While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight.While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight.While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight.
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.
- Oct 21, 2012