There is no better way to start a series of blog entries about the vacation in Paris than writing about this wonderful film by Woody Allen. There is no better way to see this wonderful film of Woody Allen than in an art cinema on the Rive Gauche, then go out and just wonder through the streets of the city. Some miracle will happen, even if it may not be identical to the one happening to the hero in the movie. Miracles are not supposed to be identical any way, are they?


Gil, the hero of the movie is a script-writer at Hollywood, successful enough not to care about being in love with the wrong girl, successful enough not to care to walk away from her and her corporate magnate daddy when he realizes what we all know from the first scene – she is not up to him, to his artistic and human aspirations, to his dreams to become a real writer and maybe live in Paris like Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway did in the golden 20s and 30s of the previous century. So when magic happens and a classic 1920 Peugeot Landaulet picks him at midnight to meet his idols and Picasso, Bunuel, Dali (Adrien Brody), Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) and the lovely Adriana (Marion Cotillard) un-famous muse to Picasso and Modigliani and interest of love for the 21st century Gil and maybe for other 19th century artists nobody is too astonished. We are not because Woody Allen tells the story with the fluidity of the feelings and sentiments rather than caring for any rational or mechanical explanation, and the hero is not because his idols behave exactly as they are described in text books. Is our representation of the past more a collection of clichees than a true representation of what really was? This is one of the more serious questions triggered by the film only after the viewers quit the screening theater. Is everybody more or less unhappy with his own present and seeking the refuge in a Golden Age which looked close proves not to be as shining as from the perspective of history, certainly not for those who live it as present?

(video source MoviePediaTrailers)

The charm of the movie and its omnipresent element of continuity is provided by the presence of the city for which ‘Midnight in Paris’ is a love declaration. The film starts with a series of postcard or touristic shots in the city, just to fill them with content and flavor. In Allen’s view in this film Paris is the kingdom beyond the mirror. The didactic message may be as obvious as ever in Allen’s films and is even enhanced by the off-screen voice which sounds like Allen’s whoever is the actor that plays the story teller – Allen himself or somebody else. French viewers were conquered by Allen’s film which was seen by more than a million of viewers since it premiered at Cannes last month. I do not know about exact statistics but recent films by Allen may actually have more viewers in France than in the United States. For Paris lovers this is the song that they always wanted to hear. The rest are in danger to become lovers of Paris after seeing this film.