Midnight in Paris (2011)

Midnight_in_Paris_Poster

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Cast: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotilard

Genre: In this Woody Allen film, a dissatisfied screenwriter travels to Paris with his bratty fiancé. Every night at midnight he is transported back to the 1920s where he meets his literary and artistic idols and is forced to question the problems in his life

This is, in essence, a movie for writers and creative types. As a fledging (and struggling and penniless) writer, Midnight in Paris appealed to me in a special kind of way. It’s full of useful pieces of advice and encouragement. In a way, it’s like receiving a one-on-one writing/art tutorial with creative legends and Woody Allen himself. However, this film is not just a lecture. It’s got a lot of entertaining qualities to it too.

First of all, let me say that Paris is a beautiful city. I went there for work a few months ago and I can confirm that it’s a city steeped in history and it’s wonderfully ornate. One thing this movie doesn’t accurately portray, however, is that that the city reeks of piss. If you’re in Paris you may be walking down the street, munching on a croissant perhaps, and next thing you know you’ll be able to detect the pungent aroma of urine. It’s everywhere. I don’t know who does it and why they think it’s acceptable but it is what it is. As you can see, I’ve become a bit cynical about the city. However, it was great to see Allen’s romanticised view of it. He was able to remind me of Paris’ beauty and, for the first time in ages, I actually wanted to visit the city. Evoking a sense of place has always been one of Allen’s talents as a writer and it’s great to see that he is still able to do it with such skill.

Of course, Allen’s other talents are on display in the film as well. The dialogue is crisp and witty and Allen successfully creates characters that the audience love and love to hate. I especially like the job Allen did at constructing his historical characters. My personal favourites were the Fitzgeralds and Ernest Hemmingway. The Fitzgeralds are perfectly charming and a lot of fun (and Tom Hiddletson is one sexy mo fo) and Ernest Hemmingway is dark, brooding, passionate and a total panty dropper. When he talks about making love so good it makes you forget about death I was all like: “Sweet Jeebus! Take me now!” It must have been wonderful to have been alive at this time and to have been part of the artistic crowd.

However, Allen makes a great point that although 1920s Paris was an exciting time to be alive, it’s much better to engage and experience life in the here and now. This is the sort of movie in which the main character goes through a journey, and one that I think a lot of creative people go through too. The film’s main message for writers and creative types is to observe and to live in the moment and draw inspiration from that. It’s always nice to look at the great stuff in the past but the past had its problems too and the present has beauty as well. It’s a surprisingly inspirational message.

High-lights:

  • Fantastic opening sequence. It didn’t have the same power as the opening in Manhattan, bit it was still a great way to start the movie.
  • I loved the way the movie was like: “Yes, Europeans are more fun than Americans!”
  • Historical literary figures are so sexy.
  • There are times when it feels as though the movie takes place in a work of art, like when the characters go to the water lily pond which Monet painted.

Donwers:

  • It makes me sad to know that I will never get ploughed by sexy young Ernest Hemingway or get my stuff read by Gertrude Stein.
  • It also makes me sad to know that I can never hold a stylish taxidermy party. People would think it weird and it’s so expensive nowadays that I could probably only be able to afford one piece….this one to be specific: http://i.cubeupload.com/2xfmQy.jpeg. Not exactly stylish and sexy in a Parisian Vogue kind of way.

Summary:

Another great movie from Woody Allen. In a lot of ways, Midnight in Paris is Allen at his most typical i.e. nerdy writer I a fucked up relationship. However, the added time-travel aspect definitely gives the movie a unique and intriguing spin. I would definitely recommend this for creative people who sometimes struggle with their projects. If you’re having a rough time writing or painting or whatever, then settle in with this film but, before you do, make sure you smoke something that will make you appreciate all the beauty and good advice.

9/10

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5 Comments

Filed under Comedy, Drama, Great, Romance

5 responses to “Midnight in Paris (2011)

  1. What the fuck is that thing?
    And where can I get one?

  2. Abbi

    Great review. Totally agree!

  3. I love your snarky reviews of movies that are clearly very very shitty like Sex and The City 2, that was one of my faves, because of how much they make me laugh. But I love it when you watch movies that you genuinely enjoy too. Excellent review. You made me want to run off to Paris (or somewhere less stinky) right away! 🙂

    • Thanks you for saying such nice things *wipes away tear of happiness*

      I like to try balancing my reviews so I write about movies that are good, bad and WTF crazy in equal amounts. I got a good crazy one coming soon!

  4. With you on Hemingway! Liked him in this much more than I liked his writing in high school.

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