Midnight in Paris (2011)

by guest writer

Midnight in Paris opens this month dedicated to the latest decade of Woody Allen’s career. For those of you who are already familiar with the director’s style, Midnight in Paris will not come as a surprise. Even for the newcomers it will be a real treat. As Allen himself has declared in many interviews, his movies are not made for the masses and he doesn’t do it for money. It is true, the commercial aspect is absent in his works. Instead, his films are to be enjoyed as a complex body of work including slapstick comedy, Ingmar Bergman influenced dramas, documentaries, surrealist dramas, thrillers and Fellini inspired fantasies.

Midnight in Paris is a very special product, combining romantic with surrealist comedy. Together with The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), these are Woody Allen’s odes to the surrealist world created by Luis Buñuel in cinema.

Gil (Owen Wilson) is Allen’s alter-ego in the movie, a successful Hollywood screenwriter, but who believes his metier lies in something else, for example writing that novel he’s been trying to finish. And he thinks Paris is where he could fulfill his dream. Inez (Rachel McAdams) in his fiancé, materialistic and unsupportive, who is not sure that life can have a bit of adventure in it. Paris seems to have a mysterious effect on Gil, whimsical by nature, mostly at night, when wandering the streets by himself he discovers bygone times, the 1920s, the era of Dalí, Picasso, Hemingway, Buñuel, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, all the artists who once lived there and roamed the streets of a bohemian Paris. As one can expect, the movie is full of witty dialogue along with beautiful photography and wonderful acting. Sentimental and vibrant, it is a fantasy with a taste of a lost world which seems to be contemplated by every generation.

photos: stills from the film; production credits

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