Woody Allen is quite a different director from America. His Vicky Christina Barcelona is one of my favourites, though he does have some other nice movies. Midnight in Paris is his latest movie, and once again Woody Allen goes to Europe.
An American family is in Paris for business. The fiancee of the daughter is an established Hollywood writer, who would like to write a novel and feels Paris is the best place for doing this. He is in love with the city and its great past.
I would say this is quite a different attempt from Woody Allen. I never expected him to make a movie which is almost fantasical in its plot. His hero is able to travel to the 1920's meet great personalities of those period and travel back to the present. He even enters into a kind of relationship with a woman he met in that era. All this only to realise that he has the wrong person as his fiancee. At the same time through this movie, Woody Allen also mentions that people would always want to think about a different period in history, than the present, as the best.
At first, I didnt understand why there was a highly saturated and fluroscent yellowish tone for the frames. But as the 20's Paris scenes came in, it made sense. Many of the 1920's scenes are so lovely and brilliant.
Gil, Woody's young writer, is a nice man with the heart of an artist. His fiancee and her family is anything but somebody who can appreciate such a genuine guy. It is perplexing how they got engaged though. Anyways, Gil's life in Paris is quite interesting and funny, moving between the 1920's and the present. One other thing I noticed is that how similar Owen Wilson and Woody Allen are. If this movie was made some years ago, Mr. Allen would have definitely played Gil. And when Owen Wilson plays this role, I almost felt like it was Woody Allen. There is a striking similarity between the mannerisms and dialogue delivery of the two. Owen Wilson, anyways, is really excellent. Marion Cotillard as Adriana, was brilliant and beautiful too. I really did not like Woody Allen using Gad Elmaleh in a small role, with nothing to do. What a waste of talent.
I would hesitate to call it a a romantic comedy, it begins and ends like one though. But it is quite a fantasical movie in between.
Nor is it a perfect blend of fantasy and present like in the El Laberinto del Fauno.
But still it is a good one, which requires a different mind set to watch, understand and appreciate.
For sure, it is a different movie from Woody Allen and I will be glad to watch it a few more time. Just like the hero in the movie, I am also in love with Paris, the most romantic city in the world for sure. And many scenes in this movie took me to the few days I spend there, and I felt nostalgic. Am sure Woody Allen loves Paris too.