Sunday, August 28, 2011
I am very late to the party with "Midnight In Paris." Everyone I know and whose opinions I trust have implored me to see it, but somehow I have resisted. Well, maybe resisted isn't the correct word to use, but circumstances have prevented me from seeing the film...until today. It has been a weird and cruel summer and really, I ask myself, I saw "Thor" before this? But never mind that because, as they say, better late than never. "Midnight In Paris" is totally my kind of movie. It's wistful, it's witty, it's romantic. And finally, I can look at Owen Wilson now and separate him from his juvenile discography. He is the best Woody Allen character inspired by Woody Allen I have seen in a long time. His character, Gil, is enamored with the past, specifically Paris in the 20s. So when he comes to the City of Lights via a business trip, it is no surprise that he is inspired by what he sees. The film has a fantastic visual prelude wherein Paris is photographed beautifully, warts and all. Actually, I can't remember the last time Paris so visually stunning in film: it's scrubbed up, and lit beautifully morning and night. (Cinematographer Darius Kondjii did a fantastic job) Gil's character seamlessly time travels in time to his beloved Paris 20s and we see all the characters in a literary major's wet dream: Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein. Allison Pill as Zelda F, and Kathy Bates as "Gert" have fun with their roles. Oh heck, everyone has fun with their roles, and is that really the First Lady Of France playing a Rodant tour guide (it surely seems to be) I especially chuckled at Adrien Brody's Dali and there's a hilarious scene where filmmaker Benuel is suggested the plot of his future film "The Exterminating Angel" by Wilson ("Why don't they just use the door," he exclaims as he is suggested of a plot involving people who cannot leave a dinner party) There are tons of LOL moments like that in the film, and I found myself grinning ear to ear throughout the whole film. I love Paris, but Paris doesn't seem to love me back - I keep on thinking of the song "Everything Happens To Me" whenever I am there. Likewise, I used to be a big Woody Allen fan ("Manhattan" is one of my favorite movies of all time) but somewhere along the way I have forgotten about him. This puts him front and center again for me, artistically.