Midnight in Paris

** this film is best watched without knowing anything about the plot **

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris

Paris is the most beautiful city I’ve ever visited. And watching Midnight in Paris brought back treasured memories of my favorite city. From the beginning montage of Parisian side streets and the Seine to the sprinkling of Goyard bags in the background, I felt like I had been transported to the Left Bank just like Owen Wilson’s character is transported to Paris of the 1920’s and then the Belle Epoque.

A Hollywood script writer hoping to become a literary novelist, Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) fantasizes about moving to the City of Lights while on vacation with his fiancée Ines (Rachel McAdams) and her wealthy parents. Gil’s obsession with the artists living in Paris in the 1920’s magically paves the way for him to meet all his idols – Josephine Baker, Gertrude Stein, Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso to name a few.

Marion Cotillard is magical in the role of Picasso’s mistress. I first became enchanted by Cotillard in Jeux d’enfants and watching her play a woman who moved to Paris to work for Coco Chanel made me even more disappointed to know that she’s the face of Dior and not Chanel.

Owen Wilson exudes Woody Allen‘s charming neurosis by portraying an open-hearted, optimistic existentialist who overcomes his writing difficulties by injecting some surrealism into his life.

Shot entirely in Paris, the film is mostly in English and the parts that are in French are not subtitled. I found this refreshing since I sometimes get distracted by reading subtitles. Even though I’m pretty fluent in French, I sometimes check them just in case I think I’ve missed something. But, even if you don’t know what “bonjour” means, you will be able to understand the scenes by just reading the character’s body language, keeping you au moment [in the moment] during every scene.

One interesting thing I learned watching the film was the significance of Maxim’s restaurant in the 1920’s. When I was studying in Paris during my junior year abroad, I interned at Women’s Wear Daily located in the same building as the famed Maxim’s at 3 rue Royale. While I knew the restaurant was famous, watching Midnight in Paris set the context for what the place represented in its earlier days.

Whether you love Paris and wish you were there right now, or have never been and want an introduction to the romantic city, this film will leave you believing that there’s no better time than the present – wherever you are.

Midnight In Paris

Owen Wilson & Rachel McAdams

Michael Sheen & First Lady of France Carla Bruni-Sarkosy

Midnight In Paris

Midnight In Paris

A special thanks to Cassidy for inviting me to the Producers Guild of America screening!!