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When the clock in the castle tower struck 12, it signaled the end of
Cinderella's magical trip to the ball. But it was just the beginning
of the magic for Owen Wilson's Gil Pender in Woody Allen's
Midnight in Paris.
I had enjoyed Wilson in Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights
and his pint-size self in Night in the Museum, and I was glad to
see that he'd made a new "night" movie. That was even before I
knew that he was a fellow Texan and was playing a writer.
Paris has never been lovelier--or more lovingly filmed to a
soundtrack of Cole Porter, jazz and Charleston tunes, with a cast
of characters from the Lost Generation of 1920s Paris--Ernest
Hemingway (played by Corey Stoll), Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
(Tom Hiddleston and Allison Pill), Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates),
Alice B.Toklas (Therese Bourou-Rubensztein), Cole Porter (Yves
Heck) and Josephine Baker (Sonya Rolland).
Wilson brings verisimilitude to the role as he responds with
wide-eyed amazement to his literary and artistic heroes. At first he
tries to share his discovery with his fiance Inez (Rachel
McAdams), but she thinks he's crazy.
It's one of a series of strains on their relationship. Gil likes to
walk, Inez prefers dancing. Gil wants to remain in Paris, Inez is
busy planning their life in Los Angeles. Gil dreams of writing in an
attic room; Inez is eagerly snapping up expensive antiques.
Gil can't stand Inez's father's conservative politics and cringes at
his preference for all things American--including Napa Valley
wine. Inez seems better suited to the pedantic boor Paul (Michael
Sheen), an expert on everything, than to Gil, who is quick to
recognize his limitations.
Midnight in Paris was nominated for the Critics' Choice,
Producers Guild, Golden Globe, Directors Guild and Screen
Actors Guild awards. It won the Writers Guild award and ranked
highest in an informal poll of positive tweets generated by the
movie, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Allen took home his fourth Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for
the story of the Hollywood hack who dreams of writing the great
American novel as he wanders the narrow cobblestone streets of
Paris seeking inspiration.
Other articles in this website include Paris, the Lost Generation
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