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Review: 'Midnight In Paris' 'Two Jews On Film' Only One Feels The Magic In This Fantasy Comedy (Video)

Two Jews On Film Two Jews On Film
May 18th, 2011 2:17pm EDT

I know critics are supposed to be objective (if that's even possible) but in the case of Woody Allen's new film, 'Midnight In Paris' it's going to be really hard. I thought it was one of the most beautiful, original, magical and romantic films I've seen in a very long time. It completely grabbed my heart. 

 

The film opens with images of Paris...beautiful, moving images. The lights of the city, the empty streets, the gardens, museums, cafes, flea markets, parks and cathedrals. The montage goes on for quite a while...No actors...just visuals of this magnificent city....

And then we meet Gil (Owen Wilson) and his finance Inez (Rachel McAdams).

They are in Paris with Inez's uptight Republican/Tea Party parents, Helen (Mimi Kennedy) and John (Kurt Fuller). Helen and John are the 'ugly' in Ugly Americans.

Gil is a Hollywood screenwriter who had aspirations to be a novelist when he was younger. He idolized American writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Gil lived in Paris when he was in his twenties and has a major romantic attachment to the city.  It represents a time when his professional life was just beginning.

Now being back here, he's confronted with the road he didn't take..Instead of being a serious novelist, Gil sold out to...Hollywood. He writes bad screenplays and makes major bucks. This makes him very unhappy...However it makes Inez...extremely happy.  She likes expensive things...   

Gil hasn't completely given up on his dream. He is in the middle of writing a novel which annoys Inez and her family big time. He's constantly encouraging them to go places without him. Gil prefers to take walks in the rain so he can think about his book.

One night Gil is out with Inez and they run into Inez's old friends...Paul (Michael Sheen) a handsome, super pompous, intellectual and his wife Carol (Nina Arianda) Paul is in Paris to lecture at the Sorbonne. Apparently Inex has had a crush on Paul since her college days.

They invite Inez and Gil to go dancing with them. Gil begs off. Inez doesn't. So Paul is left alone to stroll the streets of Paris.  He walks for a very long time...gets lost and finally exhausted, sits down on a stone staircase to rest. In the distance a clock strikes 12...It's midnight... A 1920's Roadster pulls up and stops. The car door opens and a couple invite him to a party. He gets into the car...And from that moment on, Gil's life will never be the same...

'Midnight In Paris' addresses many themes....Illusion, love...coming to terms with reality and being happy inside your own skin.  It's Woody Allen's most spiritual and hopeful film. There is of course still a hint of darkness...It is after all Woody Allen...but on the whole...

'Midnight in Paris' is a celebration of Paris...It's a celebration of life.

It opens in theaters this Friday, May 20, 2011.  Don't miss it.  I gave it 5 bagels out of 5...John...gave it 2...He had a much different experience which this movie than I did, which just proves how subjective criticizing a film really is.   

Midnight In Paris

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Photo Credits: Sony Pictures Classics