Traveling through the movies: Midnight in Paris

I’m not a Woody Allen fan overall but I went to see this movie because of the Parisian setting and the unusual premise.  A couple from California, Gil and Inez, (Owen Wilson, Rachel MacAdam) are vacationing in Paris with her parents. He writes screenplays but really wants to be a proper writer. Gil loves Paris,even in the rain, and would love to live there and write. He admires all the writers that lived there in what he considers Paris’ golden age, the 1920s. Life was better then.

Late one night, after drinking too much at a wine tasting, he stumbles around a corner in old Montmartre. An classic car comes around the corner and he’s invited to a party. Gil finds himself in the company of his idols, Hemmingway, Stein, Fitzgerald and other notaries from the era including painters (Dali, Picasso) and singers. He meets Adriana (Marion Cotillard) who feels as he does though she thinks Paris’ golden age was the Belle Epoque. He spends several nights like this, getting to know all the “celebs” of the time and falling in love with Adriana and with the era. It inspires his writing but alienates him from Inez whose shallowness and pretentiousness is emphasized by comparison.

The movie is about making the most of life, not wishing for a different life that probably would be no better. It’s about what you make of it and about being true to yourself.

The movie was shot all around Paris, day and night, in sunshine and rain,  with an awesome opening sequence showing a day in the life of Paris.  In addition, there are views of Monet’s Giverney and of Versailles.  Restaurants, shops, markets, streets, the Seine, the boulevards, the streets, the views. This movie has it all and you’ll be tempted to pack your bags and book a flight! Here’s some screen shots from the opening and a few other shots from the film.

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