Last week I reported that Transformers: Dark of the Moon was one of the laziest, most unentertaining films I’ve seen in a long time. After subjecting myself to that, I needed a palate cleanser, and I got it big time.
There are many Woody Allen movies that I don’t like–Match Point, Bananas, and Anything Else, to name a few. But there are also Woody Allen movies that I absolutely love: Manhattan, Annie Hall, Vicki Christina Barcelona, and now Midnight in Paris. This is probably the best film Woody has put out since the ’90s.
Midnight in Paris is the story of Gil (Owen Wilson), a burnt out Hollywood screenwriter on holiday in Paris with his incredibly closed-minded fiancé Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents. Like so many before him, Gil is in love with the city and longs to live there, drenched in the inspiration and creating art. In his case, that is a novel about a man who works in a nostalgia shop–perfect for what goes on throughout this film. Inez thinks he’s a dreamer and is happy with a house in Malibu.
When Inez runs into an old acquaintance–brilliantly played as a pompus blowhard by Michael Sheen–she leaves Gil to wander the city alone at night. His meandering eventually him to an ultimate inspiration and to places he could’ve never imagined going.
I find a real underlying sense of sweet sincerity to the protagonists in most of Woody Allen’s movies (except for the “serious” films like Match Point) and Owen Wilson carries on that tradition; this role is perfect for what he does. And in addition to Sheen, most of the supporting cast (which I can’t really list because their characters would give away the big plot twist) is equally great–especially Kathy Bates, of course.
Midnight in Paris is evidence that Woody Allen got his groove back. It’s a beautiful film from start to finish, both in its visuals and its story. Go see it while it’s still in theaters.
Midnight in Paris trailer: