We’re on a bit of a movie kick here at our house. Grace thinks life consists of walks in the park, swimming, milkshakes, trips to the “beach-ocean,” Disney and movies. My daughter of few words turned to me in the car this week and dead-on looked at me and said “Go See Mobie!!” (In between rapid-fire, broken record requests to go see Mickey Mouse and shop for another purple bracelet.) I picked the PG-13 flick, Midnight in Paris, not knowing what a treat we’d receive. This romantic comedy-fantasy film is apparently a bit of a sleeper, or at least overshadowed a bit by “The Help”. And, it’s Woody Allen‘s latest–being hailed perhaps his best. Fresh from Cannes this spring and met with “universal” acclaim, it was classic Woody from an opening scene and a deliciously rich-with-meaning dialogue late in the movie about living in the present moment. In between, it was packed with surprises that will delight any literary and arts fans and is a must for any writer and visual artist. At least three times I wish I’d gotten out a notebook to scribble down the Woody Allenesque quotes of A-HA! import.
The movie’s protagonist–smartly (and this time seriously) played by Owen Wilson–is a successful Hollywood screenwriter (classic Allen) who’s painfully laboring over a novel. (Again–classic.) He’s engaged to a beautiful, rich, spoiled brat who does not appreciate him. (At one point in the movie, I sorta yelled out “Ditch Her!“) The movie takes place during a trip to Paris where Gil Bender, played by Owen, disappears each night around midnight and time travels back into the 1920s where he dances, drinks and richly converses with Picasso, Dali, the Fitzgeralds, Gertrude Stein and Hemingway, among others. To enjoy the movie, one has to have a basic knowledge of these artists and writers as the movie is Woody Allen smirk-funny with references to the character and lives of each of these great artists. Clearly our late Saturday afternoon audience got the references and were as delighted and surprised at the appearances of all these greats as was the time-traveling lead.
And Paris, as captured by the quirky-clever Allen, is a dreamy feast for the heart and eyes. A Rolling Stones reviewer compared it to Allen’s “Manhattan,” in which, like Midnight, the filmmaker makes passionate love to the city.
Delightful!…though potential viewers could stand to wait it out for video release, unless you’re just dying to “Go See Mobie!!”
What movie have you seen lately?