Thursday 15 December 2011

Midnight in Paris [2011]

Woody Allen might not be making the kind of masterpieces he made in the heydays of 70’s and 80’s, but whenever one starts doubting the abilities of the prolific New Yorker, he comes up with a movie like Midnight in Paris that proves that he is far from over. Though he is not part of the cast, there’s a distinctively neurotic Woody stand-in as the protagonist in the form of Owen Wilson (an inspired choice I must add); however, that said, most of the archetypes we’ve come to associate his works with have been given a 180-degree flip – it has been set in Paris instead of his beloved New York, and in place of dark humour and bitterness what we have here is cheerful, effervescent and light-hearted. The movie has Wilson playing Gil, a successful American screenwriter who is on vacation in Paris with his fiancée (Rachel McAdams) and his would-be in-laws. However, he is far from being satisfied with his life as he dreams of being a proper writer and, unlike his pampered fiancée, he is a romantic at heart who prefers taking long walks in the rains and at nights instead of being in meaningless parties populated with shallow people. On one such nocturnal tryst, he finds himself being transported to a different era altogether, surrounded by such giants as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Luis Bunuel, Salvador Dali, and Gertrude Stein, and falling in love with the enigmatic Adriana (Marion Cotillard). The movie might not have the kind of intellectual depth or profundity as his best works but nonetheless is enjoyable and reminiscent of his lighter nostalgia-laden fares like Radio Days and Purple Rose of Cairo.

Director: Woody Allen
Genre: Comedy/Romantic Comedy/Fantasy
Language: English/French
Country: US

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