Midnight in Paris (2011)

Posted in Reviews by - March 16, 2012
Midnight in Paris (2011)

Midnight in Paris is a romantic fantasy written and directed by Woody Allen about a small group of Americans visiting Paris. The story then centers around harried Hollywood screenwriter Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), his spoilt, unbearable fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams), and Gil’s nightly time portal journeys back to 1920′s Paris where he hangs out with some of the most influential writers and painters of that era.

Despite being as interesting as waiting for your computer to load, the desultory Wilson/Woody Allen hybrid creation soon becomes the toast of 1920′s Paris, who suddenly inexplicably become fascinated by the exotic, moth-eaten creature that is Gil Pender! At one stage Salvador Dali even offers to paint him.

Owen Wilson then proceeds to wander around with a “Gee golly” knock me over with a feather look on his face for the rest of the movie as he rubs shoulders with other titans of art, music and literature including Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter, and Josephine Baker.

Despite being a flimsy, bauble of a film, I still got some enjoyment from watching the disheveled Gil traveling through time while grappling with those themes closest to his heart, namely love, nostalgia and creativity.

Nonetheless, for me the real magic of the 94 minutes came right at the end of the movie when Gil meets the gorgeous Gabrielle (Léa Seydoux) on the bridge. In those few moments her natural glow and beauty conjured up more romance than that provided in the whole of the movie.

Credit should also go to Michael Sheen for his portrayal of the intellectual pedant Paul Bates, whose pomposity and pretentiousness majestically eclipsed that of his fellow compatriots, which was no mean feat.


Recycled Woody Allen characters and plot plus time travel

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This post was written by James
Hi, My name is James Atticus and I have had a keen passion for movies ever since being blown away while watching 'A Trip to the Moon' back in 1902. Hardly surprisingly, I am a big sci-fi and horror fan, although my love of film extends throughout all the genres. One of my favourite quotes about cinema was told to me by Alfred Hitchcock, who said: "For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake." To which I replied, "Don't mind if I do!"


  • Prakash

    I think both of us agree that maybe this isn’t Woody Allen’s best but still miles better then some of the other stuff out there. No wonder Allen won an Oscar for this flick.

    BTW, how do I subscribe to your site. I would like to know each time you post a review.

    • Mika

      Enjoyed your review of Midnight In Paris, and look forward to reading more in the future.

  • Arnoldo Capuzzi

    Cheers, really enjoyed the review. Clearly a fair-minded assessment of Midnight in Paris which was a pleasant and diverting film but certainly not great.

    • Berenice

      No sooner do we diucsss the best films of Woody Allen than Woody Allen himself lists his six favourite Woody Allen films. I think that’s the most number of times I’ve written Woody Allen in a single sentence. They are:Purple Rose of CairoMatch PointBullets Over BroadwayZeligHusbands and WivesVicky Cristina BarcelonaThere are few things more interesting than hearing a filmmaker list the films that they are most proud of. And hey, he and I picked one of the same films, and it’s not either of the Big Two!

  • Perry Corneau

    Certainly not in the same league as Annie Hall or Manhattan, but it’s breezy, funny and worth a watch. Woody Allen at half mast is better than most.

    • Mel

      Hi there James, Your review was paked chock full of great info and is very readable. I look forward to keeping up with your site. As far as the movie goes:YEAH WOODY! All the best for this new year and decade, from debra disman

      • Nada

        Unfortunately, Rachel McAdams can’t act for s**t. The role was one of Woody’s greatest and she screwed it up. End of story.

    • Izete

      Rachel McAdams is great! Beauty and acting craftsmanship. Her acting in Morning Glory is an award deserving one. This particular film (Allen’s latest, I guess), must be one of Woody’s worst. Not funny, not dramatic, not actually magic (nice try, though ). So I could not put up with it, in spite of Rachel’s presence. And even though Marion Cotillard is Frenchy enough, I think the casting should have been the other way round: Marion in Rachel’s role and vice versa.

  • James Drew

    Hello James – this is James from Picturenose.com, thanks for your recent comment, thought I would return the favour. :-) Glad to see you found good things to enjoy in Allen’s latest – I enjoyed it very much. Best of luck with your site!

    • Leegii

      I loved your Woody Allen overview and I am now keen to hunt down those handful of films that I’m yet to see, although it sounds like I should avoid Hollywood Ending! I reckon my top 5 (in no order) would be Annie Hall, Bananas, Deconstructing Harry, Match Point and, of course Manhattan.I’m looking forward to reading more. CheersThomas

    • Doha

      I think Woody Allen pictures are almost without exception boring as heck. Owen Wilson’s impersonation of Allen was also lamentable. A Dull Affair all round.

  • Lucas

    Pretty hilarious review! Does make some pretty good points, too. I also found Midnight In Paris to be a bit wishy-washy, but watchable all the same.

    • Auth

      If the latest Allen movie makes it into cienams in Australia it’ll be gone before you can blink. It will probably be available on DVD in the US by Christmas and reduced to a price lower than your average cinema admission by Easter. Such is the fate of “interesting” film-makers in this age of multi-plexes.

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