cubanmiamiboy

Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris"

23 posts in this topic

...has anybody seen it...?

I did tonight...and I liked it..! (I think the last "Woody" I saw was that one in Barcelona with Scarlett Johanson, which I didn't like at all...). Now I want to go to Paris!! :wub: (Never been there...).

Anyway...here's the trailer...

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Loved it! I thought it was going to more the same Woody Allen when I saw the trailer, but the surprise time warp is genius and it made the movie so much more fun. The actor who played Hemingway played him to the hilt! I also loved Michael Sheen as the pompous know-it-all-even-when-knowing-nothing.

On a ballet note: I spent the entire movie trying to figure out if Sara Mearns started an acting career that somehow slipped the collective radar--Alison Pill as Zelda is a dead ringer for Mearns. Did anyone else think this?

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The actor who played Hemingway played him to the hilt!

I loved Brody as Dali...but not too much Bates as Stern...

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Cubanmiamiboy: it really took this movie to make you want to go to Paris? Well, whatever the reason, do go!!

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It's a thoroughly delightful little movie. Allen is at his best when he isn't overreaching. I too loved Corey Stoll as Hemingway. He delivers his overwrought lines with such lapidary conviction you have to laugh. Great performance.

The New York Times review said the movie is "a remarkably comprehensive catalog of the varieties of modernism percolating in Paris between the wars." No, not really. Where were Diaghilev, Balanchine, the Ballets Russes, all the composers? Well, Allen always naturally skews towards the literary, and anyway you can't stuff everything into an hour and forty minutes. I think it's about as perfect a movie as Woody Allen has ever made.

Anthony

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Many thanks for the reports, everyone. Not that I dont trust y'all, but I have been burned so many times by proclamations of "Woody's back!" that I no longer risk ten dollars on a theater ticket. I do catch them on cable and there's never been a time when I've said, Darn, I should have seen that one. (I used to go out to see his movies every year. They were usually at least as interesting as anything else at the multiplex. But I gave up after "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion." The last time was when somebody talked me into trying "Match Point.")

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Has anyone else seen it?

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Has anyone else seen it?

dirac...TRUST ME and go see it...! :wink:

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Has anyone else seen it?

Yes, and it's funny and sweet, and of all the historical characters, Hemingway in particular is a hoot. I also love the scene where Gil, the character Allen would have played in his younger years, tries suggesting a plot to Luis Bunuel.

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I am really in a minority on this one and have been puzzling as to why I disliked it quite so much. I love Paris, but for some reason I found this film pallid, uninteresting, and more tedious than not. A kind of going-through-the-motions production, photographed like a luxury market tourism commercial.

I noticed that the largely older audience in our theater laughed whenever they recognized the names of famous 20's artistiic figures . This didn't have the quality of spontaneous guffaw or belly laugh -- more like a way of communicating: "Hey, I know who Hemingway was. I recognize Dali !!!" Not a peep at references to more obscure names like Djuna Barnes, however. Allen seems to be pandering to his audience's collective wish to feel: "How clever we are to know all these people." Not for for the first time, he takes possession of essentially middle-brow territory and sells it as something sophisticated and insightful.

Ditto the contemporary fiancee and her parents, along with the pompous pseudo intellectual with whom the fiancee has an implausible (though inevitable) affair. Stock characters every one of them, it seems to me.

All this generates surprisingly little (and rather low-energy) audience reaction when I saw the film. (I found myself looking at the audience almost as much as at the screen.) Except for a few cleverly constructed wisecracks, I don't think that Allen earned most of the laughs he got.

I loved the guys who played Hemingway, Dali, and Bunuel, and Kathy Bates's brief no-nonsense turn as Gertrude Stein. Marion Cotillard is the only character who projects some depth; she is someone to fall in love with. The young woman the protagonist quite implausibly ends up with is stunning.

One of my problems had to do with the lead character, especially as played by Owen Wilson -- bland and unconvincing as a lover, as an artist, or as someone really intrigued by his fantasy of Paris in the 20s. This role cries out for someone like Woody Allen himself, a he was several decades ago. Wilson inhabits an alternate personality universe that could actually be called "Anti-Allen.".

The character does come to life for me at least once in the film. There's the blink-of-an-eye scene in which Stein is negotiating a purchase of a Matisse (directly FROM Matisse, of course) for 500 francs. Wilson's ears prick up; he wants to make sure he has just heard this (to him) absurdly low figure. He gasps in an authentic Woody Allen voice something like "Gee, you don't suppose I could pick up 5 or 6 of those myself !?!?!?" I laughed out loud for the first and last time in what seemed like a very long film.

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I loved this film. I can't wait for it to come out on DVD so I can see it again and look more closely at the details I may have missed in the movie theater.

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Bart, I'd suggest that the laughter upon seeing recreations on screen of famous artists from the 1920s isn't due to self-satisfaction, but to Allen's showing us our own absurdly and delightfully stereotyped view of these characters. That after all is the theme of the movie--our remembrance of things past (especially those things we didn't actually experience ourselves) is painted in broad, easy strokes, when we know that in reality these had to be people like any other, with layers of complication and also of bland ordinariness that all human beings possess, regardless of their fame or achievements or the era in which they live. The past, the place and time we are not, in our imagination always seems more vivid and magical than the all-too-real present.

Which sounds like way too much analysis for this little movie! Did I find it deep? No, just funny and charming and beautiful to look at.

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Many thanks for the reports, everyone. Not that I dont trust y'all, but I have been burned so many times by proclamations of "Woody's back!" that I no longer risk ten dollars on a theater ticket. I do catch them on cable and there's never been a time when I've said, Darn, I should have seen that one. (I used to go out to see his movies every year. They were usually at least as interesting as anything else at the multiplex. But I gave up after "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion." The last time was when somebody talked me into trying "Match Point.")

Same here except worse. Even the old ones I admired somewhat I never could take as seriously as others were. If you don't 'love', for example, 'Annie Hall', then how can you shell out for what he's doing now. You really can see films for just $10? Not that I'd pay it for this, but we're paying a lot more here by now, and no 'discount houses' like we used to have at Worldwide (that I know of.) Ultimately, I simply can't accept him, and do not even think he is particularly authoritative about NYC*. I know, for example, that I know a LOT more than he does, but that's by the by. I must say, though, that

They were usually at least as interesting as anything else at the multiplex.
is one of the best praising with faint damns that I've heard for some time.

*And he takes this 'I'm the ultimate New Yorker' thing way too far. It's not enough that I even hate 'Manhattan', but the New Yorker Magazine had a reading exactly one month after 9/11, in which Allen was one of the readers (along with DeLillo, Updike, Mary Karr, and others), and at one point, to prove his New Yorkism, he said 'Who kee-ahs about Cincinnati?' Tiresome attitude, and sums up his basically superficial and social-climbing number all the way down the line for me. No worse than the 'beautifully, beautifully true' thing, I guess. I wouldn't pay a cent for him, nor even watch a DVD.

Christian, if you think this made you want to go to Paris, I can assure you (from having lived there a full year) that that is one city he cannot even pretend to know anything about, except in the most superficial imaginable sense. If his film made you want to go to Paris, then you probably ought to do some more research to be sure that you really do, because 'Allen's Paris' is one of the most marginal extant.

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Many thanks for the reports, everyone. Not that I dont trust y'all, but I have been burned so many times by proclamations of "Woody's back!" that I no longer risk ten dollars on a theater ticket. I do catch them on cable and there's never been a time when I've said, Darn, I should have seen that one. (I used to go out to see his movies every year. They were usually at least as interesting as anything else at the multiplex. But I gave up after "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion." The last time was when somebody talked me into trying "Match Point.")

Same here except worse. Even the old ones I admired somewhat I never could take as seriously as others were. If you don't 'love', for example, 'Annie Hall', then how can you shell out for what he's doing now. You really can see films for just $10? Not that I'd pay it for this, but we're paying a lot more here by now, and no 'discount houses' like we used to have at Worldwide (that I know of.) Ultimately, I simply can't accept him, and do not even think he is particularly authoritative about NYC*. I know, for example, that I know a LOT more than he does, but that's by the by. I must say, though, that

They were usually at least as interesting as anything else at the multiplex.
is one of the best praising with faint damns that I've heard for some time.

Thanks. :) Yes, out here in the boonies you can still see movies for $10.00 or $10.50. Even at slightly higher prices movies are still a relatively cheap evening out, so I guess we can't complain.

Allen is a much better director than he was in the "Annie Hall" era but he lost touch with his audience a long time ago. (Back then he had collaborators for his scripts, Mickey Rose first and then Marshall Brickman, and although he might be too old for it now working with someone else might be an option to consider.)

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I just returned from seeing the movie. I am a big Woody Allen fan, and like nearly all his movies, and love several. I tried to like the film, but I just didn't. It could have been my mood, but I doubt that. If I saw it again, I bet I still wouldn't like it very much. I didn't dislike it either. I'd say more about it, but bart has said it all for me. I read bart's post above a few notches just minutes ago after having seen the movie. It was like the Twilight Zone....I found myself agreeing with bart's every word. Bart, you said it all for me.

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The past, the place and time we are not, in our imagination always seems more vivid and magical than the all-too-real present.

Puts me in mind of The Purple Rose of Cairo, which is one of my favorite Allens.

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With all due respect to those here who enjoyed it, I can't say I regret my initial decision not to see this during its theatrical run. A loooooong ninety minutes.Once again, Allen plays off his old conceit from "The Kugelmass Episode" and I'd say his returns are diminishing. To call these characters stock is considerable flattery, bart. (My heart went out to poor Rachel McAdams.)

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I liked it, but much of the appeal for me was in the art direction (though Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein was a treat). I do think that Anthony put his finger on it, though -- the major theme in the film is about nostalgia, and the conviction that you are late to the party. Alas, I think many of us are having that experience with Allen as a filmmaker, but I think that he is having that experience himself, and that makes me sad.

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Given that this movie has given him his biggest box office hit in decades (maybe ever) Allen's probably not feeling very sad himself. I don't really see that his attitude has changed much, since, say, Hannah and Her Sisters. Old pop music good, new pop music bad (McAdams wants to go dancing instead of taking a walk in the Paris streets - bad girl), etc. I guess I didn't find the situations or the people believable, and for the most part the laughs that people found in the movie escaped me.

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The film mother/daughter duo was like a photocopy of the 80% of my clientèle back when I was a hairdresser in the Bal Harbour area...happy.png

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Given that this movie has given him his biggest box office hit in decades (maybe ever) Allen's probably not feeling very sad himself.

Oh yes, I doubt he regrets much about this project, if anything, but I do think he realized quite awhile ago that he's out of sync with current times. He's made a big chunk of his career out of that disconnect -- but I think he regrets the times he live in.

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Given that this movie has given him his biggest box office hit in decades (maybe ever) Allen's probably not feeling very sad himself.

Oh yes, I doubt he regrets much about this project, if anything, but I do think he realized quite awhile ago that he's out of sync with current times. He's made a big chunk of his career out of that disconnect -- but I think he regrets the times he live in.

Yes, quite probably. Then again, judging from this movie he knows he'd be unhappy with any age, that the basic problem is the heart, not the age.

Thanks for mentioning the Kugelmass Episode, dirac. I think I may have read it long ago, but it gave me good laughs tonight.

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Allen was once in sync with the times. As a standup comic he was a trendsetter and people are still trying to make the movies that Allen doesn't make any more. His early comic persona was very much a part of the era and expressed contemporary anxieties. Obviously he would lose touch with the zeitgeist to some extent as he aged but increasingly I don't find his movies grounded in much reality, even those without the magical elements to which he often reverts. Line after line rings false. This picture is a hit and my opinion seems to be in the minority, so what can I tell you....

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