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Review: Midnight in Paris

April 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 167

When speaking of sports, movies, people or maybe even life itself, many of us tend to take a more romantic gaze at life when remembering or re-imagining some of the eras of yesteryear. When you think about it, it's a frequent occurrence that's quite understandable. For those who lived during the that time, it's a chance to reminisce. For those who never experienced those days, those times may be viewed in a more nostalgic way based on how it's shown to them. You can find some of this going on in the movie Midnight in Paris.

The film centers around a screenwriter turned author named Gil (Owen Wilson). He's in Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents shortly before the two of them tie the knot. While in "The City of Light" (a nickname for Paris), he openly fantasizes about what the city must have been like back in the 1920′s. He appears to think that those days in Paris would've been better suited for him than modern-day SoCal is.

In his heart of hearts, Gil appears to be a dreamer in search of wonder and inspiration. He strolls around Paris searching for those ideals for the first book that he's trying to finish up. While wandering the streets, he finds not only those ideals, but he finds them from the likes of historic artists like Hemingway and Picasso. Finding wonder and inspiration from figures like them is one thing, but it takes on a totally different meaning when you actually meet them in the flesh. It sounds impossible, but Gil thinks he's found a way to do that even though they exist in worlds that are separated by nearly one hundred years.

Midnight in Paris is a movie that's positive, upbeat and safe for most viewers. It's something that most have a chance to get into, but it feels like it caters to the laid-back crowd and fans of Woody Allen. Although the good qualities shine through, there's actually some negativity in this movie and it's primarily delivered by Gil's fiance Inez and her overbearing parents. Despite their attitudes toward Gil and some of his aspirations, the film still easily maintains the positive vibes throughout.

That has to do with Gil and his perspective on life more than anything else. He's a hopeful idealist who can't seem to exude anything but an aura of innocence everywhere he travels. If this character was an actual person, you'd probably root for the guy and hope that he's able to complete his goals in life, because he'd almost be impossible to go against. Wilson fits this role perfectly and is able to apply his talents in a competent manner. I don't know if anyone else was up for the job, but I couldn't imagine a better person than Wilson for this performance.

The rest of the actors in Midnight in Paris are only used for complimentary purposes. They're all there to fill in those gaps and are more than serviceable doing so. I don't have much of an issue with how they're utilized, because the film is not about character development or letting you know who everyone is from a deeper point of view. It's about the journey that Gil is on at this point in his life. Besides, Allen does a fine job in telling the audience about everyone in the movie in the limited screen time that they receive anyway and it never creates the impression that any of it is forced.

Midnight in Paris is a movie that I can't speak about in great quantity. It's short, direct and has no difficulty in telling the story that it aims to tell. It's about a man experiencing history, but also learning about himself, the people that surround him and the life that he wants to live. It's also telling him (and the viewers in a way) that he can use the past to learn about his capabilities and his impending future based on the lives of those who came before him.

Score: 3/5

Rating: PG-13

Director: Woody Allen

Cast: Owen Wilson Rachel McAdams Marion Cotillard Kathy Bates Adrien Brody Corey Stoll Tom Hiddleston Alison Pill Michael Sheen Kurt Fuller Mimi Kennedy

Film Length: 94 minutes

Release Date: June 10, 2011

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

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Source: EzineArticles
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