EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (director: Woody Allen; cinematographer: Darius Khondji; editor: Alisa Lepselter;cast: Kathy Bates (Gertrude Stein), Adrien Brody (Salvador), Carla Bruni (Museum Guide), Marion Cotillard (Adriana), (Inez), Michael Sheen (Paul), Nina Arianda (Carol), (Gil), Tom Hiddleston (Mr. Fitzgerald), Alison Pill (Ms. Zelda Fitzgerald), Marcial Di Fonzo Bo (Picasso), Corey Stoll (Ernest Hemingway), Kurt Fuller (John), Mimi Kennedy (Helen), Léa Seydoux (Gabrielle), Yves Heck (Cole Porter), Tom Cordier (Man Ray), Adrien de Van (Luis Buñuel), Gad Elmaleh (Detective Duluc), (Detective Tisserant); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Letty Aronson/Stephen Tenenbaum/Jaume Roures; Sony Pictures Classics; 2011)|
and fantasy touristy fare."
filled with nostalgia and fantasy touristy fare, as
written by Woody Allen
("Annie Hall"/ Zelig"/"The Purple
Rose Of Cairo"). Woody turns his lightweight
into a corny romance. It's best perceived as
a valentine to
both modern Paris and the Lost Generation of
American artist exiles
living there in the 1920s.
Gil Penders (Owen Wilson),
alter ego, is a nebbishy hack Hollywood screenwriter,
who is an
aspiring writer of a serious
book set in a nostalgia shop called Out of the Past.
His attractive rich-girl fiancée, Inez (),
shuns her boyfriend's artistic ambitions
and dream to live in Paris for an expected comfy
materialistic life in
Malibu. The couple free-load a vacation
to Paris with her right-wing Republican parents, Helen
father John (Mimi
Kennedy & Kurt
entitled Inez slings catty insults
at Gil on
a regular basis, as if he were non-existent. Gil's
last straw is when
Inez's unctuous California friends, the know-it-all
pseudo intellectual, and his obnoxious
wife Carol (Nina
accidentally run into
Inez at a restaurant and insist the couple tour Paris
with them and
drag them nightclubbing and during the day to the Musée Rodin (where France's First
Lady, Carla Bruni is
the tour guide).
A tipsy Gil, after attending a wine-tasting event, decides to take a walk around Paris at midnight, just to get away from the annoying couple. On the walk, a vintage Peugot picks him up with party-goers in 1920's garb and transports him back to the past where he's soon rubbing shoulders with F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston) and Zelda (Alison Pill) and Cole Porter (Yves Heck). The Fitzgeralds take Gil under their wings and he meets on his many nightly visits to the magical past a cocky Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), the well-meaning respected art and literary critic Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), a lovelorn Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo Bo), a flamboyant Dali (Adrian Brody), a confident Man Ray (Tom Cordier), a puzzled Luis Buñuel (Adrien de Van) and many other recognizable artists of that period. Gil dearly wishes he lived in this artistic period.
his novel critiqued by Gertrude Stein in her
apartment, Gil meets
(Marion Cotillard), a fashion
designer and model
for Picasso who’d rather be living in the belle
epoque with Toulouse-Lautrec than being Picasso's
futilely attempts to romance the bored beauty, but
soon realizes that's not possible.
Only when Gil meets the
lovely music store
it become clear to him that he
belongs in the modern era and the film ends with a
The lesson learned here is not to pine for another generation's glory and to hook up with a mate who likes what you do, especially if it's walking in the rain in Paris. Too bad all this fantasy stuff wasn't that funny. It's a lesser Allen film that seems innocuous, charming enough, somewhat entertaining, beautifully but safely photographed by Darius Khondji as post-card art and, most of all, forgettable.
REVIEWED ON 6/23/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ