The artistry of Paris being on full display was expected, the time-travelling was not.
Midnight in Paris follows the character Gil (Wilson), a Hollywood screenwriter who is on vacation in Paris with his fiance Inez (McAdams) and is also in the middle of writing a novel. While the two are scheduled to be married, it is apparent that they have problems, as Gil is usually dragged around the city by Inez and her parents to some of the more dull parts of the city.
However one night Gil finds himself walking the streets of Paris and at midnight, he is taken into an old model car and brought back to the age of the 1920’s. Here, Gil meets famous artists from the time including Ernest Hemmingway (Stoll) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Hiddleston). The rest of the film follows Gil’s mundane life during the day and his exploration of his favorite artists at night.
I was quite shocked to find out just what Owen Wilson’s character did at midnight. The trailers just made it seemed like he got caught up in a wild, mysterious nightlife, and while that technically is true, the time travel aspect was not really shown.
Not to worry though, this didn’t turn it into some odd sci-fi film. The time travel aspect in this film was more about an artist learning to not only open his mind more, but to learn how to live more freely as well.
It made for a wonderfully charming experience. Many scenes were taking place in the 1920’s and had that atmosphere, and yet at the same time, there was a bit of modernism as well with Wilson’s character being from the present time. It’s a mixture of old and new that blends together well without ever clashing.
This is now my favorite Owen Wilson film, since it provides his best performance. He still has some of his other mannerisms from other comedic roles he has been in. However, in this film I think it is much easier to see the character on the screen and not Owen Wilson.
The best parts of the film, though, are the supporting cast from history of great writers and other artists.
I myself am not exactly a know-it-all when it comes to literature, and yet, even I was able to become attached to the characters like Hemingway and Fitzgerald and understand just what kind of artists they were and what kind of people they were from how well they were portrayed. Kathy Bates also appears in the film, not to many scenes, yet her performance was fantastic.
There was also a romantic aspect of the film, with Gil meeting a young woman named Adriana, who was with Picasso for a time however she and Gil soon become close after she leaves Picasso. The relationship is nicely portrayed in the film. The focus really spans over not only love, though, but life, art and the city that the story resides in, and the movie mixes them all together perfectly to make for a great experience.
For great acting and a charming setting and story, Midnight in Paris is a 5 out of 5, and one of my favorites of the year so far.