Weekend Roundup: ‘Midnight in Paris’ review

Happy Monday, everybody! It’s actually a Columbus Day holiday here, but no, I didn’t get a day off 😦

Hope you had a wonderful weekend, wherever you are. Well, mine was quite lovely. I took a much-needed blogging/computer break on Saturday to spend the entire day outdoors starting with a jog around the beautiful Lake Calhoun with friends, then off to a small town south of the Twin Cities to go hiking and take in the gorgeous Fall colors. This has got to be the best Autumn season ever with hardly any rain and temps holding in the 70s and 80s!

But guess what, despite my hectic weekend, I actually had time to see not one but two movies, no, NOT the weekend box office winner Reel Steel, not even sure I want to rent that one. I finally caught Midnight in Paris at a local indie theater, and The Beaver that’s been sitting on our counter for a whole week.

Midnight in Paris

I feel that the less you know about this film the better, which is why I’m not going to go into the plot details too much and just leave you with this IMDb description:

A romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better.

For most people, the appeal of this film is likely to be the ever-so-prolific Woody Allen. But his work has been hit and miss for me so the appeal of this film for me is the enchanting city of Paris and boy, this film practically doubles as a tourism video for the City of Lights. Seems like Allen’s love affair with Europe continues [his last few films were filmed in London & Barcelona] and cinematographer Darius Khondji indulges him with gorgeous shots of his city muse.

I had some doubts about Owen Wilson in the lead role but he turned out to be perfectly cast as a disillusioned Hollywood screenwriter who calls himself a ‘hack’ and longs to finally finish his novel. His comic timing as Gil generates plenty of laugh in the scenes spent during the day with his fiancée Inez’s family and friends, but his wide-eyed bewilderment when the clock strikes midnight is even more fun to watch.

Again, I’m glad I didn’t know much about the plot as what Gil encounters from midnight until the wee hours is full of surprises! Checking out the characters’ name on its IMDb would easily give it away but I suggest you refrain from doing that unless you don’t mind being spoiled.

Like most of Woody Allen’s films, this one is comprised of a large ensemble cast including Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody and also feature a small cameo of French first lady Carla Bruni. I also didn’t know Tom Hiddleston [Thor‘s Loki] is in this one, so it was a pleasant surprise! The usually likable Michael Sheen and Rachel McAdams portray their unsympathetic characters quite well, Sheen especially as the smarty-pants college professor friend of Inez. Marion Cotillard is lovely as always and her role as the free-spirited French beauty Adriana seems tailor-made for her. Her scenes with Wilson are easily the highlights of the movie for me.

I’m so glad I finally caught this film before its theatrical run is over! My hubby was initially reluctant to see it but he ended up loving it as much as I did. It’s truly an enchanting and magical film that’s full of whimsical yet poignant dialog complemented by beautiful scenery. It’s quite predictable how Gil will come to his senses by the end, but his journey to get there is wonderful to watch. I’ll definitely be seeing this one again.

4.5 out of 5 reels


What did you think of Midnight in Paris? 

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41 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup: ‘Midnight in Paris’ review

  1. Glad you had a lovely weekend, Ruth 🙂

    I’m planning on seeing this on Wednesday now that it’s been released in the UK. Paris is one of my favourite cities so that is what attracted me to this film. I’m a fan of McAdams as well, so she was reason number 2.

    1. I think you’ll enjoy this one, Claire, I enjoyed it from start to finish. This could be my favorite Woody Allen movie amongst those I’ve seen so far.

  2. Glad you finally got down to seeing this and enjoyed it. I guess you had high expectations given the wild raves from everyone on the internet ahah 😉 It’s definitely going to be in my top 2 or 3 movies of the year when it comes down to it.

    1. I feel like I’m the last person who saw this ahah, but I’m so glad I did. The beautiful Paris scenery definitely needs to be seen on the big screen!

      Yeah, I think this would make my top 5 of the year too, Castor.

  3. Dave

    I really enjoyed this film,just felt nice to watch a cheerful and pleasant movie for once,so many people think you have to watch something very distressful or a tough subject to make a great film and this was totally different to all that,had me smiling so much and everyone was great in it,Top film from Woody Allen

    1. Hi Dave, yeah totally agree man, there are too many dark and depressing films out there, so it’s nice to see something where nobody gets killed or shot at. It’s definitely my fave Woody Allen movie so far!

  4. I had no idea going into this film that it was going to be a *SPOILER WARNING* time travel film. Never been a huge Woody Allen fan, but my wife and I enjoyed this one immensely. I agree to stay away from sites like IMDB before viewing. Surprises await.

    1. Hi Markus, I gotta hide part of your comment there. I really think people would benefit from not knowing anything about this film. Fortunately I haven’t read any spoiler review before watching this one!

  5. I’m so happy you enjoyed Midnight in Paris. I almost felt a little cheesy for liking the film as much as I did. It’s nice to see so many other film buffs loved it as well.

    Great review (as usual), and I’m looking forward to your post on The Beaver. Especially since I haven’t seen it yet.

    1. Oh no, you are NOT cheesy at all for loving it. My hubby loved it too, he even recommended it to his guy friends after we all went jogging on Saturday, ahah.

      Thanks for the compliment, I don’t want to say much about this as I think people would like it more if they don’t know anything about it.

  6. I saw this on Sunday! Just opened in the UK, but I’d wanted to see it when I was still in the US.
    I thought it was a lovely movie. Really funny, enjoyable, my friends and I were in stitches at parts. Wonderful to see something sweet, considering the last two films I saw rather made me sad.

    1. Hey Beth, so you’re just visiting USA recently? Where did you go?

      Yeah, this one is lovely all around. Definitely more upbeat than most films I’ve seen. Which two films you saw that made you sad??

      1. I actually just moved to the UK, so I was at home, but they don’t show anything other than blockbusters

        I had seen Tinker Tailor and The Skin I Live In. “Sad” wasn’t quite the right word–perhaps “downer” is more appropriate.

        1. Ah I see. Yeah, it’s harder to find smaller movies like this, which is a shame!

          I just read your review of ‘Tinker Tailor’… I totally understand how you feel but I’m still psyched about it 🙂

          1. I’m actually quite lucky now–two of the local cinemas primarily show smaller films, or more art type. 🙂

            And do enjoy Tinker Tailor when you see it.

  7. Ted S.

    I’ll probably give it a rent when it’s out on Blu-ray. I’m not a big Woody Allen fan but since this film is getting so many rave reviews, I’ll have to check it out.

    1. Hey Ted, I’m not a Woody Allen fan either which is why I’m surprised how much I love this film. Check it out, especially if you like Rachel McAdams.

  8. This is easily one of the better movies of the year. I totally understand why it opened Cannes and it wasn’t just because it had ‘Paris’ in the title (although that helped). This is a terrific film. Glad you enjoyed it.

    The things is it doesn’t really feel like a Woody Allen film and I think that’s why it was so accessible for so many people.

    1. I had no idea this opened at Cannes but it’s totally appropriate indeed. You’re right that it doesn’t feel ‘Woody Allen-ish’ and he also doesn’t appear in the film 🙂

  9. SO glad you enjoyed this one. Oh man, I loved this film (unexpectedly, mind you). Owen Wilson gave me reason for pause as well, but that ended up being an unnecessary fear.

    You’re right! the less you know, the better. Thank you for the kind shout out! A very worthy score you gave it!

    Looking forward to your thoughts on Beaver!

    1. Hi T, well Castor kept bugging me that I haven’t seen it, ahah. I’m so glad I finally did. The scenery would not look as glorious on my TV screen. No problems on the linkage, it was a great review.

      I’m still working on The Beaver review, should be up later this week.

  10. Hey Ruth,

    Thanks so much for the linkage!!

    I am so happy you finally got to see this and enjoyed it as much as I knew you would!!

    Brilliant!!

    Sorry If i am not as active as usual, normal service will resume soon!

    1. My pleasure, matey. Yeah, you are absolutely right that I’d enjoy this, thanks for finally giving me a push to see it! 🙂

      No problem matey, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by!

  11. this is a GREAT film IMO. not just because i was bawling at the sight of Paris.

    i can’t really say WHY i love it so without some honking great spoilers so i’ll just say i think people like because they are expecting something different from what it really is…is that sufficiently mysterious? 🙂

    1. Paris is so unbelievably magical in this movie and especially when it rains at night, wow! Ahah, this one is a bit tricky to review as every little thing can be a spoiler!! I like the performance of this unknown actor Corey Stoll but even to say his character’s name would give it away, ahah.

      1. So true…i thought everybody knew what was really going on but i found out after i dropped some major spoilage that i was wrong LOL

        i had to go to IMDB to figure out who that is, but yeah he was good. won’t be unknown for long IMO.

    1. Thanks Dan. That’s too bad it’s not playing in every theater here either, I certainly think even non Woody Allen fans would love this one.

  12. I’m not sure if Midnight in Paris is playing anywhere near me – like Dan says it’s hardly anywhere here. Shame though, looks like it’s Woody Allen’s best in years.

  13. This is being released here in exactly one week’s time, so I am definitely going to see it the second it comes out, I have heard nothing but good things.

  14. Pingback: [Review] Midnight in Paris « Claire Packer

    1. I know! I felt the same way. I was kind of giddy w/ delight the whole time. It’s kind of like when I saw Purple Rose of Cairo, only better!

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