Midnight in Paris
Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Kurt Fuller, Mimi Kennedy, Michael Sheen, Nina Arianda
Woody Allen’s got his groove back. Judging by last year’s acidic black comedy You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and this affectionate valentine to the City of Light, the movie-a-year-whether-you-want-it-or-not auteur has hit a vibrant creative stride – Midnight in Paris just picked up the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (although in typical Allen style, he failed to show and pick it up).
Things seem just right from Paris’s melancholy prelude, a sublimely photographed, edited and scored succession of images of the fantastical French capital. From there we meet Hollywood screenwriter and budding novelist Gil (Wilson), who’s come to the city with his fiancée, Inez (McAdams), for a fateful visit. Gil is utterly beguiled by Paris’s hidden wonders and its palpable sense of history. As he’s quick to admit, he’s a nostalgist who feels like he was born in the wrong time (Gil, il est toi, Monsieur Allen?). So imagine his delight when the clock tolls midnight one evening, an old Peugeot rolls up, and he’s transported from Paris 2010 to Paris 1920. Soon he’s rubbing elbows with Ernest Hemingway and falling for fashion designer Adriana (Cotillard).
From this clever, potentially one-note setup, Allen creates a continually amusing fantasia that is also wise about the damaging ways people reject the present to embrace a golden-hued past that never existed. This is prime Woody Allen – insightful, philosophical and very funny. Keith Ulrich
Weekly box office: Dhs320,908
Weekly admissions: 8,580
Total box office: Dhs320,908
Total admissions: 8,580