Midnight In Paris DVD Review

Returning back to top form, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris is an enchanting and well-crafted romantic comedy which ponders whether nostalgia is all what it’s cracked up to be.

It follows Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams) , a young engaged couple on a visit to Paris. Whilst Inez spends her days with a very pedantic couple (Michael Sheen and Nina Arianda), Gil spends his time working on his novel. Soon Gil discovers that at midnight a car arrives which can whisk him away to the past. There he meets all of his literary heroes and begins to fall for the beautiful Adriana (Marion Cotillard). This causes him to become torn between the past and the present as he ponders over what he really wants in life.

After the last few misfires, Midnight In Paris certainly marks Allen’s comeback. Unlike his most recent efforts he refrains from using the dead pan voice over and instead creates an engaging protagonist in the shape of Gil. Owen Wilson is the perfect Allen lead, filled with self-doubt but exuding a natural charm. Whilst not being as compelling as if a younger Woody Allen had taken the role, Wilson is surely the next best thing radiating a certain vulnerability and charisma.

For Woody Allen fans seeing any of his works is like meeting up with an old friend, but Midnight In Paris’s charm extends to a far wider audience. This is thanks to the well rounded cast but also due to Allen’s move from his last few cynical offerings to something far more upbeat, celebrating the joys of love rather than criminalising it. In many respects Midnight In Paris shares much in common with his earlier work with the nostalgic elements of Radio Days and the fantasy elements of A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy.

The frequent references to high art and culture certainly alludes to the fact Allen makes ‘grown up’ films which are so refreshing in an age where the local multiplex is cramped full of mind numbing blockbusters and flat romantic comedies. Whilst not everyone will necessarily ‘get’ jokes surrounding Dali and the FitzGeralds, the film certainly sparks an interest about that period, educating and entertaining.

Without a doubt Midnight In Paris was one of the top films of 2011, an intelligent and magical comedy which is a must see for anyone passionate about cinema.

Released on DVD and Blu-Ray on February 6th 2012

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