Midnight in Paris
Another warm and witty all-star comedy from Woody Allen
Midnight in Paris is one of the warmest and wittiest Woody Allen films in recent memory. The jaunty manner and literary bent are reminiscent of Vicky Cristina Barcelona as Allen invests what could be a New Yorker short story with a Twilight Zone twist.
Allen sets the scene with picture postcard visions of Paris landmarks. It is a way of relaxing the mood for a sweetly nostalgic romantic comedy. Owen Wilson is one of the more effective Allen substitutes as Gil, a blustering Hollywood screenwriter on holiday with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her stuffy parents. One evening, Gil is walking aimlessly through the streets when a car pulls up and whisks him off to a party where he is soon bonding with F Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston) and chatting with a pugnacious Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll).The next morning he isn’t sure if it was fantasy or reality but it is a world he wants to revisit, especially when he could meet Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody), Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) or the beguiling Adriana (Marion Cotillard).
Amusing and cleverly sustained, Midnight In Paris is also perceptive about our longing for people and places we can never experience. It confirms that even in the autumn of his career, Allen can still surprise and delight.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 7 Oct; GFT, Glasgow from Fri 14 Oct and selected release.