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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Woody's best
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,...
Published on 23 July 2012 by Mr. Philip Baird

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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I usually like to write a few words on CD/DVD/books with exceptional qualities but have been overlooked, or exceptionally bad ones in order to warn potential purchasers off.
"Midnight in Paris" is not bad in absolute terms but very disappointing by Woody Allen's standard. (I am aware that critics hail this as Woody Allen's comeback film).
It explores the theme...
Published 3 months ago by abkq


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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Woody's best, 23 July 2012
By 
Mr. Philip Baird (Isle of Man) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Midnight in Paris [DVD][2011] [2012] (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. More could have been made of the Alice B Toklas / Gertrude Stein relationship, and there really was some blistering comedy to be had there. Also I feel the second dream sequence where Gil and Adriana go back to the Belle Epoque was unnecessary and a mistake, giving us some trite conclusions which we didn't need. Even the soundtrack, after the opening Sidney Bechet, never quite again evokes the mood and atmosphere that it could have done, and Allen has done more elsewhere with the music of another of his heroes Cole Porter. However my biggest regret about the film was that it didn't fulfill its real potential and remained rather lightweight when much more could have been achieved. Woody didn't pull off what could have been his late masterpiece, and a more searching and perhaps heartbreaking examination of love and nostalgia across time and cultures. He obviously didn't set out to do this and what he does achieve is a hugely enjoyable and nicely crafted piece of cinema, but perhaps like Gil, I long for the lost opportunity and beauty in sadness that is really at the heart of this lovely movie for those who still dream.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woody Allen meets Back to the Future. And it works., 8 April 2014
This review is from: Midnight in Paris (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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Woody Allen of them all!!!!, 1 May 2014
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This review is from: Midnight in Paris [DVD][2011] [2012] (DVD)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars AND HEMINGWAY PUNCHED ME IN THE MOUTH..., 11 Aug. 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Midnight in Paris [DVD][2011] [2012] (DVD)
WARNING: I GIVE YOU HEAVY CLUES/HINTS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS AT MIDNIGHT WHICH TAKES PLACE EARLY IN THE FILM. I DO NOT CONSIDER THIS TO BE A "SPOILER" BUT OTHERS MIGHT.

The film opens with a lengthy jazz tune while showing us the splendor, romance, and fantasy of Paris to set the mood. Owen Wilson plays Gil, a role Woody Allen wrote for his alter-ego. He is a Hollywood hack writer wanting nothing more than to be a struggling novelist living in Paris in the 1920's. He is engaged to Inez (Rachel McAdams). Like Woody's other main characters, he recognizes when people are pretentious and pseudo-intellectuals such as Inez's friends. This is a running theme in his productions either in front of or behind the camera. Hint: If you couldn't understand why Allen is a genius from his other films, feel free to skip this one.

Gil desires to move to Paris. Inez is somewhat Republican and can't imagine living anywhere but the USA. One evening the two couples are out. Three of them want to go dancing while Gil does not. Instead he opts to take a nice leisurely stroll back to the hotel. Unfortunately he didn't drop any bread crumbs and like too many Americans in Paris he doesn't speak French so he can't ask for directions. (If you have ever been to Paris you know all those French can speak English, but won't because they enjoy watching us struggle with their language.)

Then at midnight...Allen creates a whole movie around one of his old stand up comedy bits come to be known as "The Lost Generation" which goes like this:

"I mentioned before that I was in Europe. It's not the first time that I was in Europe, I was in Europe many years ago with Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway had just written his first novel, and Gertrude Stein and I read it, and we said that is was a good novel, but not a great one, and that it needed some work, but it could be a fine book. And we laughed over it. Hemingway punched me in the mouth.

"That winter Picasso lived on the Rue d'Barque, and he had just painted a picture of a naked dental hygenist in the middle of the Gobi Desert. Gertrude Stein said it was a good picture, but not a great one, and I said it could be a fine picture. We laughed over it and Hemingway punched me in the mouth.

"Francis Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald came home from their wild new years eve party. It was April. Scott had just written Great Expectations, and Gertrude Stein and I read it, and we said it was a good book, but there was no need to have written it, 'cause Charles Dickens had already written it. We laughed over it, and Hemingway punched me in the mouth.

"That winter we went to Spain to see Manolete fight, and he was... looked to be eighteen, and Gertrude Stein said no, he was nineteen, but that he only looked eighteen, and I said sometimes a boy of eighteen will look nineteen, whereas other times a nineteen year old can easily look eighteen. That's the way it is with a true Spaniard. We laughed over that and Gertrude Stein punched me in the mouth."

Light, funny, entertaining...a romantic comedy by a stretch of the definition.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romanti-Sceptics Need Not Apply!, 2 Jan. 2012
By 
F. S. L'hoir (Irvine, CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Midnight in Paris [DVD][2011] [2012] (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.

Although I enjoyed all the performances, I particularly liked Adrian Brodie as Salvator Dali (He seemed so perfectly at home in Dali's surrealist skin), and Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein (She brings a convincing panache to any part she plays). Marion Cotillard is charming as Pender's love-interest from the past, and her costumes--in fact, all the costumes--are splendid. Michael Sheen, looking a bit like Tony Blair with a beard, plays Paul, a pontificating academic, who cannot resist showing off his knowledge--never mind that he is mistaken--to their Rodin museum guide, played in an engaging cameo, by the glamourous Mme Sarkosy.

"Midnight in Paris" deals with themes similar to those in "The Purple Rose of Cairo" in which the lines between past and present, between illusion and reality, become delightfully blurred. Magic, in fact, comes along in the form of a 1920 Peugeot, which stops and opens its door in invitation. If you accept unreservedly, it will take you along for an enchanting ride!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Definite Return To Form, 9 Feb. 2012
By 
M. J. Nelson (Leeds) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Midnight in Paris [DVD][2011] [2012] (DVD)
It seems that Woody Allen was simply not at home in London - and Barcelona was only a little better. On the evidence of this movie Paris is clearly his second city after New York. The story is intriguing : Gil (Owen Wilson), a Hollywood scriptwriter, is on holiday in a picture-postcard Paris with his fiancee Inez (Rachel McAdams). He is struggling with his first novel and somewhat distracted when it comes to sightseeing and socialising. Then, alone in a street at midnight he finds himself mysteriously transported back to the Paris of the 1920s where he meets the likes of Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Cole Porter, Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso. Enchanted, if bemused, his enchantment increases when he falls in love with Picasso's mistress, Adriana. Together, they go back to the Paris of the 1890s, visit Maxim's and the Folies-Bergere and meet Toulouse-Lautrec and other French Impressionist painters. Returning to the real world of 2010 Gil decides to break with Inez and stay in Paris, whereupon he finds a potential new love with a pretty Parisienne who has a connexion with some old Cole Porter records. This is a cinematic conceit in the manner of Back To The Future, Pleasantville, The Truman Show and Allen's own The Purple Rose of Cairo. Quite delightful - and it's not every movie that boasts France's First Lady in its cast list.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamy view of Paris, 28 May 2014
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This review is from: Midnight in Paris [DVD][2011] [2012] (DVD)
A lovely story well told with stunning views of Paris. I would love to join the main character, Gil, and meet all these interesting people from the past and see what life was like in their time. Great escapism.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice little film, 8 Feb. 2012
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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Woody Allen made some great films in the 70's. Bananas, Annie Hall, Manhatten and made some pretty good films through the 80's like Hannah And Her Sisters but since Sweet And Lowdown and Small Time Crooks he has hardly made a decent film despite making 1 film a year it had seemed that the once great director had lost the plot as it were but Midnight In Paris while not quite up there with his all time great films is a very pleasant surprise showing that Woody Allen has indeed still got it. Very well shot and very well acted with a great performance from Owen Wilson in the lead as a frustrated writer who while out walking in present day Paris at night suddenly finds himself in the Paris of the 1920's and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Ernest Hemmingway. Rest of the cast are also very good but it's Owen Wilson's film all the way who does an excellent impression of a young Woody Allen throughout who you could imagine if he had made this movie in the 70's or 80's would have been playing the lead himself. There's no explanation as to why he can suddenly find himself in the 1920's he just can and as long as you can swallow that and just go with it you should enjoy this fun film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Midnight in Paris, 4 May 2014
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This review is from: Midnight in Paris [DVD][2011] [2012] (DVD)
This film is an absolute delight. It captures 1920's Paris perfectly and is cast to perfection. It's made even more special by the wonderful Sidney Bechet music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and pleasant!, 2 May 2014
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This review is from: Midnight in Paris [DVD][2011] [2012] (DVD)
It's so beautiful to walk in Paris dreaming throw the TV screen...Never bored by! If you want to relax after a hard day, Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard they will help you in enjoying your time!
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Midnight in Paris [DVD][2011] [2012]
Midnight in Paris [DVD][2011] [2012] by Woody Allen (DVD - 2012)
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