Thursday, 28 July 2011

On the Road: Midnight in Paris

Caught up with Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris yesterday and was pleasantly surprised. After a run of rather loose, uneven films this is a remarkably sharp, funny and astute comedy. And even the fantasy elements are handled with skill and wit. I particularly enjoyed a long-take scene at Versailles (above) in which four characters have a lively, often ridiculous discussion that tells us far more about the characters than we realise at the time.

Owen Wilson makes a terrific stand-in as the standard Allen character, a writer struggling with the pull of art and commerce, complicated by his personal life. As the story progresses, he's not only given a chance to indulge in his fantasy of living in 1920s Paris (complete with an almost farcical parade of iconic artists), but he is also confronted with a gentle moral conundrum in 2010 Paris. Meanwhile, the film is packed with lively characters, a terrific supporting cast and quite a few random comical asides that don't really need to be here but keep us laughing. It's the kind of movie I wouldn't mind seeing again. That doesn't happen often....


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