Midnight in Paris
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.