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June 11, 2011 | 12:00 p.m. CST
In his latest film, Midnight in Paris, it’s as if Woody Allen took a trip back to the days of Hemingway to bring the past alive. With witty remarks throughout and a variety of captivating characters, the film is reminiscent of Allen’s 1977 classic, Annie Hall.
Engaged California couple Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams) could not be more wrong for each other. Inez dreams of living in a Malibu beach house and marrying Gil, a Hollywood screenwriter. Gil dreams of leaving the superficial world of Hollywood and writing substantial novels that will go down in history as The Great Gatsby of the modern era. While visiting Paris with Inez’s extremely haughty parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy), it becomes clear that Gil is unhappy with where his life is taking him.Related Movie
Gil takes to the streets of Paris, and one night he winds up at a party where Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald are guests and Cole Porter is providing the entertainment. Night after night, Gil leaves Inez to hang out with Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody) and numerous other notable artists and writers of the past. Gil begins to believe he has missed his calling and that he belongs in Paris during the Roaring Twenties among flappers and intellectuals.
With an impressive performance by Wilson, a modern twist to Allen’s classic portrayals of himself comes to life. And the casting of the past personalities was superb; it truly brought Gil’s “Golden Age” back to life.
The film did have some cliché moments, including the lengthy opening scene of the classic Parisian settings and the shallow American characters portrayed by McAdams, Kennedy and Fuller. However, the extreme charm of the film as a whole made up for it.
Even at 75, Allen is able to ignite a theatre with laughter and take viewers on an adventure that is both relatable and whimsical. If you ever visit Paris, make sure to take a walk at midnight and listen for the clock tower to toll. You might wind up sharing a drink with F. Scott Fitzgerald.