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4.2 out of 5 stars
Midnight in Paris / Minuit à Paris (Bilingual)  [Blu-ray] (2011)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon November 20, 2011
A charming, sweet film, that explores the nature of nostalgia (its glow
and its darker shadows), and shows off Paris, both modern day, and in
the 1920s, almost as beautifully as Manhattan showed off New York.

Laced with wonderful cameo and supporting performances (Adrien Brody,
Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard, Corey Stoll, just to name a few) and
gifted by a quirky, lovably sad Owen Wilson as a sort of Eyeore of a
struggling writer in the lead.

Wilson is probably the best stand in yet for Allen in one of his films,
precisely because he's so different from Allen, and doesn't seem to be
doing an Allen impersonation. (Even Allen admitted that part of the
appeal in casting Wilson was casting someone so far from himself).

The 94 minutes of the film flew by, and never lost it's charm.

A number of professional critics noted that this was a new tone for
Allen, neither laugh out loud comedy, nor serious drama (or, as in his
greatest films a combination of the two), but is more of a light drama,
with a gentle comic whimsy. I actually think Allen started exploring
this interesting new tone with his last film 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark
Stranger' And it does seem to have reinvigorated him.

I did have a couple of problems with the film. First, Rachel McAdams as
Wilson's fiancé, along with her family, were made too caraciturish, too
obviously 'bad' for a film this subtle. McAdams is a brilliant actress,
but here she seems pushed into being a symbol of all that's wrong with
shallow, materialistic Americans.

More problematically, after gently, subtly exploring it's themes for
the whole film, Allen suddenly starts laying them on very thick at the
end, putting them very literally into the dialogue, almost as if he
doesn't trust us to be smart enough to get the point of the whole
lovely film he just showed us.

But these are minor complaints, and while this may not be one of
Allen's great films, it is a very good one, and that makes it special
and worth seeking out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2012
Fantastic movie for art-lovers, well-acted, casted, and an excellent story.

I couldn't see anyone apart from Owen Wilson in this role. It's good to finally see him in a good film again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon January 20, 2014
Woody Allen has directed more than 40 movies and Midnight in Paris is one of his best. It’s a gentle comedy with a strong fantasy element. Like most of Allen’s movies, it relies on good writing and clever dialogue.

The fantasy element changes the entire feel of the movie, and although it’s revealed early in the story, I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. However, this would be a very short review if I didn't mention it at all. So please be warned that the remainder of the review contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know, it’s time to stop reading.

The story is built around Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), who arrives in Paris with his fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams). He’s a writer hoping to find inspiration and she wants to see some of the local sights. The two explore the city with friends Paul (Sheen) and Carol. Paul claims to be an authority on everything and Gil is annoyed by him, but Inez used to have a crush on Paul and enjoys his company.

One evening, Gil decides that he will take a walk alone to get away from Paul. He’s a little drunk and manages to get lost, and eventually finds himself sitting on some steps at midnight. It’s here that the entire movie changes. A vintage car stops and the people inside urge Gil to get in. They take him to a party and he discovers that Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald are among the guests. He’s surprised at their names, and even more baffled when he’s introduced to Ernest Hemingway.

Gil has traveled back into the 1920s.

What would you say to Fitzgerald and Hemingway if you were an aspiring writer? Gil is both astonished and thrilled to be in their presence and mentions that he’s also a writer. The trip to the past isn’t permanent and he wakes up in the present the next morning. Was it just a dream, or was it real? Allen never explains how Gil returns from the past.

He tries to reenact the event, taking Inez with him, but she leaves before midnight. When the clock strikes, the car appears again and he’s back in the past. He’s introduced to other famous artists, singers and writers, and Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) critiques his manuscript. Gil seems at home in the 1920s and happier than when he is with Inez in the present. The people seem to understand him better and he fits right in.

The story is filled with interesting encounters. The characters spend a lot of time talking, and Allen’s imagination keeps things more than interesting. I found it quite gripping. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Hemingway and was reminded of Dan Simmons’ fictional book about him, The Crook Factory. Every encounter with people from 1920s Paris was both charming and intriguing. I found myself imagining how they must have lived, and what it would be like to exist in such a creative environment.

The audience in my theater laughed often and everyone left with a smile on their face. It was a magical experience seeing people such as Dali (Brody) and Picasso before they were famous. The setting was perfect, showing the contrast between modern Paris and the city as it was almost a century ago.

Wilson was as good as I have ever seen him in the role that Allen presumably would have played in his youth. I like Wilson’s quirky delivery and his character wasn’t too far removed from the one he played in The Darjeeling Limited. Gil enjoys defying expectations and isn’t understood by his friends and potential in-laws.

All of the acting impressed me and Sheen was just about perfect as the insufferable Paul. The story was imaginative and different, and not at all what I expected. I left the theater grinning and charmed by the whole story. Allen’s last Oscar came in 1987 when he won for Best Screenplay (Hannah and Her Sisters). I wouldn’t be surprised if Midnight in Paris received a couple of nominations, and he might just win a fourth Oscar.

If you enjoy Woody Allen at all, Midnight in Paris is well worth your time. Its charm will draw you in and the dialogue will make you laugh.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2012
Gave me a boost for a few weeks! Inspiring, uplifting type of movie for me as a music lover. It's my favorite of Woody, not fatalist or near crazy, simply imaginative, positive, light hearted and flavorish.. Allen seems to be happier than ever, as the main character played by actor Owen Wilson conveys us to the love for life, for the simple moment in the rain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon November 20, 2011
A charming, sweet film, that explores the nature of nostalgia (its glow
and its darker shadows), and shows off Paris, both modern day, and in
the 1920s, almost as beautifully as Manhattan showed off New York.

Laced with wonderful cameo and supporting performances (Adrien Brody,
Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard, Corey Stoll, just to name a few) and
gifted by a quirky, lovably sad Owen Wilson as a sort of Eyeore of a
struggling writer in the lead.

Wilson is probably the best stand in yet for Allen in one of his films,
precisely because he's so different from Allen, and doesn't seem to be
doing an Allen impersonation. (Even Allen admitted that part of the
appeal in casting Wilson was casting someone so far from himself).

The 94 minutes of the film flew by, and never lost it's charm.

A number of professional critics noted that this was a new tone for
Allen, neither laugh out loud comedy, nor serious drama (or, as in his
greatest films a combination of the two), but is more of a light drama,
with a gentle comic whimsy. I actually think Allen started exploring
this interesting new tone with his last film 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark
Stranger' And it does seem to have reinvigorated him.

I did have a couple of problems with the film. First, Rachel McAdams as
Wilson's fiancé, along with her family, were made too caraciturish, too
obviously 'bad' for a film this subtle. McAdams is a brilliant actress,
but here she seems pushed into being a symbol of all that's wrong with
shallow, materialistic Americans.

More problematically, after gently, subtly exploring it's themes for
the whole film, Allen suddenly starts laying them on very thick at the
end, putting them very literally into the dialogue, almost as if he
doesn't trust us to be smart enough to get the point of the whole
lovely film he just showed us.

But these are minor complaints, and while this may not be one of
Allen's great films, it is a very good one, and that makes it special
and worth seeking out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2012
If you love Paris then this is a great movie to watch, but apart from that, a great fantasy. I loved everything about it. The acting is wonderful and Owen Wilson does a great job of being Woody..... highly recommend this movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2013
I've watched this movie twice, and loved it. Having read quite a few of Hemingway's and Fitzgerald's books, as well as their biographies (Zelda's as well) I found it interesting to see them and a few other twenties characters mixed into this somewhat quirky tale. I liked Owen Wilson's character, and I liked the way the story played out. But one of the most important stars of this movie was Paris itself! I love this charming and beautiful city, and it was well portrayed here.
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Here we have Woody Allen who has been a force in world cinema for so long and who's work is so well known that the audience(and who hasnt seen one of woody's films..or more..Guilty pleasures)..and he's one of my favourites why else view him..or the film. The bonus has the director appear and saying he wanted to make a film in Paris and looked for material..in other films at the denouement he has his characters love in France..like characters not realizing for whatever earthly reason they werent able to experience love at home..here we have the theme of the golden age..it recalls an old poem "the earth's great age begins anew her winter skin..."..a new political era thats what we think in this political age when we look to politics to improve our lives in all ways..here the golden land of france the land that framed the american ethos liberte equalite fraternite..forming a land of love..here we have a protype of ahollywood screenwriter(woody would have played the part himself in previous years)..the enveloping character who plays a part..the hint are his alter ego Hemingway and Fitzgerald..and the fitzgerald soon disappears and we have Hemingway for company..the screenwriter/hackwriter hoping at midnight like in the cinderella tale some love will
change his world like the stars at midnight pointing the way to new horizons love..that has eclipsed him in so many ways..and there are various scenes and vignettes..love la prochaine fois perhaps..a few common reviewers noted they had to view it twice..and there is much here..it was a popular film since the director has changed in ways and critics have noted this and here we do the not have the usualsuffering person..like the novel CHristmas Holiday..a vacation in France and raindrops on his head is the last scenes in the film...but you must view it and audiences liked this film..perhaps they like Woody away from home and holding mirrors this way and that about this character or that..here we have aperson searching for love..there's no kissing or hugging which is strange emotions about..I enjoyed the film and though some critics faulted the screenplay as being less resilient than his other films..its back to the terrain of PLay it Again SAm and these ideas and emotions of love are what the writer from hollywood and Hemingway(journalist turned writer)..found lacking in his world..or else why bother to search the fact that he searches..maybe thats the point of the story but who knows..
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on June 20, 2012
When I first watched this movie, I felt like Woody Allen had made it just for me. I am obsessed with Paris and the Roaring 20's, so watching this earnest, geeky writer get magically transported to that time and place was exciting and dream-like!

Gil is a writer from Cali, slightly disillusioned about his work, and clearly ill-matched with his fiancee Inez, a shallow and moronic trophy-wife type. But then he climbs in a mysterious car, and Paris works its magic! Suddenly finding himself in the 1920's "Lost Generation"'s scene, he meets not only his literary heroes Fitzgerald and Hemingway, but also the lovely Adrianna...

The theme of the movie is nostalgia, and how one cannot live only in the past, but must also fully appreciate their present. But really, it's Allen's love letter to the City of Light. While sometimes flawed (we do get the point, no need to have your lead monologue about why living in the past is bad), the beautiful ensemble-cast, charming plot and always clever dialogue makes this movie go to your head like a nice glass of bubbles.

Definitely one of my favorite movies.
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on June 29, 2015
There is something about this Woody Allen film that keep drawing you back, time and time again! I JUST LOVE THIS FILM! As an artist, who wouldn't want to travel back in time and meet your hero? The cast starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard and Michael Sheen are all brilliant actors and are such a strong cast! Every month or so...I have to have another "fix" of this movie! Having not been to Paris (as of yet) I can just imagine this amazing romantic city... inspiring this character "Guy" an American Hollywood "hack" trying to write his Paris-inspired novel. For a season at midnight, he is transported back to the 1920's and interacts and meets all of his literary and artistic "names" of this period. Watch the film and let me know, if you too aren't hooked and want to watch this film repeatedly to dream of interacting with your artistic heroes!
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