A Review: Midnight in Paris

On Saturday night, I went to see 'Midnight in Paris' at my local cinema, and, I have to say, I loved it (and if you read blogs like my one, you probably will too).

It was sweet and hilarious, with just the right amount of self-awareness, silliness and schmaltz to make it a lovely, warm, inspiring film: basically, Owen Wilson's character, a frustrated Hollywood rewrite writer, goes to Paris with his fiancee's family and stumbles upon an avenue to 1920s Paris whilst wandering the streets on the stroke of midnight. All his literary heroes are there - Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, Gertrude Stein, etc. etc. - as well as a very seductive Marion Cotillard as the ultimate artist's/writer's muse.

I totally identified with Owen Wilson's character, perhaps unsurprisingly, and I thought the castings were fantastic, from Rachel McAdam's increasingly irritating and unsuitable fiancee to Hemingway, and Dali, with his repeated exclamations of 'the rhinoceros!' I wasn't entirely convinced by Zelda Fitzgerald - not really moony or waif-like enough - but the whole premise of him just stumbling upon the very people he's desperate to emulate was so well done as to be endearing and wistful, rather than cheesy or contrived. I loved that the film took his character's aspirations very seriously - the general moral being that you should take your artistic ambitions seriously and get the most you can out of life. It contrasts this with a gentle rebuttle of the notion that things would be that much better or easier if you could transport yourself to a different place or time, which is an escapist belief that I've actually written about myself. How difficult to accept that your 'present' is just as good as anyone else's...I would so love though to have Gertrude Stein around for her advice...

Anyway, I had a great, big smile on my face all the way through the film and have the same smile thinking about it again now. It may induce a serious case of the warm and fuzzies. It's a film I'd love to see again and one I'd really recommend.

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