Midnight in Paris
If you liked Vicky Cristina Barcelona, then you'll enjoy Woody Allen's latest offering. His sparkling wit is littered throughout and he's done away with the narrator, replacing instead with the ramblings of lead man Gil (Owen Wilson).
The plot is very simple, nothing complicated here, but don't let that fool you. Also, don't be put off by the snobbish critics who've been making out you need an English Lit degree to get all the 'in jokes'. You don't. It's obvious who people are, mainly because Gil incredulously keeps repeating their name. We get it. You're Ernest Hemmingway, you're Gertrude Stein, you're Picasso. A flashing red arrow above their head would have been less subtle, so fear not. Also, I have an English Literature degree (which specialised in American Literature) and I haven't read any Hemmingway, but it didn't make the film any less enjoyable.
And it was enjoyable. It's always nice to be reminded that American's aren't idiots, and this time Woody Allen has chosen to help us see that it's not just sophisticated New Yorkers who can turn a good phrase, appreciate a good book, or appreciate good art. Leading the LA blondes in this movie is Rachel McAdams as Gil's fiancée Inez. She's clever, appreciates intelligence (a little too much), but she's just not quite sophisticated enough. She's a patriot. Gil's a francophile
As the struggling, romantic, bohemian that Gil fancies himself to be, it's a little difficult to marry up why on earth he ever got involved with the forceful, opinionated Inez. Oh, she's beautiful. That's probably why. But for her, I'm not sure I bought the idea that she liked him for his Hollywood potential, not his artistic ambition.
That's neither here nor there. Every scene in this film is beautiful. It's dramatic irony at it's best. Gil is in love with the idea of Paris, and we as the audience, are presented with exactly that. Even the establishing shot sequence at the start of the film is filled with frame after frame of rain-drenched-starlit-cafe-covered Paris we all want to see. It's deliberate that you never see the graffiti in Montmartre, the litter in the streets, or the many, many, less than '5 star' hotels which cover the city. This is Woody Allen's version of Paris, which mirrors (almost frame for frame) his version of New York in 'Manhattan'. Perhaps an indication of his auterial style.
Loved it, will definitely buy it as the script is so rich, I've definitely missed many jokes - 5 out of 5.