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Midnight in Paris

June 29, 2011

 Gil: I am in a very perplexing situation.

 I found it extremely troubling to write a review for this wonderful treat, mainly due to a severe case of writers block, so I sat down, and watched another one of Woody Allen’s films for inspiration, Whatever Works, and suddenly I was unblocked. It is inexplicable but seeing an amazing film always unblocks my mind. In Woody Allen’s most recent film, Midnight in Paris, the main character walks through Paris, seeing beautiful sights and artistic and literary geniuses which eventually cures his writers block and challenges his life in an inexplicably fantastic way. As I compare myself with this film, I came to the conclusion that Midnight in Paris is one of the smartest, wittiest, and one of the most entertaining film of the year; packed with outstanding performances from Owen Wilson and it’s supporting cast.

Midnight in Paris revolves around a struggling writer named Gil (Owen Wilson) who travels to Paris with his fiancé, Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy). As if it was “a match made in heaven,” Gil immediately and admirably falls in love with Paris and develops a pure desire to move out there as soon as he gets married, though Inez has different thoughts pertaining to this proposition. When Inez goes out dancing one night with her former professor, Paul (Michael Sheen), Gil takes a peacefully delightful stroll through Paris at midnight and discovers his inspiration source for writing is the admirable, pleasurable, indistinguishably and undeniably beautiful artifacts and buildings in the city. Unfortunately, doing so draws Gil farther away from the woman he is planning to marry and has an attention span with more focus towards the many incorporations of literary and artistic people found in Paris and the profoundly fantastic inspiration being given to a struggling writer. Gil is very fond and excited of his newfound love for Paris, but how attached will he be before the situation escalates out of control?

There is a lot to say about this film, so I’ll start with the breathtakingly gorgeous cinematography and the details Allen used to create a simple yet undeniably interesting scenery. Obviously the fact that it is Paris gives an explanation to the true art that surrounds Gil throughout the film. The literary and artistic men and women Gil meets throughout contribute to the beautiful essence that is Paris itself. Though this plays a huge aspect in this film, the astounding acting plays a huge role.

Owen Wilson gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Gil that I believe is his best performance of all time (and I forgive him for Little Fockers by now). Wilson has great emotion, and a relatable and overall truly believable performance. Aside from that, there are some pretty memorable performances from the supporting cast which include Rachel McAdams (which is her second film playing a love interest of Wilson, first being Wedding Crashers), Adrien Brody, Kathy Bates, Kurt Fuller and much more. There is never much to say about the cast [usually] but I feel as if this cast was destiny. Pure charm comes from every word muttered and each and every one of the actors have there own unique sense of charisma and feature astoundingly brilliant chemistry with one-another. 

 

Before I begin discussing him, I would first like to congratulate writer/director Woody Allen on Midnight in Paris, which is officially his highest grossing film in over twenty-five years, and one of his most critically acclaimed films of all time and probably my favorite film by him. This isn’t honestly saying much in spite of the idea that Allen always finds a way to top his previous film (excluding You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger) and I find that exceptionally wonderful but at this point I don’t think that he will top Midnight because this may be very well his best film. Now, on to the directing: Allen creates an extremely nostalgia-enduced scenery surrounding Gil, who is a bit of a nostalgic himself, and [especially in the opening credits] not only are we viewing a beautiful city, but learning rich history and meeting exceptionally talented literary and artistic men and women, which in fact is completely entertaining and easily wins my award for the best cinematography of this year. Of many years, actually.

Additionally, Allen makes great shots, mainly due to the fact that he doesn’t always focus the camera on the person who is speaking, but the person who is being spoken to which I believe is a fantastic idea because it makes things more emotional and makes it easier to read people. As if Allen had not worked hard enough, he also, brilliantly if I may add, wrote the script, which makes me wonder if this was written especially for Wilson, because Gil is a perfect role for him and everything about him can have a relatable contribution to the personality of the real-life Owen Wilson. The script, direction, and cinematography are amazing in Midnight in Paris thanks to the hard work put in by writer/director Woody Allen.

I am feeling very confident at this juncture due to the fact that my writers block has been unblocked, and Gil’s writers block has additionally been unblocked, both cured by different techniques, but ironically the situations are extremely similar. Now back to the film; Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris is a very special and important film, which features rich history, artistic idols, fantastic cinematography, phenomenal acting [especially from Wilson], and most importantly: fantastic direction from Woody Allen and an unforgettable story. Paris is one of the best films of 2011 that I highly recommend, and I am proud to say is the best film from Woody Allen.

Inez: You’re in love with a fantasy.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. Greg R. permalink
    June 29, 2011 3:18 pm

    Great in depth review. I was a little disappointed by the slowness of the story to be quite honest. I agree that the performances were great and that the scenery was undeniably gorgeous, but this is nowhere near a good film.

    • June 29, 2011 3:22 pm

      Thanks for reading Gregg. But I’m going to have to disagree with you here, because it wasn’t slow, take this for instance:
      1. They arrived in Paris.
      2. The story begins.
      This all took place in less than 15 minutes, so that isn’t what I’d call slow. Rent Peter Jackson’s King Kong, watch the first hour, and then I’ll agree with you what it means for a film to be slow.

      • Greg R. permalink
        June 29, 2011 3:24 pm

        Yes but the difference between Midnight in Paris and Peter Jackson’s King Kong is that Kong is worth the one hour wait, because the 2nd and 3rd half of the film are absolutely mind-bending. In Midnight in Paris, all that occurs is a confused, poor sap roaming around a city that isn’t that amazing.

  2. June 29, 2011 3:27 pm

    I never said King Kong wasn’t worth the wait, but I think you don’t know what MIP is really about. Did you even read my review, because if you did, you would know what the film was actually about. The main character meets and gets to know these literary and artistic idols and bonds with them while still having trouble maintaining a love life with his fiance while he’s falling in love with a gorgeous city. So if that’s what you call a poor “sap,” then I guess me along with countless others who enjoyed the film are poor saps too.

    • Greg R. permalink
      June 29, 2011 3:30 pm

      Are you joking? What’s interesting about the main character?? All he does is NOTHING. It’s unnecessary and pointless to make a film about such a worthless person.

  3. Greg R. permalink
    June 29, 2011 3:36 pm

    I’m sure that EVERYBODY wants a movie about me. I’m [exploitive deleted] awesome.

  4. June 29, 2011 3:38 pm

    I liked Owen Wilson’s performance here because he show why he is so good at being funny as well as very likable as Gil, a character who may at first seem a bit annoying, gets better as the film goes on. Good Review!

  5. Kumar permalink
    June 29, 2011 6:57 pm

    I loved it. Great story and beautiful direction. It may as well win best picture.

    • June 29, 2011 7:09 pm

      Unless David Fincher’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” proves any better. (I have high hopes)

  6. April 5, 2012 4:37 pm

    I love this movie. This is a MUST GO movie to watch!

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