|Allen's whimsical love letter to Paris.|
I refer social realism rather than upper middle class whimsy; this is probably why I cannot warm to the recent films directed by my old movie adversary Woody Allen. The only film I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed was Radio Days (1986) because it dealt with ordinary people in a fairly normal situation. Monday nights Robert Burns Cinema Film Club tortured my viewing sensibilities once more with the showing of Mr Allen’s latest cinematic offering to a full house.
The evening started well enough with a first rate introduction to the evenings “entertainment’ by Rachel Findley, who I know appreciates the work of the Brooklyn born director. Midnight in Paris (2011) involves Woody Allen; oops I’m sorry I mean Owen Wilson, who plays the Hollywood screenwriter Gil, who along with his snobbish fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) are holidaying in Paris. Gil is working on his first novel and after a disastrous meal with Inez fascist parents he goes on a solitary walk around the streets of the city. As the clock strikes midnight he’s whisk back in time to the 1920’s and meets all sorts of famous cultural figures who give him advice and therefore the confidence to edit and finish his book and see the error of his miss matched relationship.
Admittedly I was in the minority going by the after film discussion, most of whom were pretty keen on the movie but I personally could not buy into the films time travel concept or the constant bombardment of ‘oh so clever’ artistic references. Owen Wilson’s impersonation of Allen was annoying and most of the modern day characters in this film were extremely disagreeable. Allen love letter to the city of Paris, just like London in his last four films, was dreamlike and artificial. Sorry Rachel, sorry RBC Film Club perhaps I’ll like his next one, I heard it was going to be a western “The Return of the Magnificent Allen”