- Running time:
- 94 minutes
- Owen Wilson -
- Rachel McAdams -
- Marion Cotillard -
- Michael Sheen -
- Kathy Bates -
Hack Hollywood screenwriter Gil (Owen Wilson) is on a extended trip to Paris with his prickly fiancé, Inez (Rachel McAdams), but he longs for the magic and romance of another era: Paris in the 1920s. He gets his wish when a mysterious antique car suddenly appears and whisks him back to that era night after night, where he cavorts with a stable of art and literary giants like Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein. He also becomes smitten with Picasso's wistful mistress Adriana (Marion Cotillard), but as he's pulled in deeper by both her beauty and the allure of the past, he starts to lose touch with his fiancé and their modern-day reality.
The buzz: "Midnight in Paris" opened the Cannes Film Festival this year, and immediately the global press breathlessly hailed it as Allen's best film in years—a fine return to form for a filmmaker recently mired by existential buzzkillers ("You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger") and flimsy hoo-ha ("Whatever Works").
The verdict: "Midnight in Paris" is certainly one of Allen's more enjoyable films in years, but this comes with a caveat. His recent output has been so creaky and ho-hum, you can basically stack up any passably decent movie next to them and it would seem like a magnum opus. Voila, "Midnight in Paris"! That said, it's no misfire. There's enough playful wit to provide a menial dose of classic Allen. The film hews most closely, in tenor and spirit, to "The Purple Rose of Cairo," and contains enough verbal and visual whimsy to provide a welcome glimmer of the Allen of Yore. It also features some terrifically inspired casting—Adrien Brody as Dali, Kathy Bates as Stein and French First Lady Carla Bruni as a museum guide. Cultural sophisticates should also be amply satiated by references galore to famous artworks, literary plotlines and historical minutiae. Because Allen has set the bar so low for himself lately, audiences are scraping for anything—anything—that might finally herald a return to form. So, is he back? Not quite. But this "Midnight" run makes a good dash for it.
Did you know? Although this is Allen's first full film set in France, it's not the first time he has shot there. Certain scenes of "Everyone Says I Love You," his 1996 stab at a movie musical, were filmed in Paris.
Movie theaters and showtimes for Midnight in Paris in Palm Springs.
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