movie: Midnight in Paris (2011)

EDIT: You can check out my mother’s review too here.


I saw this one weeks ago; I don’t know what’s taken me so long. Maybe I was up too far past my bedtime in order to see it, and lost it in my dreams. It was a lovely night out with my mother (while Pops is off traveling the world) and a really delightful movie; we both enjoyed it very much.

You’ve heard of this one. It’s the Woody Allen movie in which Owen Wilson takes on the Woody-role, a young man named Gil, traveling in Paris on business, who wants to sink into 1920’s Paris and finally write his novel. His materialistic and unsympathetic (in both senses) fiancé, Inez, thinks this is ridiculous; she wants him to hurry up and get back to making oodles of money writing the Hollywood scripts that he feels are soul-killing. Amid his dreaming about the perfection of interwar Paris, with its meeting of literary and artistic minds, Gil finds himself actually transported there via vintage Peugeot. He plays and parties with Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds, gets his manuscript reviewed by Gertrude Stein, and takes on Pablo Picasso as a romantic competitor – among a flurry of other storybook meetings.

Corey Stoll as Hemingway

I bet you can guess what got me in the door for this one. That’s right, Hemingway. I’m so easy. 🙂 Really, though, it was a remarkable little journey through time and space. The introductions to various famous artists were thrilling; the romantic mood was dreamy. After putting in our time with the obnoxious fiancé, we get to see Gil find romantic satisfaction in the end – it’s a classic romantic comedy in that sense, but it’s so much more. It’s a poignant statement about nostalgia, with each generation or era longing for another. And it’s a charming jaunt, a who’s who of 1920’s artists. For me, it was something of a wake-up call, too, to the fact that my knowledge of this era is built around my Hemingway obsession: I knew the famous names more or less only as they relate to Papa, sigh. I should be better educated. Oh, and I thought the Fitzgeralds were rendered very truthfully (to the best of my knowledge) and really very charmingly, in their own insane and endearing way.

Overall a dreamy and very pleasant adventure. If more movies made me feel this way, I would go to more movies.

4 Responses

  1. I LOVED this one, too. Saw it a few weeks ago, and as much as I’ve loved the Woody Allen movies with Woody also starring, this one was perfectly cast for the message and the scenes that unfolded. I glowed with nostalgia and romantic feelings as I watched.

  2. Yea, the casting was definitely well done.

  3. […] to share her thoughts about the movie we saw together, initially thinking she could help me develop my own review; but I think she merits her own post here. Paris is sweet and softly lit in the late hours of the […]

  4. […] his own heroes. This is a common technique when writing Hemingway into fiction: I recognize it from Midnight in Paris. I’m comfortable with people criticizing, even despising Hemingway; he’s my hero, but I […]

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