Midnight In Paris

Midnight In Paris

Static Mass Rating: 3/5
Warner Home Video

Release date: February 6th, 2012
Certificate (UK): PG
Running time: 94 minutes

Writer and director: Woody Allen

Cast: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Tom Hiddleston

You know how some people say they’re born in the wrong era? I’ve always felt that way myself. Wouldn’t it be great to live in a time when things were simpler? A time when people didn’t rush around so much and had to be first for everything.

A time when life was lived and not spent thinking about what comes next. Who after all, can remember the last time they watched the sunset or flicked through a photo album or even went walking without constantly checking their phones for updates on anything the might be missing?

Midnight In Paris is a little bit like that. Written and directed by Woody Allen, it’s a romantic comedy with a little bit of a twist to it. Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is a Hollywood screenwriter who’s on holiday in Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams). While she’s more concerned with shopping and spending time with pompous pseudo-intellectual Paul (Michael Sheen) who discusses art like it’s something to be learned rather than felt, Gil has more romantic inclinations.

Midnight In Paris

Completely and utterly in love with everything about Paris during the 1920’s, Gil talks about what it might have been like to live in those times. He is even considering moving to Paris permanently, much to the horror of Inez and her exhausting parents, who are also on holiday with them and do nothing but complain.

Breaking away from them, Gil takes a stroll one night and when a nearby clock chimes at midnight, a vintage car pulls up with passengers dressed in 1920’s gear. They whisk the drunken writer away to a party and he meets none other than his idols, Cole Porter, Josephine Baker, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

Gil soon discovers that this occurrence will only happen at midnight, and at that very same spot and it’s not long before he’s showing his novel to Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) and falling madly in love with Picasso’s mistress, Adriana (Marion Cotillard). Back in present time, the more he talks about his love for the 1920’s the more everyone thinks he’s crazy for not being in love with the here and now.

Midnight In Paris

Midnight In Paris, in typical Woody Allen style, is laced with great dialogue and an array of characters played wonderfully by a talented cast. The story however, despite its interesting angle, does falter along the way, especially by the third act where it seems unsure of where it wants to go and how to wrap things up. As a result, the ending it arrives at is not quite what you would expect after all that time travelling.

Despite this, it is for the most part a very enjoyable film with some poignant moments, such as Gil’s discussion with Adriana where she reveals to him her longing to live in the previous century, what she calls the Golden Era, not the 1920’s where everything moves so fast. As it turns, no one ever appreciates the current time they’re living in.

With no explanation offered for why Gil is able to move through time in a car, or how he could be mentioned in Adriana’s diary which he finds in present time, despite not giving her the earrings she says he gave her, so she couldn’t then have written about it…Allen simply lets the story flow as he wants without troubling anyone, including himself, with these details. As an ode to 1920′s Paris, it’s a very affectionate and amusing film that will no doubt please, even if it doesn’t become a classic.

About Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.