Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Midnight in Paris

The basics   

Midnight in Paris is an American film which came out in 2011. It is a romantic comedy which is set in Paris and was written and directed by Woody Allen. This film is about romance, art, writing, wanting to be born in a different time, Paris, and time travel.
What is this film about?

This film starts off with a wonderful montage of all the iconic places in Paris. In this montage we see Paris in the sun, the rain and at night and this set up one of the main questions of the film to the audience, what setting do you think Paris is at its most beautiful?
We get introduce to are protagonist (Gil) as he proclaims his love for this city and his wish to have been in Paris in the 1920’s with all the famous writers, artist and to be in the rain. Gil is an American who has spent his literature career writing for Hollywood movies but now wants to see if he is good enough to write his first novel. On a trip to Paris with his fiancée (Inez) and her parents, one night after some wine tasting Inez goes dancing with some of her friends and Gil takes a night walk around Paris to clear his head. After getting lost and sitting on some steps a bell chimes that it is midnight and Gil is picked up by an old fashioned car by people dressed from the 1920’s.

My views on it
American comedy at the moment seems to fall in to only three categories crude humour like ‘The Hangover 1 and 2’ , randomness like ‘Family Guy’ or popular culture references like ‘South Park’. So when I watched this film it was great to see humour that did not have to be crude, random or just a references to be funny. There are references in this film but it’s all to 1920’s artist and writers, not just whatever just happened in the news. So Culture references are used, so you can say that this element of modern American comedy is presented but since they are mainly used when the film is set in 1920’s Paris you are not really able to class this as being popular. The comedy in this film is very witty, subtle and clever and for a film that came out in 2011 this is very refreshing to see.

Two of the main things I like about this film are how clever and charming it is. For example Gil finds himself talking to Salvador Dalí, Man Ray and Luis Buñuel in a bar and he starts to talk about how he is from the future. They just seem to think its normal and Gil reply’s ‘Yes, but you're a surrealist! I'm a normal guy!’. Jokes like that make this film so clever and if you understand them they are really funny but if not, the film is so charming that it can get away with. I must say I know a bit about artist’s and writer’s in the 1920’s so I did get most of it, but there where a good few things that went over my head but I did not mine at all. If you look at the character Paul, he talks about art and history and he get it wrong every now and then. For me this reflects that we are not meant to know about everything we see in this film as it does not punish us for not knowing. Besides as you watch you start to learn more about this time and the artist anyways.
One of the most surprise things I enjoyed about this film is actually Owen Wilson for his acting. For the role of Gil I think that Owen Wilson was the perfect cast, as they needed a charming, classic romantic almost cliché American writer and he is great at this role.

Favourite Quote 
Ernest Hemingway: If it's bad, I'll hate it. If it's good, then I'll be envious and hate it even more. You don't want the opinion of another writer.

Rating 4/5 stars  

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