My Review: I’ve had Midnight in Paris on my Netflix list for awhile, but became more encouraged to bump it up on the list after recently reading The Paris Wife. I found myself a bit enchanted with the time period and wanted to experience more of it, much like Gil (Owen Wilson) in the movie. The basic plot is that Gil falls in love with Paris while traveling there with his fiance Inez (Rachel McAdams), and is especially nostalgic for Paris in the ’20s. By the magic of some weird taxi, the clock strikes midnight and he is able to go back in time to explore this period, meeting influential people like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, and Gertrude Stine.
Gil and Inez have very different ideas about what their ideal life would be – since he cannot live in 1920s Paris, he’d substitute modern day Paris in the rain as his ideal location. Inez is more content to live somewhere in the states, probably Malibu, having Gil continue his screenwriting career instead of pursuing a career writing novels. This is a bit of a struggle to watch, since it doesn’t seem like a scenario that will play out well in the end.
Woody Allen does a great job of portraying the time period in all its glory. All accounts of the lives of these famous people show them as being a little wild and crazy, we even get to see a scene of Zelda wanting to jump into a river to end it all. My only regret is that we don’t get to meet Hadley Richardson in the movie, who was Hemingway’s wife at the time. I would have loved to see her there with all the rest of them, that practical voice to their extravagance.
I found myself surprised that I enjoyed the way this idea was presented: that there is always a “golden age” for every period, something they look back on and admire. At first I found the method to be a bit irritating, but the ultimate way it came out was interesting. And anything that throws in time at the Moulin Rouge is always a good time by me!
My overall impression of the movie is a bit difficult to nail down, because I really was hoping Gil would spend a lot more time with Hemingway and Fitzgerald. However, it was a good movie in the end, and one of the better of Woody Allen’s of late. I think I like his current work better than things he was making 20 years ago, if for no better reason than he is no longer casting himself as the protagonist.
See this movie if: You’re a fan of the time period, or Woody Allen. I think it will appeal to both kind of people.
My Rating: 3.5/5 – Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun!
Six Degrees of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Tom Hiddleston (F. Scott Fitzgerald) played Loki in The Avengers which had a cameo by Alexis Denisof
Alexis Denisof played Wesley Wyndam Price on season three of BTVS