By January 9, 2012 10 Comments Read More →

Movie Review: Midnight in Paris

Question: Have you ever gone to a film reluctantly? A lot of times you think the movie isn’t your cup of tea, right? I had to use that expression because my mother wanted to go see the latest Owen Wilson film because she likes him. Yes, my mouth dropped open when she said that. My mom likes Owen Wilson! Not that I blame her, one bit, but I immediately thought she must have seen only Marley & Me and Behind Enemy Lines and not Bottle Rocket,  Wedding Crashers or The Royal Tennenbaums.  I was right.

However, it was Woody Allen’s latest film: Midnight in Paris that had me questioning the offer of a free movie ticketI am not his biggest fan, but I do have respect for the film-maker. Nevertheless, you know I am always game to see a film.

As we were sitting in the theater, at noon on a Monday, I noticed there was a certain age bracket that kept walking in. I was not a member of that group. My mom was though. I wondered if they too were Owen Wilson fans, and I started giggling as each person or couple came in. My mom laughed with me once I informed her about my reason for the giggling.

Soon the lights dimmed and the 15 previews finished. Okay, I am exaggerating but even my mother complained about how many there were. Maybe, I got my distaste of previews from her?

The film began and I was getting a little nervous because the opening credits and song went on for an extended period of time — perhaps two or three minutes too long. However, it was bearable for it was showing picture-perfect views of Paris. Then the dialogue began and I knew immediately I was watching a Woody Allen film. Owen Wilson’s voice conversed with Rachel McAdams’ character for about a minute to a black screen. It was quintessential Woody Allen.

Then it hit me: Owen Wilson might have been born to act in a Woody Allen film. Seriously, it was perfect casting. His demeanor and delivery of the overly wordy but brilliant dialogue dripped deliciously off his tongue. I soon relaxed and let the story take me away. And what a wonderful story!

Now, if you like any of the following: Art History, Classic Literature, Musical History, or Film History — you are going to love this movie. Okay, that is about the only hint I will give you about the wonderfully imaginative part of the plot, but rest assured this movie will delight you.

Owen Wilson plays a writer visiting Paris with his self-absorbed, and overly-pampered-by-her-parents-fiancé played brilliantly by Rachel McAdams (complete opposite of her character in Wedding Crashers). He is a writer stuck in a type of career that doesn’t fulfill him and all he wants to do during his trip is walk around Paris soaking in the city’s allure.  His fiancé, however, does not so he strolls alone, at night, around the City of Lights. This is something that everyone should do from time to time.

The adventure or quest he takes allows the imagination to soar. It’s a slightly off-beat, Woody Allen-esque temperament story, but told in such an endearing way. I sat there mesmerized. This journey of discovery is one that most creative people must take to find their true passion in life. However, many choose not to take it for financial reasons.  Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) happily pursues the mysterious passageway, and we are all along for the ride of a lifetime.

His character felt eerily familiar — not to another fictional personality but something more about yours truly. Spooky!

I loved Midnight in Paris, probably more than most would. First, I studied Art History in college; I recall many of the great authors of our past and envy their talent (especially of late); I am married to a musician and through osmosis picked up many wonderful facts about it; Plus, film, most importantly, is turning into my greatest passion in life.

In fact, I am now on my own creative quest, and I keep getting signs slapped in my face telling me things that will alter my creative life forever. It is scary but thrilling all at the same time. However,  Midnight in Paris was not just another one of those signs that only I will appreciate.

The cast of characters played by the following list was a perfect choice of actors to round out this masterpiece: Kathy Bates, who can do wrong in my eyes; Michael Sheen, probably one of the most talented and most diverse actors today; Tom Hiddleston, who I only saw recently in Thor but think he is about to hit his stride in Hollywood; and of course, Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson were a brilliant pairing. This is their second movie together, and I have a feeling it won’t be their last.

I will never go reluctantly to a movie again! Thanks Mom (plus, Owen & Woody)!

My favorite thing: The moral of the story.

My least favorite thing: Nothing — okay, the opening song was a little too long but that is being really picky.

Rating: PG-13

Length: 100 minutes

Directed (and written) by Woody Allen, Gravier Productions,  2011. Starring Owen WilsonRachel McAdamsKathy BatesMichael Sheen and Marion Cotillard

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance.

Review: 10 out of 10

Originally published on Tired of Previews June 15, 2011. Midnight in Paris now available for rent.

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Rating: 9.3/10 (4 votes cast)
Movie Review: Midnight in Paris, 9.3 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

About the Author:

Movie reviews that won’t spoil the story with the critique. Movies are my passion and I want to share my opinion on the movies I see to give you more insight on what to see next.

  • This was a great film. I didn’t really get all of it on the first viewing but have now seen it three times and every viewing you can discover something missed previously. One of Allen’s best films for a while I think, Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard were great in it plus the Paris locations were beautifully shot.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
    • As I said before, I will own this movie someday. I loved it that much! This could go up as one of the top 10 favorite movies of all time for me. It truly was a treat to go in expecting very little to come out with so much.

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      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  • The cast of this movie was reason enough to see it, but knowing it got a Katy Kern 10/10? Definitely have to see it now…

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  • Haha…yes, I rarely give 10 out of 10 but this one was a resounding PERFECT movie! Then again, I said I had A LOT to relate to it and I wasn’t expecting anything when I went to it. However, being a writer yourself I think you will really enjoy it. Plus, Owen Wilson was the PERFECT (there’s that word again) choice for the role. Have you ordered Netflix yet, missy? 😉

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    • No, but….I really need to now! There are so many things I want to see. I blame you! 😉

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      • Na, you’ll just thank’re welcome…in advance. 🙂

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  • When I first heard about this movie I was very intrigued. Then I saw that Woody Allen was the director and went, “Meh. He’s really not my style.” I’m glad I read this review. Now I want to see it!

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  • Yay! I love it when I hear I’ve helped someone decide to see a movie. I loved this film. In fact, it was one of my favorites of 2011. Enjoy it 🙂

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  • Larry Conley


    Owen Wilson is one of a few actors that draw me to a film on his own power. I really appreciate the quality he projects.

    When this movie first came out, Nancy [my wife] and I were going to go, but we blew it. My son Bryan and his significant other, Kellie, went and loved it. They, of course, know of my esteem for Owen.

    This holiday season they favored me with a DVD of the movie and my plans are to watch it this weekend.

    Having read this excellent and laudable review these plans are even more firm.

    I am not a Woody fan either, but from what you have said, Owen seems to have transformed Woody’s negatives into positives.

    Thanks again!

    Question: Have you seen the Grey, and if so, what do you think?

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    • Larry, I am so glad you are going to see this. This was probably my favorite movie of last year. Enjoy!

      I have not seen The Grey yet but was planning on it although I hear it is really gory.

      Thanks for your comments. 🙂

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