The fact that Woody Allen is still making films is kind of impressive. He’s been steadily writing, directing and occasionally starring in films since the late ‘60s. Apparently he’s never heard of writer’s block. His work post-1990 is very hit or miss but most of his films from the ‘70s and ‘80s is so excellent and genre-defining, Allen’s films are always worth checking out. His latest, Midnight in Paris, is now playing at Red River Theatres.
Owen Wilson plays Gil Pender, a screen-writer looking for inspiration while vacationing in Paris with his fiance, Inez, played by Rachel McAdams. Wilson occupies the Woody Allen role in Midnight in Paris playing the neurotic yet witty protagonist and McAdams is the typical Allen female lead in that she blithely divulges information about her relationship with Gil with others as casually as she says, “hello.” One night, instead of going dancing with Inez, Gil decides to take a stroll through Paris. A few hours into it, he’s picked up by a random car of strangers who look like they’re on their way to a costume party.
From there, Gil meets several people who inspired him to become a writer. Speaking of inspiration, Midnight in Paris is a love letter from Allen to the city of Paris and an era that clearly has inspired him. All the writers, artists and musicians that play a role in Gil’s night time strolls obviously had an impact on Allen and his choice to become a writer, filmmaker and jazz musician. Perhaps it’s that inspiration that makes Midnight in Paris one of the better films Allen has made in the last 15 years. Every frame of this film screams with the love and affection Allen has for Paris and all the artists that once inhabited it. All the usual trappings of an Allen film are present here (interesting characters, well-written dialogue) and it’s some of the best he’s done in a long time.
Midnight in Paris could end up being one of the better films of 2011 so I highly recommend checking it out at Red River Theatres.