Nostalgia And Revisiting “Midnight In Paris”

I must confess something: I have a soft spot for visually appealing films. In other words, I like “eye-candy” films. If I had to name one right now, “Midnight In Paris” would definitely be one of them. Whether you are a Woody Allen fan or not, you can’t deny the impeccable aesthetics from his films. Most of the time, things will not make much sense. However, that’s what makes a good Woody Allen film.

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So, what’s the story about? Gil (Owen Wilson) is a Hollywood screenwriter on a trip to Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her family. On a casual night out, he decides to wander the Parisian streets instead of hanging out with Inez’s snobbish friends. Guess what happens? Very conveniently, at midnight, a 1920s car stops by and the passengers (also dressed accordingly) rush Gil to join in. Did he accept the invitation? Of course, he did.

Now… if you are one of those people that are too “logical” about films, then skip “Midnight In Paris”. However, if you are able to get over the time travelling aspect of the film, then you are in for a treat. Nostalgia is definitely the recurrent theme of film. Gil is living in the present, but he’s fantasizing about the past. But this past is a little bit different: it’s not composed by old memories. Oh no, Gil is “fancy” and he wants to live in the 1920s. But he’s not the only one experiencing these feelings. His 1920s love interest “Adriana” (Marion Cotillard) also feels the same way, but for an different era: La Belle Époque. Throughout the film, you realize that everyone romanticizes the past.

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As I see it, Gil is on a self-discovery journey. All of his trips to the past enabled him to learn a little more about himself and what he wants in life. Towards the end, he becomes more confident about his life’s direction. In fact, he came to several realizations: he should be pursuing his writing aspirations and move to Paris.

Overall, “Midnight In Paris” is an unforgettable visual experience. As a viewer, you are invited (just like Gil) to experience an alternate reality. That’s why I enjoy Woody Allen’s films. As I was watching it, I felt like I was there. Though, I wasn’t feeling too empathic about Gil’s character, I understood his motivations. All the other characters felt a bit one-dimensional, except Adriana. Unlike Inez, it’s harder to pin-point who/what Adriana really is. In addition, the cameos were just precious to watch. I mean, where else will you ever find Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald in the same scene? Priceless.

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