From the fabulous poster art to a sweet little epiphany in the last frame, there is nothing not to love in Woody Allen's latest, Midnight In Paris. In the poster, the protagonist played by Owen Wilson is sauntering alongside the river Seine at night, while the extravagant blues and blazing, swirling lights of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" explode across the sky above the ancient buildings lining the bank. This single image says everything about the art, history, enduring fantasy, and cultural allure of Paris, issues Allen addresses with such savvy brio in this marvelously inventive film.
Wilson is all light, easygoing charm as American in Paris, Gil Pender. A typical Allen surrogate (garbed in Woody's traditional light blue shirt and khaki pants), Gil is a successful Hollywood screenwriter who longs to chuck it all and write serious fiction—preferably in a romantic garret in Paris. And preferably in the 1920s; he's completely fixated on the tumultuous creative ferment that was Paris in the '20s, which produced the likes of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and Pablo Picasso. He's tinkering with a book manuscript he hopes will be his ticket out of Hollywood and into la vie bohème.
But his fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams) has other ideas. The two of them have tagged along to Paris with her parents on a business trip, but Gil keeps finding excuses to walk around the cobbled streets of Paris on his own. On one such nighttime excursion, just as the church clock chimes midnight, he's picked up by a party of champagne-guzzling revelers in a vintage Peugeot roadster and driven straight into his dream. (Read more)