Midnight in Paris 2011

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(252) IMDb 7.7/10
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A romantic comedy about a family travelling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better.

Starring:
Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard
Rental Formats:
DVD

Midnight in Paris

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 34 minutes
Starring Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard, Adrien Brody, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Alison Pill, Owen Wilson
Director Woody Allen
Genres Comedy, Drama, Romance
Studio WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Rental release 6 March 2012
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Philip Baird on 23 July 2012
Format: DVD
Have only just watched Midnight in Paris but feel moved to give a few impressions after a first viewing. There's an awful lot one could say about this movie, as in spite of its lightness and easy going charm there's a lot going on here. Firstly, I really enjoyed it and Owen Wilson was perfect in the lead role as the American abroad, slightly disaffected, sad, romantic, and yearning for something lost, yet deprecatingly funny and ironic. He's always been a wonderful comic actor with a natural and unforced subtlety, and here he plays the Woody cipher to great and touching effect. Allen's love of early jazz and his great clarinet hero Sidney Bechet gives the opening a wonderful lift-off to the exhilarating sound of genius against the images of the City of Light, an intoxicating blend of sound and vision. The dream sequence begins beautifully with Wilson 'lost' and slightly drunk at night in the city, with more than a hint of the washed up writer Joseph Cotten (The Third Man) about him. The magnificent vision of the 1920's Peugot sweeping up in front of him takes us into a 'Gatsbyesque' haut-monde of the expatriated Americans in Paris. Although the film doesn't have as many laughs as classic Allen, it is in these early dream scenes where Wilson gets to deliver his funniest lines. The joke about Djuna Barnes was just one wonderfully comic moment, and Wilson is so adept at Woody's style of humour.

The film does have some weaknesses; the director does tend to overpack his suitcase with perhaps a few too many literary and artistic characters (We really didn't need Gaugin and Degas as well), and there are too many unfeasibly good looking women abounding on screen.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By F. S. L'hoir TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Jan 2012
Format: DVD
When one lives in and loves a city with an ancient history, such as Paris or Rome, it becomes very easy to sense the existence of an imperceptible permeability between past and present. It is as if one only has to wait for the light to change a certain way, or for a bell to strike a certain hour, and the magic will happen--for those who are receptive to magic, that is, and are willing to believe in the Magic of Place.

This is the premise of Woody Allen's latest whimsical flight into the imaginative world of Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), a self-acknowledged Hollywood screenwriting hack, who dreams of writing a novel, the protagonist of which owns a nostalgia shop. "What is a nostalgia shop?" asks one of Allen's characters. Anyone who has to ask such a question is assuredly immune to magic, and will probably not enjoy this film. Since I am a romantic and firmly believe in the Magic of Place, I enjoyed it immensely.

Woody Allen clearly loves Paris. His opening scenes, in fact, represent a paean to The City of Light, as for almost four minutes the camera, with an evocative jazz accompaniment, moves from point to point along the Seine, the Luxembourg Gardens, Montmartre, the Champs Élysées, the Tuileries, the Left Bank, among other locations. We are treated to views of great boulevards, narrow streets, steep stairs, roofs with chimney pots, as the camera's eye glances at brasseries, cafes, fashion houses, fountains, the pyramid of the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Opera, and the Tour Eiffel. Paris in the sunshine; Paris in the rain. And all that is before the opening credits, in which we see that Allen, as usual, has assembled an ensemble cast. And for a special treat, the actual film begins among the lily ponds at Monet's Giverny.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dan Redford on 1 May 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Without doubt, the finest and most original Woody Allen film scripts of all. Set in Paris, it is also beautifully filmed. I would have no problem seeing this film again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matt Wright on 8 April 2014
Format: DVD
A beautiful fantasy based around the idea of living in 'The Golden Age', and learning to live in the present, while looking back at the past.

I admittedly haven't seen many of Woody Allen's films, but after watching this it has urged me to watch many more. It is a charming and funny film, that works on it's simplicity.

It is wittily written, and perfectly paced.

It doesn't ever feel the need to go into unnecessary details over the science of the time travel, except that it's Paris. And it doesn't surprise them.

There is a romance to the film, even though there is not always a romance on the screen. The presence of Paris is enough, coupled with the orange ambience that fills every night scene. It oozes love and romance.

The performances are enjoyable to watch also. Owen Wilson reminded me that he can actually act, after watching one of his worst performances in 'The Internship'. There are also some fun cameos and supporting characters, such as Tom Hiddleston as F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Adrian Brody as Salvador Dali.

There is nothing that wrong with the film, except that it just didn't blow me away. But it didn't need to.

It is a brilliant piece of escapism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kamran Rahman VINE VOICE on 30 Mar 2014
Format: DVD
I really enjoyed the first and second acts, which had a lot of Allen's brilliant intellectual humour, and was hoping for something memorable in the final, but it was disappointingly flat. I think that if you're going to make a film about Paris in the 1920s and literally litter it with some of the greatest artists of the century, and if you happen to be Woody Allen, then the audience could be forgiven for having quite high expectations. Surprisingly, for all its high-brow ingredients, the film actually has a relatively mid-brow aim, and it may be that's the reason why it was met with disappointment by some critics and fans.

Yes, I was disappointed. I expected a more coherent plot. I expected Rachel McAdams to be able to act. I expected to be believe that Owen Wilson was a struggling writer (he is a decent enough actor, though), but despite that, the film is enjoyable - it is best enjoyed with low expectations. It's just a middle-of-the-road Woody Allen comedy, in which he replays many of his familiar old tropes (intellectualism, art, relationships, politics) against a backdrop of glamorous 1920s Paris instead of New York.

The biggest disappointment is that the giant 1920s characters are all reduced to fleeting comedic cameos. It seemed as though Tom Hiddleston's F Scott Fitzgerald barely got in more than a "Hello, Old Sport" before being shoved aside by Hemingway, who in turn gave way to Picasso, and so on... And certainly don't expect any of these fleeting comedic cameos to give any brilliant insight into the artist's work or the meaning of life - they are just there for laughs - because this is a comedy film.

But when reviewing a film we are supposed to be reviewing what the film is, not what we wanted it to be, or what we think it could have been. That's why I give it four stars - it's a good 90 minutes, with some good laughs.
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