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Midnight in Paris (2011) movie review

Updated on December 24, 2012
Midnight in Paris Directed by Woody Allen
Midnight in Paris Directed by Woody Allen

Midnight in Paris movie review – Despite the reputation of being intensely prolific, Woody Allen’s work over the last decade or so has lost its sheen and eloquence. However, Midnight in Paris thankfully breaks this deadlock and not only revives the old fashioned wit and sarcasm of his classics but goes much beyond it by creating one of the finest films of this decade. If you are looking for a film full of glamour, passion, romance, wit and sarcasm you must watch or buy Midnight in Paris.

Facts about Midnight in Paris, 2011

Director of Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen

Cast of Midnight in Paris: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy and Romance

Awards: na

Midnight in Paris movie trivia: Woody Allen attempted to make this film in 2006 but eventually dismissed the idea because of the overwhelming expenses.

Reasons why you should watch our buy Midnight in Paris

The movie Midnight in Paris is about a frustrated yet hopelessly romantic Hollywood screenwriter, Gil, who embarks upon a magical journey in Paris. Obsessed with the Paris of the 1920s, he unknowingly travels through time to meet many great literary and artistic legends that stayed in Paris during the 20s.

Yet, things for our protagonist in his real world are not as rose tinted as his fantastical Parisian journeys. With a fiance who finds this romance for Paris naive and stupid and friends who sneer at his writing skills, the story revolves around his struggles and disappointments.

However, as this midnight in Paris movie review will reveal, it is through this surreal entwining of magic and reality that the film seeks to explore the importance of appreciating life as it is, in the here and now.

1. Beautiful visuals and locations in Midnight in Paris

Evidently as the title of the film suggests, Midnight in Paris is completely shot in Paris. While there is interplay between two different time zones, Paris of the 1920s and Paris of the present 21st century, the visuals displayed through this juxtaposition are absolutely breathtaking. What is unique about this film is that the visuals are crafted with such nuance that they appear to be completely in sync with the lead character.

Owing to Gil’s hopeless romanticization of Paris, the locations too are effused with the visions of a quaint, artistic Paris full of galleries, antiques and cobbled streets. The Paris of the 1920s which he tumbles upon accidently too is painted picturesquely. Full of vintage glory and charm, the visuals definitely shine out as one of the most riveting parts of the film – midnight in Paris.

2. Midnight in Paris - A delightful fantasy for adults

Fantasy as a genre is generally reserved for the children. However with Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen weaves out a wonderful tale of fantasy for adults. Gil, the main protagonist of the film is pining for the Paris of the 1920s. For him it represented a golden age of art and literature and being a struggling writer himself he yearns for the glamour and beauty of the 1920s Paris.

As the story unfurls, Gil discovers that at midnight everyday in Paris at a particular spot the time moves back to the 1920s. Thrilled by this discovery every day in the night he would glide across the Paris of the yore, chatting with all the legends from Picasso, Hemingway to Dali. Midnight in Paris very effectively recreates this magic of the 20s while simultaneously showing how the cracks of disappointments trickle through all times and spaces, no matter where you are.

3. Intelligence and wit in the movie

Midnight in Paris is a very cleverly made movie. The humor too is never over the top, flamboyant or in your face. Rather the wit and humor beautifully merges with the script and becomes an integral part of the story development. Gil’s hopelessly romantic side for example is shown by his longing for taking long walks in the rainy streets of Paris. On the other hand this is contrasted by his fiance who is always pulling him to clubs, smug restaurants and pseudo intellectual gatherings on art. It is Woody Allen’s spin on such stereotypes which brings out the humor in Midnight in Paris.

4. Background score of Midnight in Paris

The background music in the film too falls perfectly in sync with the character and the stories. Like all the other Woody Allen films, Midnight in Paris too is full of Jazz and in particular Gypsy Jazz music. The guitars and the violins will definitely pull the viewer into the dreamy nostalgia that the film has created.

5. Common emotional appeal of Midnight in Paris

Although Midnight in Paris deals with a very specific situation, the film at the end explores certain very fundamental emotions that everyone is forced to confront at some point in their lives. Whereas the film does not seek to teach any lesson, it definitely shows how people can cope up with disappointments and frustrations in life without getting heart-broken.

Watch Midnight in Paris movie trailer

Buy Midnight in Paris online on Amazon

Roger Ebert’s Midnight in Paris review

"Woody Allen must have had a great time writing this screenplay"

Source: Rotten Tomatoes


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    • geoffclarke profile image

      geoffclarke 6 years ago from Canada

      Great review! Loved the movie! Paris is one of my favourite cities and I've always been a Woody Allen fan. Saw his latest play when I was in New York in September - Relatively Speaking - three One-Act Comedies by Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen.


    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      Hi Husky

      I think that this hub and movie review on Midnight in Paris now holds more value because it has got YOUR stamp of approval!

      Yes, we were all waiting for that next Woody Allen movie which could be talked about, analysed and ripped apart. Midnight in Paris is just that.

      Thanks for stopping by on this one. Much appreciated.


    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      Wow! Flora I wish I had more insight into why Starry Night has been used in this movie. We probably can relate the theme of the movie and the viewing experience of Starry Night. The depiction of the night, the town and the dark structure in Starry Night can leave viewers to draw their own relative interpretation of how the title of the movie can be fused with the theme of the painting.

      I'd love to know if you have any more insight into this one.


    • profile image

      Husky1970 6 years ago

      I have been thinking of seeing this movie. Now that it has been reccommended by princesswithapen, I will definitely be seeing it soon. I completely agree with your opinion of Woody Allen and his need to produce something good. And if you say it is good then that's all I need to hear. Thanks for the review and giving the princesswithapen stamp of approval. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      I'm surprised that Van Gogh's painting was used in the poster since this is set in the 1920s-wouldn't it have made more sense to feature an artist from the 1920s on the poster?

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago


      Your comment brought a smile to the face and has made my day! You've quite rightly mentioned Midnight in Paris as "..a validation of legendary writers"

      We were all waiting for Woody Allen to give us that next movie to remember, and he's done just that.

      Thanks for stopping by.


    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      You have picked an excellent movie to review and done a good job of it. Take princesswithapen's recommendation and see this validation of the legendary writers.

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      Hi Autumn

      If you liked Midnight in Paris, I'm sure you'll like some of Woody Allen's other movies. Give me sometime, I'll make a list of a few of his movies that you may like watching. Stay tuned!

      I'm glad you liked this review. Thanks for reading and your comment.


    • AutumnJo profile image

      AutumnJo 6 years ago from WI(Formerly IL, formerly PA)

      I've never really been a fan of Woody Allen fan, but this movie truly is worth the watch! Lovely review, by the way.