The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Midnight In Paris | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Midnight In Paris

Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen
Last week Apple CEO Steve Jobs passed away. There's been a lot of hate for him across the web, mainly from so-called "Left-wingers" who consider him a greedy capitalist. He may well have been, I don't know what the guy's motivations were. What I do know is that people like him have made this the greatest time to be living on planet earth. Now the average Joe can watch high-definition movies on an affordable 50" plasma screen. We can carry entire music libraries in our pockets. Sound systems that rival New York disco clubs of the seventies are in our living rooms. In short, working class people now have access to technology that millionaires could only dream of thirty years ago. Sounds pretty left-wing to me.
But don't I hate most movies that are released now? Absolutely. Wouldn't I prefer to live in the seventies when great movies were released on a weekly basis? Absolutely not. Why not? Because all those movies can still be watched. I can enjoy "Halloween" with amazing picture and sound quality on a big-ass screen in my living room. I could never go back to how I watched movies twenty years ago, butchered pan and scan videos with hissy sound. Culturally for me not much has happened of note since 1983 but thanks to modern technology I can choose to ignore contemporary culture and bask in the past.
That's the subject of Allen's latest, possibly his eight "return to form" in the last decade. Wilson is a writer who wants to move to Paris, obsessed with the culture of the city in the 1920s. Each midnight he travels back in time to said decade and hangs out with cultural icons like Hemingway, Dali, Bunuel, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein. He falls for a ditzy "art groupie" played by Cotillard and they somehow find a way back to her favorite decade, the 1890s. Seems nobody is happy with the present.
This has been Allen's most successful movie ever. Usually Stateside his movies only play in New York and LA but this got a nationwide release and has taken well over a hundred million. Compared to his other recent European set films it's not particularly accessible, it's certainly not a date movie, and is very much male-oriented. It's not as good as "Vicky Christina Barcelona" but is superior to the London movies so maybe he just needs to avoid that city. His next movie is set in Italy so if the pattern continues it should be quality.
So pop out and see this but if you're a guy don't bring a date, this is a particularly male breed of romantic comedy.