With Wit, Reviewed By Kimmo Mustonenen
Gil and Ines, a young American couple on vacation in Paris.
Although their marriage is expected to fall, they are constantly disagreeing on everything – he thinking “it would be good living in the French capital to write novels”, as she swears by their future home in Malibu.
He likes to roam the streets and soaking up their history (like crusty bread), while she thinks only run wine tasting dinner parties (no blame here).
One evening when Ines decides to follow friends to go dancing, Gil tries to return to their hotel alone and lost his way. The stroke of midnight rang in the city, a strange car stops in front of him.
The new Woody Allen film opens on a generic rather unusual, reviewing dozens of places in Paris like so many postcards – bucolic.
There, I said it.
But make no mistake: it is true that it shows the face of tourism in the French capital, Midnight in Paris is less a tribute to the city – a cry of love for art and artists that it was born in it. What?
Putting aside some of his recurrent obsessions, death, psychoanalysis, hypochondria – making them anecdotal, Woody Allen returns to the story and delivers an enchanting story about the magnificence of the past (although not the future, tense).
Gil (excellent Owen Wilson), uncomfortable in her present life, took refuge after the twelve strokes of midnight sounded in an era that has never known but it was nostalgic.
Drawing on the feeling quite mundane (who never dreamed of being born in another time? Lady Gaga?)
A spring fertile screenplay, Allen is fun and brings to life a fantasy totally impractical: the cross of his idols and dead girl (?!?) to blend in an ideal society where love and art would be kings and/or Prime Ministers – but probably kings.
Unafraid to play the card background contrasts between Paris the day (bling bling, superficial) and Paris by night (mysterious, intoxicating, wine), delivering a purely imaginary, Woody Allen creates the desire and inclination to follow Gil in its temporal incursions, which do meet, among other personalities, his literary idols.
He also leans on it for a casting weight, composed of both French and American stars (no Ginnifer Goodwin), including successive appearances are as many surprises as moments of pure delight (it is interesting to note the terms with Woody Allen chooses which his interpreters, who are both rising stars of American values and secure the French film, just to ride the wave [hang ten!] and attracting a wide audience).
Faced with so many fantasies (we had more cerebral Woody – get it?), one can not help thinking of the magic of The Purple Rose of Cairo or minor film but jubilant, the Curse of the Jade Scorpion.
For if the sauce is so good, it’s also because Woody Allen has not waived, for once, the ingredients sacred romance, tense and winks moviegoers, in that order.
Add to that some beautiful scenes where, once is not habit, the comedy situation exceeds that of the word (the scene of the “spoiler removed” is in that already mythical), and you obtain one of the films in greatness.
Woody? The most charming of the last ten years!