Midnight in Paris

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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  1. This is exactly the film I wanted to watch on New Year’s Eve…but my husband’s action, thriller won. My turn for sure next time!! Thank you for the recommendation. I just knew I would want to see it.

  2. I felt the exact same way as you about this film! Loved it! Every little detail was believable and the more I thought about how difficult this was to pull off, it made me love the film even more.

  3. I’ve GOT to see it again. I saw it for the first time in Sarlat when I was jet-lagged and snoozed intermittently (possibly a lot) through the movie, so the snippets I saw were disconnected and weird. I’m not particularly an Owen Wilson fan, but I’ll try to overcome that, since everything else about it sounds great. The people I went to the movie with loved it. (It’s undoubtedly better when you’re awake.)

    1. That must have been some jet-lag! You’ll like Owen Wilson in this – he’s perfectly cast as the neurotic writer who sold out to Hollywood and just longs to go to France and sit in a cafe and write. Perfect! Was the version in Sarlat in French or English? And did you know Carla Bruni was in it?

  4. I have not seen it but your recommendation has prompted me to do so. Sounds like a good one.

  5. We saw this a couple of weeks ago and even my husband adored it. Paris is my favorite place in the world. And that time era, well, how much better could life get? Owen Wilson is not a favorite of mine, but I loved him in this one, along with all of the magnificent cast. So well done. Loved it!

  6. You’re not the last person, I am, but I thank you for the introduction.

    I’ve been looking for a sumptuous movie to enjoy. Thank you, friend.

  7. Ooh, I can’t wait to see it. And don’t blame the small town in VA — I’m in big city NoVA and I didn’t see it either!

  8. I’m pleased to get this recommendation. I’m not always a fan of Woody Allen’s movies. But, everything you say about the movie is enticing! My father was stationed in Paris when I was in grade school, so my family spent three years there in the fifties. I wound up getting a degree in French, although I’ve never used it! Then my older daughter also majored in French and remains fluent. She’s been to Paris and other parts of France several times.

    1. I’m so jealous! If we lived closer, I’d have you tutor me in French. I took it in high school, but it just won’t stay in my head. I think I need to go there for an extended visit and just live the language.

  9. Renee you must be happy that you are not the last one to know how wonderful that movie is! But for sure after reading this post, i will see it soon for sure. And you know i love Paris, after that post of yours on Champagne. 🙂

  10. I have this movie in my computer stored in there for long time. But, I have, unfortunately, never paid my heed towards it. But, now, I think, I am gonna watch this after going through your review. Nice one. Keep writing.

    I am still thinking how can you type so adroitly this lengthy stuff with your Blackberry. Really commendable, though.

  11. Kathy Bates seems to be in every movie I watch lately. In fact, I said just last week that I don’t want to see another movie with her in it for a while. But you’ve talked me into this one. I’m going to look for it today.

  12. I saw this movie last summer when I had just gotten back from France! When they showed scenes from Paris at the beginning of the movie, I kept saying (hopefully quietly, because I saw it at the movies) “I was just there! I recognize that!” In other words, this is one of my favorite movies!

  13. My wife and I saw this when it first came out. I LOVE art, literature, movies, and architecture. It wrapped up all of them, AND put a bow on it! This reminds me to watch it again. I think it’s one of Woody’s best, and just love going back and talking with the luminaries of the time. Fabulous.

    I’m following you now. I’ve seen your comments on other blogs so many times, and finally got the time to check out your great blog!

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