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Reel Mama’s top movie of 2011: Midnight in Paris

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Reel Mama: Reel Mama’s top movie of 2011: Midnight in Paris

Monday, January 9, 2012

Reel Mama’s top movie of 2011: Midnight in Paris

Marion Cotillard and Owen Wilson star in Midnight in Paris

I’ve always loved Woody Allen’s work, especially the films in which he takes us to a magical place.  A New York City captured in stunning black and white in Manhattan.  A trip down memory lane to a bygone era in Radio Days.  My senior thesis in college was a paper comparing the fantasy worlds of Annie Hall and The Purple Rose of Cairo (both great rentals for Allen fans).  In Annie Hall, Allen constantly breaks the fourth wall, addressing the viewer, and even traveling through time as he recounts his adventures loving and losing Annie (Diane Keaton).  In The Purple Rose of Cairo, Allen breaks the fourth wall again, this time within the film, when Cecilia (Mia Farrow), who escapes the drudgery of her life by going to the movies, experiences true love for the first time when the film’s hero (Jeff Daniels) walks off the screen and into her life. 
Allen has delivered the magic again and is back in form (if he was ever out of form) in his latest masterpiece, Midnight in Paris.  It can now be had on DVD.  In it Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is a Hollywood hack writing formulaic scripts, but dreams of writing the Great American novel while taking up residence in the City of Lights.  He and his insufferable fiancée (Rachel McAdams) are vacationing there, but she fails to understand the spell Paris casts over Gil, and scoffs at his secret fantasy to have lived in Paris in the 1920s, with the likes of Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  One magical evening, while strolling down a side street in Paris alone, a clock strikes midnight, and a Rolls Royce carrying revelers pulls up next to Gil.  The revelers insist he join them, Gil does, and in that instant Gil’s dream comes true with a trip back in time, when he finds himself at a party hobnobbing with Cole Porter and Scott and Zelda.  
The magic of this film is that the viewer is transported to Paris, and becomes a part of the action in a way that is fresh and immediate.  We dream Gil’s dreams, and it’s easy to forget that we are watching a movie in the first place.
Rent this delightful work of nostalgia to experience the magic and romance for yourself.
Reel Mama’s rating: Appropriate for ages 13 and up.  The film has very mild language, but the adult themes make the film more appropriate for teens with discriminating taste.  Smoking and drinking are portrayed but are appropriate for the world of the story.


At January 12, 2012 at 3:43 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I will have to check this one out. Thanks for linking up!

At January 26, 2012 at 9:35 AM , Blogger Lauren Ivy Chiong said...

Thank you for the comment, Melissa! Let me know when you get a chance to see it. I think you'll love it.


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