Midnight In Paris

(USA, 2011, 94 mins)
CAST Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Corey Stoll, Michael Sheen, Tom Hiddlestone
Classification: PG
Introduced by film scholar and educator Michael van den Bos


Gil (Owen Wilson) is a successful Hollywood screenwriter, but want he really craves is respect. He’d like to write something serious and substantial. And he hates it that his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) seems so besotted with Paul (Michael Sheen), a genuine intellectual (and pompous) high-flyer who they meet on holiday in Paris. In fact Gil only starts to enjoy his vacation when he leaves Inez for a midnight stroll and accepts an invitation from a passing car to come along for a drink with some fellow American ex-pats. At first he assumes he’s walked into 1920s theme party. But bewilderingly, F Scott and Zelda appear to be the real Fitzgeralds. Cole is Porter. And Hemingway is unmistakably Hemingway. The Hollywood hack has never been so happy, and if the night cannot last forever he is determined to get back to this place at the soonest opportunity.

One of Woody’s most popular recent films, this enchanting slice of whimsy brought back an audience that had lost interest in him. With its sophisticated allusions and wry, melancholic undertow this as a rare comedy for mature audiences, and it has a lightness that’s hard to resist. It’s also funny enough to transport you back to Allen’s own golden age.

"In Woody Allen’s beguiling and then bedazzling new comedy, nostalgia isn’t at all what it used to be — it’s smarter, sweeter, fizzier and ever so much funnier." Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"Midnight in Paris finds Allen in a larky, slightly tart and altogether bountiful mood, giving filmgoers a movie that, while unabashedly funny and playful, provides a profiterole or two for thought." Ann Hornaday, Washington Post