Every so often Woody Allen makes a film that seems to speak directly to me or creates a fictional premise that aligns with me in an engaging manner. Midnight in Paris was one of those films.
Gill, his main character (so often his own alter ego) is a writer wanting desperately to depart from the successful fluff he writes for popular media and create a great American novel. The time and place he most associates with and the creative people we know so well today had all been drawn to Paris in the 1930’s. It was a creative Mecca for artists and writers. Like Gill, I would have loved to have been there too and always had the feeling that I might have been inspired in a way that is simply not possible in the time and place in which I was born.
With fun and cartoonish portrayals of Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso, Salvador Dali, and more the various overlapping themes of love, passion and misplaced expectations are woven into a story made possible by a drive back in time at midnight … in Paris of course. With his own capabilities as a jazz musician the soundtrack is perfectly selected as well as the locations and filming. It is a pleasant movie with a comforting message that I will not seek to characterize in the hope that the reader will watch the film and find it meaningful in your own way.
There are those who simply do not like Woody Allen films. To them I have to say, you are missing the boat. He is one of the great directors of all time and his insight and skills are unique. This is why most every well known actor wants to appear in one of his movies, whatever the role. If I were to dream big enough to have a famous director make a film glamorizing and making fun of my life it would have to be Woody. While that will never happen I can clearly imagine a few scenes presented with his ability to showcase people’s dreams, idiosyncrasies, and most rediculous self images.