Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Written and directed by Woody Allen

Stars: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kurt Fuller, Mimi Kennedy,  Léa Seydoux, Corey Stoll, Adrien Brody, Michael Sheen, Carla Bruni and Kathy Bates

I am not familiar with the works of Woody Allen. The only movie I have seen in its entirety is Annie Hall, which I loved. When i heard that Allen won his fourth Oscar for his screenplay of this movie, I wanted to see it. Parts of the movie was wondrous and others left a bad taste in my mouth.

The setting is 2010 Paris where an engaged couple, Gil and Inez (Wilson, McAdams) are visiting the city while Inez's parents, John and Helen (Fuller, Kennedy) are trying to take in the sight and sounds of the city. It seems that trouble is in paradise when Inez's old school crush, Paul (Sheen) comes to try to make them feel like Parisians with his grandiose observations of French culture. One drunken night, Gil walks around the Parisian to find himself transported to the 1920s where he is swept away by the likes of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald or Ernest Hemingway. Gil tries to make sense of things when this successful screenwriter struggles to write his first book.

Can I say that this movie is a hodgepodge? There were certain elements to this movie that I loved when Gil was in the 20s where he meets a beautiful Parisian woman named Adriana (Cotillard). I was completely swept up in those moments of the film. The modern day moments of the film were very repellent with the ice queen, Inez pissing Gil's parade, the parents that are upper crust that they spit on regular people and the Michael Sheen character trying to make the dumb American look stupid.

I loved sense of discovery and wonderment when Gil meets these greats of art, literature and music. Sometimes, I had to question why does Allen want to jam pack all these people into one particular place at the same time. You had a rogue's gallery of people like Cole Porter, Gertrude Stein, Picasso, Matisse, T.S. Eliot, Gaugin, Degas and list goes on. It felt like a drive by people to come in to shock Gil and leave never to be seen again. I wanted to point out that I thought the lowlight on the film was Adrien Brody as Salvador Dalí. He kept droning on about rhinoceros. Who gives a fuck about rhinoceros!

The ending of movie felt rushed and things were not resolved. I was left hanging. If the movie was more of the wonderment of Gil into this fantastical world that inspires him to write his novel, I would be on board. I wish the modern part where jettisoned all together. It was filler.

My Rating

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