Movie Review: Midnight in Paris

Just seeing and hearing the lights and sounds of the city in Midnight in Paris will make you fall in love with it.

Written and directed by Woody Allen, the film stars Owen Wilson as Gil, a successful yet easily distracted screenwriter who’s vacationing with his fiancee Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her wealthy parents (played by Mimi Kennedy and Kurt Fuller). Struggling to finish his first novel, Gil is inspired by the streets of Paris and tries to encourage Inez to move there with him. Inez on the other hand, would much rather go shopping and make a home in Malibu.

When Gil gets drunk one night, he decides to wander the streets of Paris and gets lost. At midnight, a vintage car pulls up and the inhabitants inside encourage him to join them. Suddenly, Gil is taken back to the 1920s, a decade he has always idolized.

There, he comes into contact with Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Alison Pill and Tom Hiddleston), who take him to meet Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll). Hemingway agrees to send Gil’s novel over to Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates). When Gil goes back into the present, he encourages Inez to come with him. But thinking he’s mad, Inez refuses and would rather spend time hanging out with her pretentious, pseudo-intellectual friend Paul (Michael Sheen).

As Gil transports back to the 20s every night, he soon becomes infatuated with a costume designer named Adriana (Marion Cotillard). But while it’s clear that there’s chemistry between the two, Gil’s from the future and his engagement proves to be an issue.

Packed with a talented cast and colourful characters, Midnight in Paris is a real delight to watch. But while the fantasy is nostalgic, it does come with tension. As Gil gets trapped with time and travel, he must decide if he must stay in the past or live in the present.

Creatively written and shot, the movie is like a digital postcard celebrating the life and culture of Paris through the decades. While we wish we could live in another era, the film is probably the closest we’ll come to what life would be like.

9/10

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