Oscar reviews: Midnight in Paris glides through Roaring Twenties

by Sofya Levina / Beacon Staff • February 23, 2012

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Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams)
Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams)
Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Midnight in Paris is the dream of every American lit major. Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams), a wealthy young couple, travel to Paris for a brief vacation. While Inez is preoccupied with the glitz and glamour of modern day Paris, Gil, a screenwriter who wishes to escape the sweaty palms of Hollywood and start writing books, searches the city’s streets for something deeper.

This movie is about dreamers, and director Woody Allen grants Gil his wish. Each night, Gil finds himself in a strange car with the pioneers of 20th century literature, film, and art. Each character from Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), to Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), is played with good humor and dynamism. Whether it’s Stein giving Pablo Picasso relationship advice, or Hemingway instigating drunken brawls, Allen has provided us with lively literati rather than textbook typecasts.

This film is charming, and wonderfully romantic. Darius Khondji’s shots of Paris bring such color and vivacity to the screen that the viewer can feel the soft Paris winds ruffle their hair. Allen gives the viewer a VIP pass to the Roaring Twenties. Use it wisely.