Midnight in Paris Woody Allen

Midnight in Paris Woody Allen
Woody Allen makes a film a year, yielding results that tend to dramatically vary in quality― one year he'll make something like Sweet and Lowdown, the next he'll subject audiences to the horrors of Anything Else, with Jason Biggs (I also hated Match Point, but that's a contentious title). It seemed highly unlikely that at the age of 76, and working as quickly as he does, that Woody would make any film as significant as his earlier works. Strangely enough, that's exactly what happened; Midnight in Paris is a delightful comedic fantasy, as inspired as any of Allen's films. It also gave Woody his biggest commercial box office success. Owen Wilson is perfectly cast as Gil, a Hollywood screenwriter and aspiring novelist vacationing with his acerbically shallow fiancée (Rachel McAdams) in Paris. Gil's romanticism for the past is put to the test when he's whisked into the '20s, hobnobbing with literary greats like Ernest Hemmingway (Corey Stoll), F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston) and Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates). There's even a joke involving Gil inspiring Luis Bunuel's The Exterminating Angel that's basically Allen's equivalent of the Marty McFly/Chuck Berry gag. Wilson is a perfect fit for the material, nailing the comedic timing of the dialogue without impersonating Woody, as so many of his leads tend to do. The film is also gorgeous to look at; Darius Khondji's cinematography showers the scenes in the present in harsh, bright colours, while the past is housed in a comforting, warm glow. Midnight in Paris is both hilarious and charming, and at its core, a thoughtful rumination on the ubiquity and futility of nostalgia. Allen's DVDs usually contain no special features, but surprisingly this disc contains a short excerpt from the Cannes press conference, appropriately titled "Midnight in Cannes." It's worthwhile, at the very least, because Woody mentions having seen Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams in Wedding Crashers. The thought of Woody Allen watching Wedding Crashers amuses me. (Sony)