Friday, May 27, 2011

Midnight in Paris

I have defended Woody Allen to friends in the past, but "Midnight in Paris" just does not work for me. I think I have finally come to the realization that his approach of making a movie per year results in a lot of not so good movies. Usually I enjoy his films when I can see Woody Allen in the protagonist, but with Owen Wilson as the lead I just couldn't make that connection. I couldn't help but think of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989) during the screening.

“Midnight in Paris” cannot be compared to the perfection of “Match Point” (2005); and doesn't have the quality to pronounce it as a classic alongside “Annie Hall” (1977). The film does however equal the cinimatography of the beautiful landscape provided in "Vicky Christina Barcelona" (2008). The opening montage of the City of Lights being backed up by the jazz sounds is possibly the best part of the film.

Even though I have issues with the script, the cast is still amazing with Owen Wilson in the lead role as Gil, a struggling Hollywood writer engaged to Inez (Rachel McAdams). They have come to Paris with her parents played by Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy. Gil is fascinated by the nostalgia of Paris, while Inez and her parents are only concerned with the present. Instead of a time machine, Gil finds his way into the 1920's through a midnight stroll where he encounters F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston), Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), Salvador Dalí (Adrian Brody), Picasso, Buñuel, TS Eliot and many, many more.

The audience certainly had a lot of laughs. It was like watching an episode of "Friends" where the jokes are there in front of you, but you just don't find them to be that funny. Woody Allen has some great contributions to the history of cinema, but "Midnight in Paris" isn't going to make the list of great movies. Instead the film falls flat and barely deserves a 2 Quack rating.

(screening date 5/26/11, LIMITED release date 5/27/11, location Landmark E Street)

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