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Midnight in Paris
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Midnight in Paris More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Ah, they don't make them like this any more…

8/10
Author: barry_mooney from United Kingdom
21 October 2012

I'd been meaning to watch Midnight in Paris for ages but, I have to confess, I was put off by the presence of Owen Wilson, who I could not really envisage as the lead in a Woody Allen film. He was actually surprisingly good though and did a decent job as the vessel from which Allen's brilliant dialogue could be heard. However, this is not an actor-driven film or even a story-driven film; its beauty lies in the simple but clever script and the easy-going laid-back style that you'd expect from a Woody Allen film all about nostalgia.

To be fair, I can completely understand why there have been so many negative reviews of Midnight in Paris. There isn't a great deal going on superficially and the characters are all gloriously stereotypical. This doesn't matter though because, although the film is quite simple, it is at the same time wonderfully clever and thought-provoking. However, you do probably have to be in the right mood to watch it. I saw this film on a lazy Saturday afternoon and wasn't expecting too much, so when I was left both entertained and thinking about the past, the present and the future, it was a pleasant surprise. There are few films these days that still have you thinking about them several days later – this is definitely one of them. What do you want from life, with whom do you want to experience it, and why are we always so dissatisfied with where we are and what we've got? Like I say, quite thought-provoking!

It's incredibly ironic that some critics go on about how Woody Allen films aren't anywhere near as good as they were back in the seventies and that he's a has-been pseudo-intellectual, when here he is making a film about nostalgia and poking fun at pseudo-intellectuals in both an obvious and also a more subtle manner. Midnight in Paris is full of self-parody and interesting contradictions, but not everything is immediately apparent and I believe that some viewers of the film may have simply taken it at face value and consequently been left thinking "is that it then?".

On a slightly more negative side, I am perplexed that some people have praised the cinematography and the wonderful images of Paris in the light, in the dark and in the rain. To me, the use of colour and imagery are not too impressive and I would argue that Paris has looked far better in plenty of other films. The music can be a little annoying too – especially in the opening sequence, which seems to go on for ever!

As I said before though, Midnight in Paris is primarily about the dialogue and the interesting ideas that it throws out to the audience. Catch them if you like, and run with them. It's a great easy-going relaxing film that'll hopefully leave you both entertained and thought- provoked.

8/10

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A cultural romantic reconciles his intense nostalgia for the 1920's modernist French scene through magical rendezvous with its key figures

9/10
Author: keith-loeffler1 from United States
27 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really enjoyed this film for a number of reasons, though it is certainly a "love it or hate it" story. Myself being quite interested in the modern era and all of the creativity that it inspired, I was immediately drawn to the interpretations of iconic figures like Gertrude Stein and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Seeing these icons in a mystified version of their everyday escapades had a particularly interesting effect; of course the plot was carried along as Gil became more and more enthused with his surroundings and longing for a change (which he of course later renounces for a huge character arc) as well as provide literature dorks with a chance to see their heroes as actual people doing actual things. Hemmingway was hilarious; his dry humor, fighting spirit, and obstinate take on the nature of good prose (brave and true!) was done very well. Gil's journey is filled with humor and good mirth and his eventual realization that nostalgia is more of a flaw in logic than a life purpose is illuminating. All of us employ the "Golden Age" principal in our daily lives but its an actual challenge to move on and make our next days better than days past. He is a perfect representative of the proverbial "green grass" idea and Wilson wonderfully portrays a man who is passionately preoccupied with his own convictions who ultimately makes an extremely wise choice. Great performances, beautiful cinematography, and wonderful story. Thanks for giving me another classic Mr. Allen.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great Woody Allen Picture

8/10
Author: baxter-ja from United States
24 February 2012

I don't love Owen Wilson, but I think this role gets every good quality out of him possible, and his charm really drives the film forward. Midnight is the perfect Woody pic because it has lightness, comedy, human neurosis, philosophical drivel, and hatred for the same philosophical drivel, all wrapped up together. I love the more Apatow sort of comedies that dominate today, but this was a more classic and thought-provoking sort of film that I think raises the standard and refreshes the palette. I think it is great when a comedy can be nominated for best picture, and this one certainly deserves to be this year. Go see it for date night, and if you are with the right sort of woman when you do, you should marry her.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The romantic journey of a man who dreams of living a more thrilling life.

8/10
Author: Jin Maruhashi
24 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Midnight in Paris" invites its viewers to saunter back into the past to go on an unforgettably enchanting promenade with a masterfully characterized motley crew of history's most influential minds, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali and several others. Woody Allen crafts a simple yet remarkable tale that succeeds in mesmerizing the audience with the wondrous verisimilitude that radiates from every word, movement and idiosyncrasy of all characters that portray a non-fictional individual. This charming meet and greet is ideally accompanied with its moments of comical banter. Observing Allen's limitless imagination resuscitate and power the actions of such personae is undoubtedly the highlight of the film. Furthermore, the well-chosen cast contribute positively overall- to emphasize are Adrien Brody's amusing interpretation of Salvador Dali and Owen Wilson's all-round compatible mood with the tranquil and romantic Parisian setting. In sum, "Midnight in Paris" is a cleverly organized rendezvous that grandiosely connects modern-day spectators to their brilliant predecessors.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Charming and feel good

8/10
Author: sugar_lump2008 from Warwickshire, England
23 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is a genuine feel good film with a unique plot and a genuine character development. The beginning of the film sees the main character Gil a bumbling, confused and lost man but as the film goes on becomes more confident and sure of himself and what he wants. The 'famous' characters he encounters such as Hemingway, Dali, Ella Fitzgerald were very cleverly portrayed. The scenes in Paris are beautiful and magical, the music a tad monotonous but I got used to it and it soon added to the charm. This film was simply charming, clever, well acted and well directed. After watching it I felt a warm happy feeling that not so many films have managed to do. Good job Woody!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Still yearning for an earlier time?

5/10
Author: chrisallinson-767-285971 from Canada
8 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Laughed out loud 2 or 3 times so guess this is a comedy? Woody has not delivered on comedy in a while. His obsession with Scarlett's chest has morphed to Rachel McAdams rear end in tight jeans here. But I digress - beautifully shot in what we imagine are 1920's warm colours (Monet's Giverny watercolours?), Paris is lovely and Woody explores the city for a few scenes in the rain - warm rain. And Rachel brings her special sassiness full tilt, while Owen Wilson does another Woody Allen stand in (as Kenneth Branagh in 'Celebrity'; Penelope Cruz in 'Vicky Christina...'). Sarkozy's ex model wife, Carla Bruni puts in a couple of scenes as does Cathy Bates, and Marion Cotillard (A Good Year) luminous. Woody's usual Trad Jazz staple is presented in 'stereo,' (Woody is beginning to get the hang of stereo, who knows maybe surround will be next?). That said, whole sections are to a Django Reinhardt style number - won't spoil as to why? Juliet Taylor's casting is superb as usual on a Woody flic. Paris at its best and an excellent travelogue but hardly earned Oscar calibre.

Was reminded of 'Picasso at the Lapin Agile' - Steve Martin's play, that I saw live one balmy Saturday evening at the Westwood Playhouse in LA. Steve could not get his play financed/produced for a movie - Woody did?

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Why Would You Want To Travel Back In Time?

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
17 January 2012

Unlike Allen's many other films, 'Midnight in Paris' has a more surreal/dreamlike feel to it that couples well with the reality of it. The film opens with some postcard shots of Paris and the visuals continue to look stunning which adds to the dreamy feel (thanks to the special effects, cinematography and wonderful jazzy score). It has that same feeling of whimsy that most of Allen's other films have. The time-travelling theme has been marvelously explored in the story. This film is especially relevant to those who think that life in so-and-so year was easier, more exotic, more exciting more so and so than it is in present. For Allen analyzes this theme through his protagonist who is a writer dissatisfied with his novel and wishes he were living in the 20s.

This time Allen's alterego is played by Owen Wilson who does a terrific job here (one of his best). He reunites with the lovely Rachel McAdams who is equally stupendous as the frivolous bitchy fiancée. Kurt Fuller, Mimi Kennedy, Michael Sheen and Kathy Bates provide great support. And what would 'Midnight In Paris' be without the luminous Marion Cotillard who can best be described as spellbinding?

'Midnight in Paris' is colourful, elegant, surreal, funny and delightful. It ranks among Allen's best works. This is also his way of showing respect to the artists and writers he pays homage to.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An homage to Paris

8/10
Author: albrechtcm from United States
26 December 2011

Mr. Allen had me at « Paris ». What a wonderful tour of this beautiful city, and the revived color of the Roaring Twenties and the Belle Epoque. The premise was great (for people like me, who are people like Gil in the movie). How many times have we dreamers envisioned ourselves living in a garret, lolling for hours in some little bistro while we sipped a glass of wine or a café allongé. Like Gil, every time I get to Paris, I wear myself out wandering little side streets and stopping at out-of-the way bistros and brasseries to rest while I sit and absorb atmosphere. Unfortunately, in my little randonnées I never managed to step through that magical curtain into the past. Much as I enjoyed the film, the story line and color, I do feel that the whole structure was somewhat contrived. Boy, this guy got a chance to visit with just about every artist, painter, writer, filmmaker available as well as their copines, throwing in a glimpse of Josephine Baker to boot. He even went farther into the past for a visit to the Moulin Rouge. Throwing aside any relationship to reality, this was an absorbing and fun movie to watch. The soprano (I think) sax was sublime.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Speaking as an Allen virgin...

Author: dancindiva-61-296948 from United Kingdom
5 September 2011

As crazy as it may be, this is the first Allen film I have ever seen, and after watching this, I am definitely going to watch all of his others. This kind of film makes me wonder how we can be happy with rom coms where we know the films entire plot from the advert. I was completely caught by surprise at the romantic, clever, intriguing, funny, interesting and thoroughly well written script. I had no idea about the plot and was happily led by Wilson's character into the depths of Paris' magical midnight strike. Other actor's involved did a great job too. I was particularly impressed with McAdams as it just adds to her ability to play any role. I think overall I'm simply in awe at the film. It's a classic. A really refreshing idea, gently portrayed in an almost realistic way, like this French magic really does exist. The music and scenery adds to the charm of the film and the subtle humour is a nice touch too. I would definitely recommend this to anyone and will watch this over and over again for years to come. Along with Manhattan, Match Point, Annie Hall....

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant attempt at glorifying the Present and the Past together.

Author: psysword from United States
1 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Midnight in Paris, started out with as a funny title, and the story described in it ridiculous. I didn't even consider the Director, Woody Allen as encouraging, considering his latest films had appealed little to my palate. But then I had just left Paris and sitting on the Airfrance flight to USA, figured that it might just be a good idea to see this story about "Romance in Paris", and "dis" it as i watched it. It was my third choice on the flight after watching a few other flicks, called "Spies", and another one.

So began the movie quite simply with a couple arguing about the merits of Paris, moving swiftly to show us that this couple was eminently unsuitable for each other. it shows us quite convincingly that the boy, Owen Wilson, needs to pursue his own desires. then very easily slips into the supernatural, as we see the ride into the twenties,, and the roaring fun that they would have over there. amazing delights very nicely detailed, yet so casual that you wouldn't know they had time traveled till later on. i love this concept of time travel, and having written the book, "Black Shark Valley", i was very surprised pleasantly to find Woody taking me down a similar path, very dear to my heart, Nostalgia.

Loved this emphasis on nostalgia, and love of the artists of Paris and of course some very real lessons learned from this sort of dreaming. we have all unfortunately realized the futility of day dreaming but then we can make it productive by making it work through art. that includes writing, movies, and painting. amazing if we can truly capture it in the past, or even better if we capture it in the present. yes Woody then celebrates the glory of the Present, another theme that i strongly agree with, tying the past in our glorious Present. After much soul searching, i have realized that the Present is the most glorious of all and its best to make peace with it. Woody does so brilliantly, while rupturing the ill-fated engaged couple, and onto the new. Paris is indeed the place of Romance, and thats what you can find aplenty in Paris. Even to this day, Mr Pablo PIcasso, Ernst Hemingway, and Mr Salvadore Dali!

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