Whimsey and romance in Paris

Midnight in Paris Mongrel Media Rating: PG 94 minutes

A lot of Woody Allen’s recent films have been so-so, but Midnight in Paris shows him in excellent form.

This is not a film that everyone will love, but if, like this reviewer, you enjoy reading about Paris in the 1920s (books like Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast) you will adore this film.

Owen Wilson, a frustrated Hollyood screenwriter, and Rachel McAdams play a young couple on a trip to Paris. They’re not getting along all that well and one night Wilson wanders off by himself and (through the magic of movies) finds himself in 1920s Paris. Soon he’s drinking with Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald and having his novel in progress read by Gertrude Stein (a wonderful Kathy Bates).

The more you know about this period the more you will enjoy the film. Adrien Brody puts in a cameo as Salvador Dali and Wilson has a humourous encounter with a young Luis Bunuel. He even temporarily falls in love with Pablo Picasso’s mistress (Marion Cotillard).

It’s worth seeing the film just for the beautiful opening shots of Paris, set to the jazz stylings of Sydney Bechet. Allen does for Paris here what he did for New York in films like Manhattan.

Red Deer is badly served when it comes to seeing films that are not Hollywood blockbusters so Carnival Cinemas deserves a huge pat on the back and a big thank you for bringing this whimsical, romantic movie in.

Rating: five deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.