Sunday, June 19, 2011

Midnight in Paris - Movie Review


Starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates, Corey Stall, Carla Bruni, Adrien Brody, Tom Hiddleston, Alison Pill, Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy. Directed by Woody Allen.

It's nice to see Woody Allen back in fine form. He had me the first minute where we just get images of Paris, reminiscent of the opening of Manhattan. We see the famous and the alleys and the stairwells and the parks. Then we get Gil (Owen Wilson), a screenwriter vacationing in Paris with his fiancee (Rachel McAdams). She can't wait to get back to Malibu. He's in love with the city and would love to move there. He aspires to quit screenwriting to become a novelist, and hey, all the great American novelists spent some time in Paris.

Since this is an Allen film, we know he's going to be attracted to someone else, and that eventually comes, but in an unexpected way. Let's just say that he winds up meeting some of his idols. The standout for me, and the one that got the biggest laughs was Corey Stoll (Law & Order: LA) as Ernest Hemingway. It was one of those performances where he left me wanting more and I wished his part had been bigger.

Owen Wilson, it turns out, is the perfect stand-in for the typical Woody character. I wouldn't mind seeing them collaborate again.

I'm happy Woody's rediscovered his whimsy, and it's movies like this that demonstrate why so many name actors agree to be in his films. It might turn out to be like this. Other stand-outs include Marion Cottilard as the Frenchwoman who captures Gil's eye, and Michael Sheen as a pedantic friend-in-law Gil would just as soon ditch.

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