Midnight In Paris

It took me a while to write about this film but sure enough here I am discussing Woody Allen's frothy, latest picture. A small delight really. It actually pains me to think that this film could get an Oscar Nomination for Best Picture because it really does it an injustice. Midnight In Paris IS in fact Allen's best film since .. I'm not sure when but it's such a small treat that awards seem such a distance away. The present day setting is a dud but the middle is such a transporting treat, in fact I'd go as far as to say that its middle -which has our main protagonist time travelling to a Paris of the 20s and meeting such iconic figures as Gertrude Stein and Hemingway- is the most transporting hour and change of film I've seen all year. Really, Allen just dazzles us with the period setting and he seems much more at home than in the present day sequences, which feel forced and almost trivial. I think this says a lot about Allen's output of late. He has struggled to find a comfort in the present day stories he has presented to us over the past 15-20 years . It seems that it is only when he goes back in time that he actually finds his niche and musings. Allen has played with the past before, his 1985 gem The Purple Rose Of Cairo -part of his incredible run of great movies in the 1980s- was a heartfelt tribute to cinema and its power. Midnight In Paris is Allen back at home and in familiar ground, looking to the past just like he did in Cairo and Radio Days to bring his own self referential humor and grace. I wouldn't out this one near any "Best Picture" category but it's a light and fluff treat at the theatres. I think one of the reasons many critics have gone gaga over this one is because it is Woody and it is an actualy "Good" movie. However, I'd look at his 2001 underrated gem The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion which represents good, modern day Woody and is just as good as this one.
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