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Movie Review - Midnight in Paris (2011 United States)
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.
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 RobertaLeeArt.com.)
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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
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