I’m probably the last person on earth to know how wonderful this movie is. But if you have been under a similar rock, let me recommend this for you.

First, let me explain why I have just discovered this movie. I live in a small town, surrounded by smaller towns and the Virginia farm is in an even smaller town still. The initial showing of this film – a Woody Allen artistic nod to Paris and its effects on a writer played by Owen Wilson and his fiancé played by Rachel McAdams – was in larger cities only and never made it to my own. By the time I heard that it was worth a trip to a place showing it, it had moved on and was getting close to being released on DVD.

I asked for it for Christmas, and have watched it three – maybe four times – not even pausing to read the cover and the list of actors. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it wasn’t my imagination that the First Lady of France – Carla Bruni – played a tour guide. I find her to be intensely interesting as well as strikingly beautiful.

But it is what happens to Owen Wilson’s character – Gil Pender – that makes me swoon with envy. He goes back in time at the stroke of midnight into the Paris of the twenties, finding himself among the great artists of the era – writers, painters, musicians – Ernest Hemingway, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Cole Porter, Picasso, Dali.

And the movable feast of Hemingway’s Paris takes us away – its golden hued glow warming us as we watch its beauty and absorb its possibilities.

Ooh la la! It is the experience every artistically inclined person drools over.

I want this to happen to me!

“If it’s bad I’ll hate it because I hate bad writing and if it’s good I’ll be envious and hate it all the more,” the Hemingway character advises Gil Pender when he asks him to read his novel.

Kathy Bates plays Gertrude Stein in a manner that is truly believable. In fact, every actor in the movie seems perfectly cast. Of course, Woody Allen is a master at casting and then allowing those he has cast to shine without over-direction.

This is my new favorite movie and if you enjoy films, artists, Paris, or interesting dialogue, don’t wait another minute.

Watch ‘Midnight in Paris’ and let it take you where only your imagination has been able to go.

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