Saturday, February 11, 2012

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Brace yourselves, I liked a Woody Allen movie. A lot. I haven't been able to say that for a long time. For the longest time, his writing has felt so stilted that I couldn't find myself interested at all. And yes, that goes for Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I don't care how many people tell me how good it was.

Hollywood screenwriter Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) and his fiance Inez (Rachel McAdams) are vacationing in Paris with Inez's wealthy parents. Gil is distraught with the state of his writing and wants to move to Paris. But Inez is too uptight and well-do-to and refuses to play along. After disheartening dinners with Inez's parents and some of her friends, Gil takes a midnight stroll in the City of Light. While walking, a car pulls up asks Gil to hop in. Because he's drunk, he agrees. He's whisked away to a party that seems odd to him. Gil soon comes to realize he's somehow transported to the 1920s. He's partying with some of his idols. Ernest Hemingway and Cole Porter, along with F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Every night after, Gil continues the midnight strolls and starts to fall for Adriana (Marion Cotillard). But he has to figure out how that could possibly happen, and what impact it could have on Inez. More to the point, does he really care?

I was surprised by how much I like Midnight in Paris. The screener was just sitting on my table for months, and I was putting it off. I'm really happy I finally watched. Even Owen Wilson worked in this. But my personal favorite parts involved either Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll) or Salvador Dali (Adrian Brody). They were both hilarious and kept me waiting for when they'd appear on screen again. As much as I liked this film, one part knocked this down at least half a grade. It was toward the end, when Wilson just blatantly states the moral of the film. Almost like the audience is too slow to figure it out on our own. But I got past that, and so can you. This will surely win an Oscar for screenwriting. Grade: A-

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