Midnight in Paris (2011) Movie Review


A special movie for a special day.

Cast: Owen Wilson plays a screenwriter named Gil who yearns to live in the 1920s in Paris. He finds himself back in time in that era every midnight. Rachel McAdams plays Inez, Gil’s fiancé, who doesn’t believe him and who does not share the same passion as Gil in wanting to live in Paris. Gil and Inez are both in Paris with her family due to her father’s new work related opportunity. When he travels back in time, one of the first writers he meets is F.Scott Fitzgerald played by the very talented Tom Hiddleston. Not to be outshined, Alison Pill played the ever charming Zelda Fitzgerald, who I personally think did a fine job portraying her. Corey Stoll played Ernest Hemingway who appeared to be ready to fight with anyone at a moments notice. Kathy Bates played Gertrude Stein, who was friends with Picasso who was played by Marcial Di Fonzo Bo. Marion Cotillard played the French muse whom Picasso was inspired by and who happened to run off with Hemingway at one point in the film. Adrien Brody played one of my favorite artists named Salvador Dali.

Basic movie facts: This movie was written and directed by Woody Allen. There is a part where Gil is talking to Bunuel about a movie idea which he’ll make in the future-that movie ended up being called El ángel exterminador aka The Exterminating Angel. This film was actually made by Bunuel in 1962.

Pros: Where do I begin with all the pros? If you’re an artist who is really into some of the greatest artists who ever lived or a literary buff who enjoyed reading the great classics, then this movie is for you. Sure, not everyone liked this movie or are familiar with the greats who appeared in the film, but that’s ok. The first time I watched this movie, I was overjoyed in seeing Picasso “come to life” and Salvador Dali-both these artists were great friends with another artist/sculpture whom I admire, Edward James. I even blogged about him and his Garden of Dreams. You can check it out here. Edward James and his Garden of Dreams. This movie is basically a gathering of famous artists and authors who all come together in this bar, if there ever was a fantasy of that happening. Apparently, Woody Allen beat everyone else to that, hence the birth of this film. Woody Allen brought into this film a cast of very talented actors and actresses to portray some of the greatest artists who ever lived. Another pro is that this film is filmed in Paris. I’m a big fan of movies filmed anywhere in France.

Cons: If you are not familiar with some of the characters, it won’t mean as much to you in that regards. I had no idea who Gertrude Stein was, so I was more focused on Kathy Bates (who portrayed her) as an actress and that creepy movie she was in. I noticed Rachel McAdams really enjoyed “poofing” up her hair in several scenes. It was slightly distracting, but she’s so amazing and talented, it’s not really a con.

Cinematography: Director of Photographer was Darius Khondji who did a beautiful job in capturing the charm of Paris. It was fun to see some well known locations from another movie “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset”.

Music score: I have the entire music score in my little ipod. The first time I watched this film, I was mesmerized by what I saw and this only happened because of the music. Listening to the music as the main character was so magical, I just had to bring it into my own life to add some magic. It has worked. The soundtrack to the film accompanies me as I wash dishes, get ready in the morning, make my coffee, cook, clean up etc. I feel as thought I am living somewhere in Paris in the comfort of my home. I absolutely love it. So when I watched it the 3rd time two nights ago, all the songs were already so familiar than what they were when I first watched this movie the first two times. Two of my favorite songs in the movie are called “Je Suis Seul Ce Soir” and “Recado”. I usually listen to them every morning when I’m getting ready for work. Recado, for some reason, reminds me of a sunny morning in Rio with my buttered bread and coffee waiting for me out in the patio overlooking Copacabana Beach. I usually dance around the kitchen with Recado, but you’ll never catch me dancing if you are with me. Ok. Maybe. Music is such a huge part of my everyday life. It just brightens my mood and makes my morning magical. All these songs make me so happy and I just can’t stop smiling when I hear these songs.

Favorite quote: “Paul: Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present… the name for this denial is golden age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one ones living in – it’s a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.”

I think having nostalgia for the past can be good to a certain point. A healthy way of dealing with that would be to incorporate some of the nostalgia to present time and mix it up with modern everyday life. If you believe that cooking from the 1800’s was amazing and that people ate healthier that way, then go out and buy a cookbook from the 1800s and make food from that era for your everyday life. I happen to love music from the 1920-1940 time and I play this kind of music whenever I can. I don’t sit and think about going back in time to France in the 1920’s all the time, but I bring it to present time to enjoy with the comforts of my technology at my fingertips.

Audience reaction: I loved this movie so much I now own it. For more than one reason, lol.

Relatability: For the past few movie reviews, I seem to be relating more with the male characters for some reason. I think that’s kind of funny in a way. I’m sure if I went to Paris, I would absolutely fall in love with the city and wonder what life would be like in the 1920’s. I happen to love walking in the rain like Gil. This is basically because there were times I had no choice but to walk in the pouring rain down in Brazil almost every single day. Rain does make a city even more beautiful, especially after it has stopped raining with the sunshine making everything shine with a certain freshness lingering in the air. Today is special because it’s my birthday. It was not hard deciding which movie to review for today. If you’re clever, you’ll realize there is a connection from the past few movies to this one. One clue: T. H.

14 thoughts on “Midnight in Paris (2011) Movie Review

  1. A sweet movie that reminds us why Wilson is actually a guy to watch and enjoy on-screen. Sadly, he hasn’t been quite able to keep the energy and love for him going. Nice review.


    1. Yeah, he’s pretty good in most movies. In my mind, I go through countless other actors and wonder what or how the movie would have turned out. I think Woody Allen wanted someone very similar to himself to play this role. That’s my guess. It is a sweet movie. Nothing too deep or gory. Lol.


  2. Happy Birthday lady! I feel like I need to do a post in your honor! So cool! Anyways, I would probably not relate to knowing some of these characters because I’m not familiar with those people. I know their names but not much more. Anyways, I do like being in the rain. Though sometimes it is a little too much in Seattle.


    1. Thank you so much Ben!! Whoa, wait. You don’t sound bitter. Hm….am I rubbing off on you? Is my happy fairy dust covering you all over with happiness? LOL. Just kidding. I know you’re a cool and happy guy deep down. I’ve always wanted to go to Seattle. I’ve been to Portland though!


      1. You see right through me! How dare you know how I am? Well just to show you I am a little bitter, I won’t do a post about you. Because I am lame. But hope you do have a great birthday. Best day of my year, because everyone has to tell you how great you are!


      2. Haha, yes and a day for me to see who my true friends are over on FB. :p I need to clean house over there anyways and keep the people who care. Aw. You won’t do a post about me. I am crying buckets of tears over here. Why??? (Shakes fists in the air). Lol.


      3. I would wish you a Happy Birthday on Facebook, but we aren’t friends there. If we were you would need to clean house on there and make sure I was gone. I just need to not put my birthday on Facebook so I don’t get all those phony birthday wishes.


  3. I admit I went into this movie not wanting to like it. I dislike Woody Allen immensely and have that attitude with anything to do with him. In the end the whole premise of everyone always wanting to live in another time that they think was better or more romantic was very intriguing. Getting to know the historical characters as they interacted was a lot of fun. Darn I hate it when I have to like something of WA.


    1. Yeah, I use to be the same way. At some point in time, I just forgot about how I felt and watched this movie. I’m not familiar with all his movies, but I like this one. It just struck a cord with me in falling in love with a city. I fall in love with every city I go to. Lol! I was incredibly elated to see Picasso and Dali “come to life”. I wonder if that is how Hemingway actually acted in real life.


    1. Oh, you would love it! I really, really enjoyed watching Hemingway ‘come to life’ in this movie and you will too! Corey did a superb job portraying him. It was Hemingway in his younger years, so he had his swag going on and was every inch Hemingway. This is a family friendly film, so it’s ok to watch with kids running around. Please, please do a review on it if you ever get a chance to see it. 😀


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