‘Midnight in Paris’ plays out like an extravagant novel

Midnight in Paris

Marion Cotillard ('Inception') and Owen Wilson ('Hall Pass') in 'Midnight in Paris'

You’ll get sucked into the architectural beauty and culture of Paris in the morning, and then you’ll fall in love under the city lights and exotic romance at night. Directed and written by critically acclaimed director Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris plays like an extravagant novel that you will wish would never end, and the mise en scene will inspire a smile on your face and a need to visit the beautiful city for yourself. The vivid and bright cinematography proudly introduces Paris as a place of nostalgia, history, romance, and inspiration, and the story takes dreams and aspirations to another level. It’s one of those films where you wish the unimaginable could happen every day, so long as it makes you happy forever.

I can’t say much without giving the entire story away, but what I will mention is that the story is as unforgettable as the city lights at night in Paris. The film offers so much personality and retrospect, and main character Gil (Owen Wilson) – an unhappy screenwriter whose dream is to follow in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and T.S. Elliot as a successful novelist – gives us so much reason to believe in not only his dreams but our own. Yes, this film is a work of art in every way possible and reminds the audience that optimism is the key to living in the moment and surrealism is something to embrace. However, we are also constantly reminded to come back to reality once in a while, especially with Inez (Rachel McAdams) – Gil’s fiancee who would rather embrace luxury and wealth. That’s how it starts off: realist v. surrealist. Gil and Inez are engaging in conversation; while Gil insists they picture their life together living in Paris forever, Inez declines the idea and tells him that they belong in Malibu. We see, from beginning to end, the visible contrast between the characters and realize that this relationship may not last. We are later introduced to Adriana (Marion Cotillard) – a beautiful, down-to-earth French woman who came to Paris to study fashion with an elite high-end designer but left her dream when she fell in (and out of) love with a famous painter. Halfway into the film, we see Gil and Adriana’s chemistry and hope they end up together, but by the time we reach the end of the film, we are wishing Gil a new kind of dream and hope his decision was for the best.

It’s a film that tries to find the balance between optimism and realism, that shows the pros and cons of living in and being influenced by the past, and a story that depicts the uncertainty of leading a life you’ve never wanted for yourself as well as leading a fairy tale you only knew from the novels you read. Midnight in Paris is definitely a must-see film for the movie lovers out there!

This film runs 100 minutes long and is Rated PG-13.

Grade: A+

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