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Midnight in Paris

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Scott Roberts
Midnight in Paris
on Jul 6, 2011 at 3:04:10 pm

I thought the trailer for this was pretty mediocre. Had no intention of seeing it. The reviews started pouring in and they were all pretty spectacular (92% on RT). Had no intention of seeing it. A few of my friends saw it and gave me good word of mouth about it. Had no intention of seeing it. I had an extended weekend, though, and I had the option at one point of taking a mid-day nap or seeing a movie… …so I finally saw Midnight in Paris…

For someone who makes a movie every year for the last however many years, Woody Allen’s track record is hard to keep positive. Even his pairing with Larry David for Whatever Works was horrible. I thought that was one of the worst movies of 2009. But Midnight in Paris on the other hand I would lean towards the positive.

In classic Woody Allen fashion, it was oozing with a “socialite in despair” vibe. That’s usually when he shines best. Owen Wilson was good in the main role, as a successful screenwriter/struggling novelist who gets drunk while vacationing in Paris and time travels and meets a bunch of classic 1920s creative types for inspiration. A bit of a nonsensical premise, but that’s the charm. Overall though, this premise was interesting but also kind of pointless. It was more or less a fun romp of name dropping a bunch of classic writers and painters. It might excite some people to have a movie featuring F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein, but if the intent was to get excited whenever he ran into someone new, which is what it seemed like was the intent (Salvador Dali! Pablo Picasso!) it didn’t work on me. But Hemingway was awesome though. I would have rather just watched a biography about this portrayal of Hemingway to be honest.

I guess the whole point of the movie was about finding inspiration, and it made a few interesting points about art and creativity and such. Definitely would be a more likable film to someone if you’re into classic art and literature. But it’s one of the fluffiest, lighthearted movies I’ve seen this year regardless. Funny too, one of Woody’s best comedy scripts in years. I suppose it makes an interesting comment about eras as well, about how no one thinks the era they currently live in is interesting while they live in it, even if it’s a legendary time. Then it becomes a dream within a dream, with the 1920s people going to the 1890s, and… …wait a second… dream within a dream…? Marion Cotillard is there…? …Inception in Paris…?

Aside from Rachel McAdams character being underdeveloped and irrational, the rest of the characters were good, and the acting was great. I think most of all it works as a love letter to Paris, full of great scenic visual stimuli and culture. Worth checking out. Better than a nap.

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Jeff Breuer
Re: Midnight in Paris
on Jul 6, 2011 at 10:34:12 pm

Good to hear. I was hoping this one was decent, I'll have to check it out.


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Jeff Breuer
Re: Midnight in Paris
on Jul 21, 2011 at 2:48:40 pm

Finally had a chance to see this last night. Loved it. Owen Wilson played the Woody Allen character perfectly. And it makes so much sense too, in retrospect it seems like the obvious choice. I hope they do another movie together. The only part of the movie that really threw me off was the jump from the 1920's to the 1890's. Maybe if I was a little more cultured I would have caught it, but shouldn't Marion's character had a big surprise to be in different time...? But whatever, clever, fun, funny, good acting, good script, and yea, loved Hemmingway! Never thought I'd say that.

Jeff


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Scott Roberts
Re: Midnight in Paris
on Jul 21, 2011 at 10:31:42 pm

I think it's just one of those nonsensical movies that you aren't supposed to think about too much really. Like, did Owen Wilson actually go back in time, or was it all in his head? If it was all in his head, then how did the private investigator also end up going back in time (funniest scene in the movie, btw)? If he did actually go back in time, how does that make sense? Is it all just a metaphor?

Who knows? It was good regardless!


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