Saturday, January 28, 2012

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Seen on October 15, 2011

It tells the story of Gil, a writer who is forced to confront the shortcomings of his relationship with his fiancée after he experiences magic events when walking at midnight in Paris.

Nominated for 4 Oscars:

Best Picture
Best Director: Woody Allen
Best Original Screenplay (WINNER)
Best Art Direction

The success of this film is still surprising to me; next to The Artist, this might just be the most overrated film of the year. This could be an explanation: his 2 previous films (Whatever Works and You Will Meet...) were so disastruous that, by comparison, a mediocre film such as Midnight in Paris feels like a masterpiece.

This film is nothing new when it comes to Woody Allen films, all the chichés are there and the style of the film is pure Vicky Cristina, with the main difference being that he's replaced Barcelona for Paris; but the cinematography has the same style, the story has a similar rhythm, not so many differences. Though truth is I thought Vicky Cristina Barcelona was much better, more focused and funnier.

The contemporary parts of Midnight are mostly boring and predictable. Owen Wilson, the actor playing the typical woody allen character, is fine, but it's a copycat of what Woody would do in this role. Poor Rachel McAdams gets an annoying character, while Michael Sheen is as annoying as ever, regardless of whoever he's playing. The midnight part of the film, aka Paris in the 1920s, is a bit more fun, but all those supporting characters just don't glue together. Marion is nice to look at, the guy playing Hemingway overdoes it, Kathy Bates is nice, while Adrien Brody probably gives the best cameo.

It's nice to see Woody stepping away from monstrosities like Whatever Works, but the step taken is not far enough: the screenplay feels way too familiar, with characters that he's been doing over and over again. Sure, it's an easy film to watch, the direction is ok, but it's far from anything original or his best work.

My rating for the film: 6/10. The Art Direction nomination is not bad, but there were better contenders.


  1. Disagree!!!! I think this movie is great! The best I've seen this year!

  2. I don't think it's not much of a masterpiece, but it's something special. Extremely delightful.

    The art direction nom was very surprising, but so well deserved. Could have also been a worthy nominee in Editing, Cinematography, and Costume Design.

  3. I haven't seen it though I really should have months ago. I hope, though, that Woody wins another Oscar just for the sake of Woody winning another Oscar he doesn1t care about (secretly, I'm even hoping that he turns up just this once).

  4. I agree that Costume Design would've made more sense than Art Direction.
    As for Art Direction... there were some nice interiors, but that's it. It shouldn't take credit for the streets of Paris.

    I'd rather have Match Point at any time of day.

  5. Really? Match Point? I must revisit that again. I seem to remember it underwhelmed me.

    It's no masterpiece but it's certainly a light fluffy piece of fun. I'd like to give a shout out to Tom Hiddleston and Alison Pill who were a delight as Scott and Zelda.

  6. Yes, I'm quite a fan of Match Point. :)

    light fluffy piece of fun? Yes, half of it. :) not the part with McAdams & Sheet.