Midnight in Paris review
:. Director: Woody Allen
:. Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams
:. Running Time: 1:40
:. Year: 2011
:. Country: USA, France
After Barcelona and London, comes the city of light (and romantic metropolis), Woody Allen offering with his new film the first role to Paris, drawing a romantic and artistic portrait of the French capital. Midnight in Paris centers on Gil Pender, a brilliant screenwriter spending a few days in Paris with Inez (Rachel McAdams), his fiancée, and her parents. Inspired by the city, he begins writing a novel, much to the disappointment of Inez more interested in his financially comfortable screenwriting gig. Like in so many Woody Allen movies, the hero will find true - but impossible - love and, more importantly, the meaning of life.
This time, his alter ego (Owen Wilson close to the typical Allen character) finds his way through a surreal and fantastic world set in the past, 1920's Paris. Meeting with various major artists such as Hemingway, Picasso, Lautrec and Dali (an extravagant Adrien Brody), he will learn how to make important choices. On screen, this results in the film's most interesting scenes. Midnight in Paris doesn't pretend to recreate the historical Paris, but rather captures the imagination of a contemporary artist who grew up fascinated with the works of the 20's masters. This version of Paris is unreal, a source of inspiration and creation contradicting with an opening sequence shown through a touristy lens.
Unfortunately, these scenes become quickly redundant and somewhat boring. By trying too hard to create a sense of nostalgia, Allen makes the spectators become nostalgic of his previous works. Once the film's concept and purpose are understood, Midnight in Paris is reduced to the common story of a man faced with choices that will determine the direction of his life. If the idea of sending the budding novelist to meet his role models was promising at first, it fails to carry the film beyond its premise. Too bad!
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