Midnight in Paris

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Late yesterday afternoon the suffocating heat broke, the skies blued, and I convinced my husband to join me in seeing Woody Allen's film, "Midnight in Paris," which came highly recommended by Melissa Sarno, whose fine blog, This Too... speaks for itself. 

My friends, Melissa was right.  Allen has done something quite extraordinary here—dared to send Owen Wilson (whose screen presence is, to me, a dear one) through the streets of Paris as a yearner and would-be novelist named Gil.  Gil, is about to marry a woman (Inez, played by Rachel McAdams) who rarely listens to and hardly respects Gil's desire to leave his lucrative Hollywood career for a chance at a different kind of writerly life.  Inez is entitled, egocentric, ungenerous.  Gil dreams.

Gil also begins to walk the streets of Paris at midnight, and that's when things begin to change, when the film moves toward both fantasy and the fantastic.  You won't find spoilers here, but I will tell you this:  One of the most moving aspects of this film, to me, was how freely Allen asserted his vision.  Gil's midnight interludes are not explained away as dreams or science fiction.  They are not narratively challenged.  They are merely presented—given to us in all their sweetness and humor, for our cinematic taking.

I loved this movie for its unabashed goodness and for what it says about the power of place, of cities, to embody not just now but then. I loved it for making me laugh out loud, for releasing me back into the dusky night feeling lighter than I've been.


Richard Gilbert said...

My wife and I saw it last night, too! Word of mouth kept the theater full, though it had been there some time. It is a lovely movie, just beautifully photographed. And I agree, Allen had a nicely light touch with many elements.

Julia said...

Think I need to see this; far too many people have recommended it to me.

Erin said...

oh, I so want to see this!

The1stdaughter said...

I've been on the fence about seeing this film and now I think I really need to. If for no other reason than to inspire my hubby to take a few risks he's been holding back on. Thank you! :o)

Melissa Sarno said...

I'm so glad you liked it. It was a good film. Courageous. Honorable. ;-)

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