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Movie Review - Midnight in Paris (2011 United States)

Updated on March 9, 2012

In this utterly charming picture, writer/director Woody Allen serves up a hopeless romantic, Gil (Owen Wilson) engaged to a hopeless narcissist, Inez (Rachel McAdams), on a pre-marital visit to Paris. When Inez’s insufferable parents (Mimi Kennedy and Kurt Fuller, both utterly hilarious) show up the real heartburn begins, and we begin to root for Gil to escape what we recognize as an impending disaster of a marriage in any way he can.

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What we don’t anticipate is that his escape will involve a mysterious, fog-shrouded vintage automobile, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali, Gertrude Stein and a hauntingly beautiful young woman named Adriana who is (yes, “is,” not “was”) Pablo Picasso’s current model and mistress.

It is quite wonderful that Allen never wastes an instant trying to explain any of that, but instead plunges forward into an engaging parable about how nostalgia can sabotage our delight in the present, all wrapped up inside a frothy comedy as light as a soufflé. Paris glows and flickers by night, and is ravishing in the rain by day, and as the lovers in the film find (and lose) each other, we fall in love with not just a city, but with a confection: the Paris of our dreams.

Highly recommended.

Copyright © Roberta Lee 2012. All rights reserved.

(I am an artist and the author of the Suburban Sprawl series of novels as well as two nonfiction books. Find out more about my work at

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Genre: Romantic Comedy

PG-13, 1 hr. 34 min.

Directed By: Woody Allen

Written By: Woody Allen

In Theaters: Jun 10, 2011

On DVD: Jan 9, 2012

Box Office:$33.8M

Sony Pictures Classics


Owen Wilson - Gil

Marion Cotillard - Adriana

Rachel McAdams - Inez

Kathy Bates - Gert

Carla Bruni - Museum Guide

Adrien Brody - Salvador

Michael Sheen - Paul

Corey Stoll - Ernest

Mimi Kennedy - Helen

Tom Hiddleston - Mr. Fitzgerald

Kurt Fuller - John

Alison Pill - Ms. Fitzgerald

How do you feel about Woody Allen as a director:

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    • DIYmyOmy profile image

      DIYmyOmy 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Steve - You are in agreement with the theme of Midnight in Paris--that it's easy to romanticize the past and not enjoy what we have right now.

      I think you'll enjoy this movie, it's not as introverted and cynical as most Woody Allen movies; it's much more positive.

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      It is a mistake to think the past is better than the present, unless you've lived it and genuinely know it's better. Medicine is a lot more advanced now and life expectancy has increased. It's easy to romanticize the past, thanks to the world of movies. :)

      I haven't seen Midnight in Paris yet, looking forward to catching it on disc. I'm not really a Woody Allen fan but I have enjoyed some of his films. Thanks for the review.

      Voted Up.

    • DIYmyOmy profile image

      DIYmyOmy 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Do you agree with the premise of this movie, that it's a mistake to think that the past was better than the present?