Woody, You've Created Art Yet Again!
Midnight In Paris (2011)
A Review By Ben Hunter
5 Out Of 5 Stars
May 20, 2011
I believe that love that is true and real creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving, or not loving well which is the same thing. And when the man who is brave and true looks death squarely in the face it is because he can love with sufficient passion to push death squarely out of his mind. Until it returns ... as it does to all men ... ... and then you must make really good love again.
Woody Allen (writer/director of the film), you’ve done it again! Such sophistication and class with this film, it just makes one want to become someone of more intellect, art, and overall sophistication!
Midnight In Paris is a story about an American writer, Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), who writes screenplays for the major movie studios of American cinema and is pretty successful at it. So Gil now wants to challenge himself and spread his abilities as a writer and take on writing a novel. This new challenge is taking place in the midst of a trip he and his fiancé Inez (Rachael McAdams) are on in Paris with her parents, her father is on a business trip.
Gil loves the city and feels he’s been misplaced in life as Paris in the 1920’s would be the best time to live he thinks. This is referred to as “Golden Age Thinking”; the feeling of suppressing the darkness of your current era and longing to be apart of another era in time. However the film shows us that feeling okay with the struggles of the present to make yourself better is to truly live.
So Gil with this train of thought ends up experiencing some “magic” in the city when the clock strikes midnight!
As I mentioned, this is a very smart film! It's very witty and quirky. Woody keeps you on your toes with the way he has his actors speak amongst each other. He's still got it! It's some of his best writing as Gil meets some incredibly intelligent characters, all very well known for their intelligence. They all show Gil the importance of staying true to yourself as a person and the important things in life will become prevalent. So Gil applies this to his novel as well and knows what he needs to finish it as he improves his life for the better on his trip to Paris.
Intellectual films that we the viewer can stomach don’t come around that often. Usually, the filmmakers of “smart films” get too smart for their own good and things just get way too confusing. ‘Paris was just enough to very much keep our interest but not over stimulate us with “smart talk” and end up boring us to death and ultimately loosing us as viewers. Woody’s comedic flavor and touch does this trick and puts the film on such an intriguing level. Comedies are the hardest genre to make in movies, and if you want to cover serious material such as ‘Paris does, it’s even harder. Woody makes it look easy!
However, with all of this intellect, it’s clear this film is only for the adult willing to think and get involved with the viewing experience. ‘Paris is clearly not a “turn your brain off and just enjoy a good movie” type of film, and it’s definitely not for younger audiences. It does an amazing job in keeping our interest yet having us take away something special from it. All while making it seem like working for getting that something “special” doesn’t seem like work at all.
My hat's off to Woody for creating a masterpiece and to the film’s lead Owen Wilson, whose credibility as an actor just sky rocketed with this work of art!
May the awards flourish for this film and all the hands that took part in its creation. Definitely a film the world needs to embrace!
Midnight In Paris
Comedy, 94 Minutes, PG-13
Written & Directed By: Woody Allen
Cast: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard, Adrien Brody, Michael Sheen, Carla Bruni