody Allen would play in his older films. And I like the message being portrayed that you shouldn't live in the past, enjoy the present. One of his finest films and after almost fifty years, he's still got it.

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    1. The first movie my husband and I saw together was Manhattan Murder Mystery. An auspicious beginning! I appreciate your well thought out comments.

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  7. I can't stand Woody Allen, as a person or a filmmaker. And I don't watch his films, because I'm not going to support a rapist and child abuser. Frankly, I think he should be stripped of his awards, to make the point that Hollywood does not condone such behavior. But instead, people continue to work with this scumbag and perpetuate the stereotype of the "tortured genius." He should be put on a blacklist, in my opinion.

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    1. I'm glad you brought this up. I was kind of waiting for someone to say something about the allegations of sexual abuse against Woody.

      As a former child and family therapist, I was trained to always believe the victim. Too often they are not heard. I also encountered times when during a heated divorce, one parent would coach the child to make wrongful allegations. Both situations occur, and it is ultimately for the courts to determine the truth and the ultimate outcome.

      In the case of Woody Allen, the allegations were investigated and dropped. No one but the family members know what really occurred, and I feel it is not my business. That's why I continue to watch his films, and Midnight in Paris is a superb one.

      Thanks for your comments and for reading my reviews!

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