FilmJune 2, 2011 at 10:06 am

I love Paris

The City of Lights stars in Woody Allen's latest

The smell of rain evokes different thoughts in most people. To Gil Pender (Wilson), the lead of Midnight in Paris, it brings the sort of starry nostalgia that marks Woody Allen’s newest film.

As a Hollywood hack–turned–novelist, Gil begins his vacation in Paris in love with his fiancée, Inez (McAdams), preparing for their wedding and writing a book. Soon the detestable Paul (Sheen) comes into the picture — someone so smooth, smarmy, and “pseudo-intellectual” that audiences will instantly dislike him, though in the best way. As Gil becomes fed up of Paul’s pretensions and Inez’ obsession with the man, he decides to wander the streets of Paris, stumbling upon an antique car at midnight that seems to transport him to the 1920s, his favorite era in Paris.

Gil is Wilson’s best role years. In a film where two–dimensional personalities shine, he manages to create a compelling lead while graciously taking second–billing to the film’s primary character: Paris itself.

The aura of Paris comes to life through cinematography showcasing all hours of the day, representative of Gil’s infatuation with the locale. Unfortunately, Gil’s journey through Paris in its past and present is fairly predictable, though this doesn’t harm the film. Rather, the audience is left to journey along with Gil instead of predicting its obvious ending.

Midnight in Paris offers few surprises or plot twists, but it delivers in genuineness and a degree of philosophy.

4/5 stars

Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen
PG–13, 100 min.



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