Monday, June 13, 2011

Midnight in Paris

Get your Baguettes and sketchbooks, we're reviewing Midnight in Paris!
Trying something different, a sketch of a Paris street!

This is a really enchanting and lovely film, if a bit artsy.  I wouldn't call it a chick flick as others may have called it, but it is a Woody Allan film, so take that as you will.

Gil(Owen Wilson) is a writer of hollywood scripts trying his hands at a novel as he takes a vacation with his fiance(Rachel McAdams) in the beautiful city of Paris. Gil is a nostalgic and can't get his head out of the past when one night he stumbles on a vintage car that takes him to a popping jazz club where he meets the famous likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, realizing he's gone back in time.  He then becomes enchanted from a model living in the 20's.  Drunken mystical 20's antics ensue.

The fantastical idea of traveling back in time for a few hours at night meeting famous writers and artists is a cool idea, and how they use it ends up being creative and funny. It's never really explained how, it's left to the magic of Paris.

The cinematography is slow, meaningful and pretty artsy.  Film students will love this film.  Instead of having cuts between characters, the director will let them wander off camera and let the audience listen to their conversation before the  characters stroll back into frame.  There are some beautiful and charming shots of gay Pari here, it almost becomes a character unto itself.

Speaking of characters, Owen Wilson does a perfect job of stepping into the neurotic, whinny and often hilarious shoes of Woody Allan.  He's the perfect successor to Allan's style of acting and comedic timing.  All the people Gil meet are famous writers, artists,  and musicians; history buffs will get a kick, as Gil does, out of spotting all the cameos.  I didn't recognize many of them, but I especially enjoyed Corey Stoll's Hemingway and Adrien Brodie's Dali.

I don't know if I'd call this a love story, but there are love components.  There is a love rhombus between Gil, his fiance, the obnoxious professor she's fawning over, and the 20's model Gil's falling in love with.  If you greatly dislike the romantic aspects of romantic comedies, don't fret as it focuses more on Gil's love of nostalgia and his conflict of staying with the world he knows and going with the world he dreams of.  I was delighted that it didn't end the way I thought it would(or the way most Hollywood movies of this nature end).

I really enjoyed this. It may not be for everyone, but it was funny, creative and all around an entrancing pleasure. I'd recommend it if you're looking for something lighter or something different, or something to take the lady to who's tired of all these summer blockbusters with explosions and rippling biceps.

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