Monday, December 19, 2011
The Golden Age in the City of Lights: Quick Look at Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris
We went to the dollar movie yesterday and for $1.25 (inflation has hit even the dollar movies) saw Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.
Owen Wilson plays a dreamer who has made a fortune writing screenplays but longs to find a sympathetic soul to read his first novel. His fiancee and her family seem wrong for him in every way but he doesn't notice because he's so busy longing for the Golden Age of 1920's Paris when the American writers and artists mingled. One evening, lost in a dark side street, sitting forlornly on the steps, he hears midnight chime and a very old yellow taxi pulls up. The merry group inside beckon him in and he joins them only to find himself literally swept away to meet his idols.
Midnight in Paris has a surprisingly straight-forward story and moral, albeit one told with a romantic eye to the artists in 1920s Paris and those who yearn nostalgically for the past. This is a love letter to Paris, a nod to comedy, a commentary on modern Americans in Paris, and above all a reminder that now is all the time we have and we may be living in a golden age in the present. Sweet, charming, and funny. A winner all 'round.
I give it four stars out of five because there were a few details which didn't work with the logic of the story quite right, and which we all noticed. They don't make that much of a difference but catching them would have gotten a bit closer to perfection.
My favorite people were Hemingway and Dali but I must also add that I've never understood people who say that Marion Cotillard is beautiful. Until now. She is luminous in this film. Kathy Bates was also perfectly cast as Gertrude Stein. All were just a joy to behold in this film.