Woody Allen’s new flick, Midnight in Paris, premiered on Wednesday as the opening selection for the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Fortunately for me, the film’s general French release coincided with the premiere and tonight I had the chance to see it for myself.
Gil (Owen Wilson) is an aspiring America novelist in love with Paris, and particularly its golden era of the 1920s. When he and his fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams in her least likeable role since Mean Girls) decide to tag along on Inez’s father’s business trip to Paris, they run into Inez’s pretentious college friend, Phil (Michael Sheen). Gil is not a fan and he makes his escape to wander the city streets alone.
At midnight, an old car stops on the street in front of him and he is beckoned inside. When he meets Scott Fitzgerald and Cole Porter he realised he has been transported back to his favourite time in his favourite city. He mixes with the era’s biggest names in art and literature, who introduce him to gorgeous “art groupie” Adriana (Marion Cotillard). Like Gil, she longs for her own golden era – the Belle Epoque – and they must both consider whether a life different to their own is better than reality.
I really enjoyed Midnight in Paris – there were some great laughs, a pleasant plot progression and it was fun noting all the historical figures and references to their works. Throw in the stunning Parisian locations and gorgeous 20s costumes and I was hooked.
Even the boy, who detests Woody Allen films, enjoyed this one – and I almost think he wouldn’t have known it was an Allen film if he’d missed the opening credits because there was something different about it (and I mean that in a good way).
This is a fun yet witty film to see with your arty friends or on a first date (or any date, for that matter).
Midnight in Paris will be released in the US on 20 May (Australian release date TBA).