Monday, May 30, 2011

"Midnight in Paris"

So last time, we had a comedy about furry animals engaging in major kung fu hijinks. So on this Memorial Day...

...We celebrate it by going out of the country. Yes, I'm that crazy.

But today's movie is totally worth that trek, trust me.

Midnight in Paris

Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is a successful screenwriter who wishes to become a novelist. While he's working on his novel, he goes to Paris with fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents, one night deciding to go on a walk. On this walk, however, he finds himself pulled into Paris in the 1920's, and hijinks ensue when he meets and begins socialising with many prominent literary and artistic figures including (but not limited to) Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston), Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody), Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), and many, many others. And during all this, he finds himself falling for the beautiful Adriana (Marion Cotillard).

So it's exactly what you'd expect. Has a very interesting premise, has some great acting... There's so much I can say about this movie that is good, so let's get to it.

The acting. The acting from everyone in this movie is excellent. Owen Wilson is incredibly charming as Gil Pender, especially when he starts geeking out throughout much of the movie about the fact that yes, he is actually talking to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein. There's something so sincere about his character that we can't help but like his character, and Wilson brings this across beautifully. He has great chemistry with the rest of the cast as well, even including Rachel McAdams, whose character gets more and more unlikeable as the movie progresses. And it also works well with the comedy of the movie, though in this regard pretty much everyone who plays the more eccentric personalities of Paris in the 20's pretty much steal the show.

The premise is also interesting, and feels fueled by magic. Screenwriter Woody Allen doesn't feel the need to explain this magic, but in a way, we don't need it to be explained to us. We're given space to sit back and enjoy everything that happens. And it even has some insights into the world thanks to the premise that don't feel overbearing in any way.

And it is incredibly funny. I can't spoil everything because the humor in this movie just works so well it's incredible. The humor is heavily reinforced if you know anything about the people in 1920's France, but I felt that most of it could also work by itself.

I find it difficult to pin down exactly what is so great about Midnight in Paris. Every element works so well it's exceptionally difficult to figure out where it is. But one indicator that it's a really good movie? I waited for five hours to write up this review, and I can still remember the movie in its entirety. It left that much of an impression on me.


A must-see picture of the year.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.

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