film review

Review | Midnight in Paris – 2011

Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris is a romantic comedy. But the way I see it, it’s not like the typical romantic films where it’s about the love between two people. This film is more about a writer’s love for the culture during the 1920s in Paris. I also didn’t feel like it was a true comedy. The only scene that made me laugh was the final scene where a detective from today gets lost in the past. But lets start at the beginning. I really loved the intro scene where they highlighted the hot spots of Paris, it really makes me want to visit Paris again! It might not be a surprise the entire film takes place in Paris where the main characters are on their holiday. Writer Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is visiting Paris with his fiancé Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her family. From the beginning it is clear that the two are not meant to be together. The whole relationship seems off and I really didn’t like the character Inez. She made Gil look bad more than once and her friend Paul was just annoying with his talking all the time like he knows everything! Worse thing? He actually knows a lot, can’t stand those people 😉 Since Gil is more interested in Paris and his writing, he starts walking through Paris at night and this is when the magic happens. Every day after midnight, Gil ends up in the 1920s which is for him ‘The Golden Age’.

During these moments, the film gives us an impressions of the lives of a view cultural masters, Gil’s idols, during the nights in the 1920s. Amongst them are Cole Porter, F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston), Ernest Hemingway, Picasso, Dalí (Adrien Brody) and Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates). There might have been others as well, but they’re not familiar to me. I thought it was really nice to see all these famous writers and painters. I’ve heard of them, but I don’t know much about them or their work. Because of this film I really feel like I need to expand my cultural knowledge by reading some books perhaps. So thank you Woody Allen! Although Hiddleston’s part was not that big, I loved to see him and I found him pretty charming.

midnight in paris marion cotillard

One other person I found really sweet and charming was Adriana played by Marion Cotillard. She plays the mistress of Pablo Picasso but founds herself in love with Gil. Gil is also attracted to her but he’s engaged and well they live in a different time. But because of Adriana he realises he is missing something in his relationship with Inez. Also Hemingway helps him see that Inez is not the one for him.

Of course you can’t go back in time but how it is portrayed is amazing and magical in some way. It’s also interesting that for Adriana, who lives in the 20s, that time was not the golden age, as it was for Gil. For her it’s the end 19th century and for those folks it’s the renaissance. You see, you are never satisfied with what you have and that’s what Gil explains perfectly. Nevertheless he doesn’t want to stick around in the ’20s.


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