Midnight In Paris
- Director:Woody Allen
- Cast:Carla Bruni , Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Owen Wilson
- Release Date:October 20, 2011
- Running time:94 minutes
- Film Worth:$14.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Woody Allen’s latest froth-fest is initially entertaining and enjoyable, but ultimately predictable and even patronising.
The idea of this nostalgic comedy - revelling in escapism while acknowledging its absurdity - is set immediately. Starting with The Eiffel Tower, there's a long series of iconic shots of Paris at its most touristically familiar and photogenic.
The central character is Gil (Owen Wilson), a successful Hollywood screenwriter who yearns to be a serious novelist. He's in Paris with his fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams), and her rich, conservative parents. While seeing the sights, they hook up with Inez' friend, Paul (Michael Sheen), an insufferably pretentious know-all. At any rate, Gil is profoundly unimpressed by Paul, and takes to strolling the Parisian streets at night by way of escape. At midnight, he is approached by a bunch of merrymakers in a vintage car, and is invited to join their party. The plot then leaps into magic realist territory, as Gil finds himself in what appears to be the dizzyingly creative Paris of the twenties. To his understandable astonishment, he's hobnobbing and imbibing with the artistic titans of the day: Picasso, Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bunuel, you name it...and, in a brief but funny cameo, Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali. Kathy Bates is typically strong as Gertrude Stein too. The story takes a dive for the saccharine, however, when Gil meets Adriana (Marion Cotillard), the fashion designer and "art groupie" of whom both Picasso and Hemingway (Corey Stoll) are enamoured. Her winsome manner and endless coquettish gestures and movements are supposedly extremely attractive.
Midnight In Paris is clever, watchable, mildly entertaining and quite amusing. Unfortunately - after its initial gimmick - it's also pretty predictable, and amounts to a lot less than the sum of its parts. The leaden speech in which Gil explains why we should all live in the present and eschew nostalgia suggests that Woody Allen has taken to patronising his audience.