Midnight in Paris is both directed and written by Woody Allen, it stars many great actors but primarily focuses on Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Marion Cotillard. The tale follows Owen Wilson’s character Gil, as a script writer trying to write a novel.
He comes to Paris with his fiance’ played by McAdams, and discovers the ability to travel back through time via a town car which comes to the same point each night at midnight. From here he meets authors and painters and musicians all of which revolutionised and made their names in history with their work.
This a delightfully beautiful tale, which is also very much unexpected. Prior to watching this I had no idea what this was about nor had I seen any of the trailers for it. All I knew was Owen Wilson was part of it and it was nominated for best picture at the Oscar’s. So I thought I would give it a try to watch it, now whether me having no prior knowledge to the plot has changed my experience of the film from others who knew the plot and so on, is hard to tell.
However I’m glad I knew nothing of it, as the surprises and plot had the greater effect on me. This could be argued therefore that with some films we do away with the trailers and so as arguably with some films it ruins some surprises and gives away a certain magic of it all.
This film is, without wanting to sound cliché is simply amazing, beautiful and an elegance that is missing from some cinema today. The clothes, the set , the general atmosphere is perfect. Yes there is a large cast to this but not a single weak performance is seen at all, in fact because we only see 6 minutes of each character at most it feel like a whirlwind of a film and those who are crucial are allowed to stay on longer when needed. This is not to say that it’s a mess of people and script and set thrown all other the place, the opposite is true. There is a certain magic of this film which never dies or becomes dull because we are constantly introduced to the faces behind the names we know which keeps and dull emptiness at bay.
This is without any shadow of a doubt Owen Wilson’s best film in his acting career, he genuinely amazed it seems when he is meeting all this new faces and people and as he is exhilarated by his surroundings, as are we. In fact he is some what perfect for this film, this is his best performance and his best role to date.
McAdams plays his soon to be wife, though its clear her interest lies elsewhere in the pompous arrogance of Michael Sheen’s character. We quickly develop a disliking towards her and her poor conduct towards Gil as our respect and love for him grows on each night of his visit. She plays the character very well even if we grow to despise her.
Michael Sheen is also excellent in this, though we don’t see him for long like most characters, his performance is great and memorable.
More interesting things happen near the end of the film which is actually a refreshing idea from the usual and actually gives a massive depth to this idea of going back in time. Those who have seen it will hopefully know what I mean.
So having known nothing about this and only watched it because of the attention it was getting at the Oscar’s I have to say im very glad I saw this as it deserves the title of best Picture.
The way the love affairs are played out are incredibly well done. As Gill starts falling in love with Marion Cotillard we see clearly his dilema and his love moving from one woman who thought he loved to a woman who he is clearly better suited for him, this love is not predictable in any way which is beyond refreshing.
**** This film is beautiful, and a joy to watch. I recommend this to anyone to watch, it will make you actually think, while taking your breath away.