I have been meaning to see Midnight in Paris since it came out this past summer, but for some reason the opportunity never came. Ever since I studied abroad in France last spring I’ve had a significant interest in French films and even in just films about France. I have finally watched Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris this weekend and I thought it was perfect. The characters, the plot, the theme worked well together to display a man’s love for writing and the writers and artists who inspired him.
From watching the trailer you do not get much of the storyline and maybe are left asking, “what exactly is this movie about?”. Well you understand that there is couple visiting Paris along with the girl’s parents. The couple meets up with friends, but one night when the guy character, played by Owen Wilson, is not eager to go out with the others, ends up walking the streets of Paris alone. This is where you see the excitement taking place. You see dancing, drinking, new people, and celebrations. We don’t know what is going on, but we know that whatever is happening at midnight, it’s magical (as the trailer suggests).
So my review may or may not be a Spoiler, it depends on whether or not you want to know what this magic consists of. Here is some of the plot: you have an engaged couple, Gil and Inez (played by Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams), who might not have the best relationship because of their opposite personalities. Gil is a surrealist. He loves Paris and thinks that every aspect of the city especially its artistic trait is fascinating. Inez is a realists. She is from a wealthy, conservative family and her bad attitude towards her fiance’s mindset is clearly displayed. When Gil takes a break from his fiance and her family and friends late at night, he magically enters into a different time era. This is where the movie makes a bad move. Because the trailer does not oresent the audience with any idea of what is going on, it may make some viewers confused. It is the 1920’s in Paris, a time when many American (and other nationalities) writers and artists came to Paris to be moved by the city’s art influence. They are people like Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Scott Fitzgerald, and Pablo Picasso. At the time amateurs, this exclusive society of artists shared and critiqued each others work. Gil spends his nights in the 1920’s with these people befriending them and learning from them.
Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway even look over his novel! While in France, I studied many of these artists’ work so I thought this movie displayed the artists’ roles perfectly. It captured Hemingway’s macho man attitude and Stein’s “know-it-all”, yet helpful personality. For viewers who are not aware of these Paris inspired artists, they might not get the full enjoyment out of the film. Despite this action, I thought the film was very creative how the use of two eras helped Gil find what he really wants in life regarding his career, love life, and interests. The movie displays an array of themes like nostalgia, love, happiness, and art. I highly recommend this film. With a little knowledge of “the lost generation” you more than likely will find this movie quite enjoyable.