Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Film Review - "Midnight in Paris" directed by Woody Allen

Midnight in Paris (2011)              

A slightly more whimsical version of Allen's earlier works, this film delves into mysterious Parisian nights, eccentric artistic characters of the 20's and the contradictions of the creative mind. Woody Allen himself does not appear in the film, but we can draw similarities to the protagonist, playwright and francophile, Gil (played by Owen Wilson). Although his character seems at times naive and over-expressive, it's through his eyes that we can understand the fervour surrounding Paris as a city through the ages.

Visiting Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy), the wealthy American style of tourism is exemplified, with the trio preferring to dine in fancy restaurants (they seem to be constantly eating) and watch Hollywood films rather than walk around the city and take it in authentically. The satiric script is great, with the characters almost reaching heated arguments about Tea Party politics and the legitimacy of a writer's lifestyle.

The cinematography is fantastic-the opening shots depict the landmarks of Paris, although a common portrayal it seems fresh and simple. This ode to the city sets up the fim perfectly and brings us into the traditional Paris of the turn of the century which inspires and has inspired many artists. The characters of these past artists are brought to life by a great cast and I think this film carries out what it sets to achieve- an ode to a city and a celebration of creativity.

Favourite quote: “The artist's job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote to the emptiness of existence.” (Gertrude Stein)

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