Tuesday, 20 March 2012

17/03/2012: Midnight In Paris [2011]

There was a lot of buzz around Midnight In Paris when it came out, but I think it still slipped under most radars. Midnight In Paris is truly a Nostalgic movie, and can only be best appreciated when one had significant knowledge of  1920's art and culture in Paris.

Now you're probably wondering why in the world you would need to know that? Midnight In Paris is about a writer who is visiting Paris with his fiance and in-laws. Described as a "nostalgic romantic" Gil spends his nights walking the streets, rather than going out dancing with his wife. But every night when the clock strikes midnight, Gil travels back in time to what he considers Paris's Golden Age.

One of the best elements of Midnight In Paris is of course Paris. The movie is loaded with images of famous art, the palace of Versailles, beautiful images of the Eiffel Tower, etc. Also the costume when travelling back to the 1920's are also wonderful, as well as the sets used then. Truly the scenery is one of the best parts of the movie. 

A fancy establishment for the washing of ones clothes.
 The part of the movie that requires a little knowledge to enjoy is all of the people Gill meets when he travels back to 1920's Paris. Ernest Hemingway, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso are just a few of the prestigious famous of the art world our aspiring writer encounters. While the importance of these figures is conveyed well, it still takes away some of the magic if you don't know who they are.

I actually jotted down some notes whilst I watched this movie and took note of a few interesting things. The first thing which bothered me was when Gill asks the French couple where his hotel is. I understand that they didn't speak English, but anyone can understand the words Hotel Bistro,when its so close to your own language. I found it hard to believe they would just claim not to understand and hurry away. Another couple things that interested me were that, Hotel Bistro in fact had a hotel doctor and a hotel detective. A doctor is a luxury, but a detective, really? Perhaps I misheard that one.

Clubbing in the 1920's was just so much better.
So while clearly this movie is not for everyone, and caters towards the more artistic crowd, it is still a well done movie. Woody Allen has written 68 movies, about one or more every year since the 50's. Is it coincidence, Gil is a successful scriptwriter trying to become a novelist? I think not. Gil is played by Owen Wilson, who I can't quite figure out. Half the time he's a comedian and the other half takes on more serious roles. This is great, as he successfully plays both, but sometimes remembering him from Wedding Crasher deducts from his character in Midnight In Paris.

 One of the more interesting things about a movie so heavily oriented around the characters is how little connection I felt with them. Gil's fiance and her family had no redeeming qualities, and most of the famous artists were understandably odd. So with only caring so much about the characters, one only cares so much about how the movie ends.

The 20's wasn't all fancy upscale parties.
Overall, I would say that to some Midnight In Paris will be a great movie. However it will be only truly suited to a certain group, and there are some who, like myself will not enjoy it as much. There is no denying it is a good movie, it just won't fall into most people favourites. If the whole element of 1920's Paris intrigues you then I recommend you check out this movie, the whole time travel thing isn't really discussed.

Midnight In Paris IMDB

No comments:

Post a Comment