Woody Allen's latest...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Woody Allen's latest...

..."Midnight in Paris," just may be the best film that America's senior auteur has made since "Annie Hall" (1977) or per­haps "Man­hattan" (1979).

It is the latter which this most recent entry in his ex­tensive oeuvre most calls to mind with its opening montage of picturesque images of the "City of Lights" by day to the jaunty ac­companiment of a carinet... it is an homage to an iconic place.

Montmartre, the Champs Elysées, the Seine and St. Michel never looked better, and we know exactly where we are... and importantly, when.

But perhaps the best thing about the movie, written and directed by Allen, is that he does not directly appear in it, choosing instead to cast Owen Wilson as his surrogate schlub so that his too-familiar neurotic "Woody-isms" are filtered through another actor.

Allen directs his doppelganger Wilson

That's a huge plus because after almost 40 screen appearances, that nervous "Woody nebbish schtick" was getting old!

Aside from the charming photography by Dar­ius and Khondji Johanne Debas, the wonderful music score evocative of the three different periods in which the narrative is set, some delightful "bit" performances... notably by Adrien Brody brilliantly impersonating Salva­dore Dali and Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein... there is substance; this isn't "Woody fluff."

While the film has whimsical elements of the fantastic similar to "The Purple Rose of Cairo" (1985), "Midnight in Paris" is a ser­ious work, and at this writing the most enjoy­able one I've seen this year.

Comments

1. Guy said...

I totally agree with you; a fantastic film, and I believe the year's and Woody's best yet.

I love the portrayals of Hemingway and Buñuel.

2. Who Said That?! said...

It was EXCELLENT!!!

3. Tugboat Bertha said...

Where did you see it?

Had to go to the sixteen-plex in Holtsville... it was worth it.

I suspect that it will be given a wider release just before Labor Day.
Dean

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