“That’s what the present is. It’s a little unsatisfying because life is unsatisfying.”: Gil
The movie opens with a loving & surreal montage of Paris with honeyed Saxophone playing in the background and bamm!! You are lost. Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris is mystical, risible, wistful and nervously romantic movie which makes you fall in love with Paris. This is Woody Allen at his best, finally giving life to his nostalgic reflection and mesmerizing us with the romanticism of characters.
Gil, our protagonist here (very aptly played by Owen Wilson) is a dissatisfied Hollywood screenwriter and a failed novelist from Beverly Hills. He’s accompanying his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents to Paris for a holiday. Gil is actually a laid-back materialization of Allen’s persona. He is fervently in love with everything pertaining to Paris. He has always been nostalgic & moony also. Gil regards the era of 1920s in Paris as a golden period of history and strongly desires to have lived in that era when all the prominent artists, writers & musicians of the world donned the streets & clubs of Paris. After years of perpetual dissatisfaction as a no-substance Hollywood screenwriter, he is also trying to pen a novel.
As per his usual, Mr Allen provides us with a very diverse and occupying mix of supporting cast. Inez is an all-about shopping for priceless chairs girl, who goes completely gaga over a pedantic know-it-all professor “Paul”, who starts his every sentence with a conceited “If I’m not mistaken” remark. And as if that isn’t enough, Gil has to endure his uptight soon to be in-laws too. One evening at midnight, disheartened by his humdrum life, Gil decides to bail on Inez to walk alone. What unravels next is a magical experience you wouldn’t have dreamt of. Revealing anything more than this will be a cruel act of depriving you of the pleasures of elegant surprises. But I still can’t stop myself from spilling out “some” beans namely Fitzgerald, Hemingway & Picasso.
Coming to the technical aspects of the movie, everything from direction to soundtrack was first-rate with Classic Allen written all over it. Cinematography was awesome; it was not just an expression when I wrote that movie is going to make you fall in love with Paris. No complaints over the casting and acting department either, you couldn’t have selected a better cast ensemble than this. Marion Cotillard was lovely as a confused French beauty & Owen Wilson was at his hilarious best as Gil.
In the end, Midnight In Paris is a lyrically crafted fable about romance, nostalgia and pleasures which leaves you feeling rhapsodic.
My Rating: 9/10; Classic Allen outing, his best after Matchpoint.