Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Everything Works in Midnight in Paris

"Midnight in Paris" is a real treasure. I have never been an ardent fan of Woody Allen - in all his movies where he stars, his characters seem so similar. I should admit even Boris (from another personal favorite "Whatever Works") and Gil ("Midnight in Paris) fit the same pattern for some parts of these movies. What makes the same fabule work better in those, however, is that when there is another actor trying to emulate the same movements and speech, the audience focuses on the performance because it is special for these actors. With Woody Allen, I think, the moviegoers no longer believe that he is not playing himself more than his characters.

"Midnight in Paris" is a very self reflective movie. Among all the mind bending art references in it, even the promotional poster seems curious and multidimensional.On one hand, the image contains an obvious reference to Van Gogh and post-impressionists. On the other hand, Owen Wilson looks so much like the young Robert Redford that one wonders: is this on purpose?

The way that the historic figures are developed is particularly intriguing - it is obvious from the beginning that there are just shadows of Gil's own expectations. Yet, Gil himself so attentive to details in art seems oblivious to this. Quite similarly to his failure to notice the warning signs in his own engagement. Much like to his own characters in his preoccupation with the past, he disregards the present. One can only wonder - is his so blind or he deliberately chooses not to explore the rift in his relationship (and the complete lack of communication) and the one-dimensionality of his friends from the Jazz Age. Ignorance is a bliss but not for a writer: he has to understand his inner demons to understand them. The story twists around and explores and does a good job at representing the torments of the creative writing process.

The cinematography is amazing. The pastel colors and the impressionist tones do a very good job at supplementing the tale for the tortures of being an artist. The editing is the only component that I have slight objections against - it is obvious that because of the limited availability of Carla Bruni, some takes that should be laying on the editing floor were left in the movie. I hope that it is not just to prove the point that the character was indeed important for the picture. Some of the scene with her look odd and would have benefited from a few more takes.

Overall, the movie is definitely on my Top 2011 list, which I intend to publish before the end of the month.

Previous Movie Reviews: (500) Days of SummerMelancholiaImagine Me and YouVelvet Goldmine

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