Midnight In Paris: "Paris, In The Morning, Is Beautiful"

Director:  Woody Allen
Writer:     Woody Allen
Starring:  Owen Wilson
                Rachel McAdams
                Marion Cotillard
                Michael Sheen
                Carla Bruni
                Kathy Bates
                Kurt Fuller
                Mimi Kennedy
                Lea Seydoux
Rating:     ****

Release date:

A man's passion for his writing and the romantic city of Paris sends him on a life changing and inspiring journey to the past.

Gil Pender (Wilson) is a bored Hollywood script writer trying to make his way in the writing world as a novellist. He is engaged to someone completely his opposite, he is starting to lose confidence in his work and is looking for something to inspire him. Then on a trip to Paris with his fiance and her parents he finds it, the beauty and charm of the city is what he had been searching for. Wilson's portrayal of the character is subtle, gentle and amusing and he really charms you from beginning to end. His joy and disbelief at meeting his literary idols and artistic legends makes him all the more endearing and intriguing. He never fails to satisfy and truly performs the best I have ever seen him perform.

Inez (McAdams) is Gil's fiance; she deosn't like Paris, she is very materialistic and is Gil's opposite in everyway. The reason these two characters are such polar-opposites ,is to make Gil's love for Paris and need to escape all the more greater. This is helped by these two fantastic actors performing to their best abilities. McAdams as Inez is perfect casting, her judgemental and cold demeanor towards Gil helps him become more likeable ,and her performance really helps this tremendously. Everything she says, as unfair as it may be, is so believable and so honest (performance-wise) that you really believe her as her character, and this makes the film and characters work even more. Inez's friend Paul (Sheen) is also there to contrast to Gil, he is a pseudo-intellectual who talks the big talk, but really there is no substance to what he says. Sheen plays this arrogant smart-ass so well, that yet again you just believe everything he says and does, and makes you root for Gil even more. This perfect casting and the brilliant performances help the storytelling a huge amount and make the film extremely enjoyable.

Inez's parents (Fuller & Kennedy) are the final piece to the high class puzzle. In their eyes Gil is nowhere near good enough for their daughter and they are constantly trying to catch him out. Both actors play the roles well and are convincing as the high society, snobbish types. These four charcters make Gil's admiration and his falling in love with Paris so much more entertaining and sweet to watch and that is what makes this film so lovely to watch. In the museum guide (Bruni), Gil has someone he is able to get advice from and someone who's like minded that he can to talk to that is real and not from the past. For Bruni's first acting role she does well and is a sweet character; but she doesn't get to do much and is in the background a fair bit. Despite this it is nice to see Gil with another character like him that isn't dead, so the chaacter is very much needed.

At midnight every night Gil gets into a car which transports him to a whole new world, were he rubs shoulders with the likes of T.S. Eliot and Pablo Picasso. It is here he gets the most inspiration for his writing and really starts to fall for the beauty of Paris. He also falls for a beautiful student of couture called Adriana (Cotillard), whose beauty attracts him almost as much as the cities. Cotillard gives a strikingly beautiful perfomance as Adriana, and it is another terrific performance from her. She exudes class and grace and her talent is the only thing that is able to outshine her beauty. Whilst in the past he also gets advice from Gertrude Stein (Bates), a firm but fair writer, poet and art collector. Her advice is what Gil takes the most seriously, and she is his main mentor when he is in the past. Bates is terrific as usual, and there isn't much I can say without getting really repetitive.

During the film Gil meets Gabrielle (Seydoux), a young, pretty market girl who shares a passion for literature and art. He is fascinated by her love for these things when she is so young, and together they bond and begin a very sweet relationship. Seydoux gives an innocent, subtle and gentle performance that really adds to the beauty of the film. She plays it so well and her talent helps her create a beautifully naive young girl who you fall for straight away.

This is my first Woody Allen film (I don't know how?!?!) and it certainly wont be my last. He gave it a rustic, vintage feel and really caught the beauty of Paris. He also managed to bring fantastic performances out of each actor and to top it all of he wrote it aswell. He truly is a visionary and I now see what makes him one of the best filmmakers, well...ever. I will say there were alot of characters, and some felt like deadwood and it made it a bit confusing at times, but that is so minor it is easily overlooked. I recommend this film with all of my being, and you really need to go out and see it on 7/10/11.