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A family travel to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple who are forced to confront their differing views of a perfect life.
Release Year: 2011
Rating: 7.8/10 (83,681 voted)
Critic's Score: 81/100
Stars: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates
Storyline Gil and Inez travel to Paris as a tag-along vacation on her parents' business trip. Gil is a successful Hollywood writer but is struggling on his first novel. He falls in love with the city and thinks they should move there after they get married, but Inez does not share his romantic notions of the city or the idea that the 1920s was the golden age. When Inez goes off dancing with her friends, Gil takes a walk at midnight and discovers what could be the ultimate source of inspiration for writing. Gil's daily walks at midnight in Paris could take him closer to the heart of the city but further from the woman he's about to marry.
Cast: Owen Wilson
Man at Wine Tasting
(as Marie-Sohne Condé)
Filming Locations: Arc de Triomphe, Paris 8, Paris, France
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: €2,972,136
(15 May 2011)
(19 February 2012)
Did You Know?
Opening film at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, the second of Woody Allen's films to be given this honor following
Hollywood Ending at the 2002 Festival.
(At 49:00) While Flaubert is drinking wine, it can be seen clearly that the bottle is empty.
This is unbelievable! Look at this! There's no city like this in the world. There never was. Inez:
You act like you've never been here before. Gil:
I don't get here often enough, that's the problem. Can you picture how drop dead gorgeous this city is in the rain? Imagine this town in the '20s. Paris in the '20s, in the rain. The artists and writers! Inez:
Why does every city have to be in the rain? What's wonderful about getting wet?
Allen's Dreams are Magical
There's something about the midnight hour, something special, mystical,
and magical. In the case of this marvelous movie, its impact is fully
realized, as we see our protagonist suddenly realize that he has the
opportunity to face that which he truly admires, treasures, and dreams
about. In the opening scenes, he expresses his desire to settle in the
city of lights, and we know it's not going to be an easy thing to do.
His girlfriend and he are quite different in their appreciation of what
being in Paris means. She understands it's special, maybe from an
aristocrat's point of view. He might be looking at it, as the dream
place for an artist to find aspiration to fulfill his artistic goals.
One night, he wanders into the streets of Paris and finds himself lost,
only to find himself rescue by a party of night socialites who turn out
to be quite famous in some literary circles. Soon, the
screenwriter/aspiring writer has an opportunity to see himself living
one of his dreams as well as slowly come to some surprising epiphanies
as he discovers more and more who his new acquaintances might truly be,
and most important what their dreams really are.
The film is set in several time periods, and Paris glows intensely and
seductively in everyone of those. From its overcast skies and
reflective streets, showing lovely architectural details and its
magnificent landmarks to the superb and lovely recreations of older
time periods, one can't help being seduced, charmed, and inspired to
find a way to show what a special place, and consequently what a truly
magical film this might be.
Performances are outstanding all around, with Cotillard once again
stealing every second she is on the screen. Through her eyes and
carefully delivered lines, we understand what attracts us to this
special time and place. She is a gorgeous and very talented performer,
one who might be truly aware of her standing, yet she doesn't dwell on
it. She attracts many types, but her philosophy is unique, move on,
enjoy, live the moment. In a way, she is like the city that has
inspired Allen, and many others before him. Paris as a place might not
be aware of its magnetism, its beauty, and its power. Cotillard's muse
is the perfect human equivalent, a dazzling and potent woman, who moves
from man to man, place to place, time to time, and who surprises us
with her own wishes near the end of the story.
Wilson inhabits the Allen persona, and he does a very good job, not
creating a tired imitation, an annoying cliché that could have ruined
the perfect balance of sight, sounds, and insightful dialog, keeping
this masterpiece way ahead of the best Allen has offered before. For
those of us who gasped during the fantasy sequences of "The Purple Rose
of Cairo", the marvelous recreations of the stage in "Bullets Over
Broadway", the dissection of relationships in many of his best films,
get ready to see it all finally come together, as he picks from the
best, and adds his personal touch, with many a funny and clever
observation, uttered by Wilson with a honest and complete sense of
wonder. Unlike many of his leading men, Wilson displays an innocence
which allows him and us to see his adventures in a fresh light.
"Midnight in Paris" is a beautiful display of what movie magic can
truly create, a sense of wonder long gone from contemporary cinema;
This is a movie that entertains, teaches, and wears each one of its
elements, like Paris bewitches us with every light, every facade, and
every heartbeat of its music.