Woody Allen's MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
Roger Ebert in his review of this movie says “There is nothing to dislike about it.” If you read his whole review there’s clearly much to like about it, despite a rocky start.
Early on I did have the fear, “Oh no, it’s just a bunch of Allen New York types transplanted to Paris,” but that disappears quickly at the strike of the midnight chime.
Back to the beginning. The movie starts pre-credits with a montage of film sequences taken throughout the day of Paris in both sunshine and shadow, rain and shine. It’s clean and glorious, not dreamlike, and evocative of the images I remember from working there at one time.
We get to see the streets and not just the landmarks (though they are on display frequently). The story itself is one of those standard lightweight time-travel romances gussied up with references to famous literary and artistic heroes. But Allen imbues the whole thing with a comedic touch that contains sly references to historic figures in a variety off ways that play artfully on our stereotypes about these people. Damn clever! I’d almost put this in the same class with Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces but the photography and art direction aren’t quite as stunning (plus, Owen Wilson is nice but can’t compare with Penelope Cruz!)
Review copyright (c) 2011 by Dennis D. McDonald