Gil (Owen Wilson), a Hollywood screenwriter and ambitious novelist, is visiting Paris with mismatched fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams). One night he discovers a magical part of the city which, as the clock strikes midnight, sends him back to his imagined golden time of 1920s jazz age Paris. Here his head is turned by such artistic heroes as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Pablo Picasso, but his heart is lost to artistic muse Adriana (Marion Cotillard).
Writer-director Woody Allen celebrates this period in a way that suggests it is special to him as well. The Paris that he creates is somewhere (or somewhen) that you would truly want to visit. This was a time when, post war, life was celebrated with wild abandon, all to the soundtrack of vibrant jazz music. Michael Sheen’s deliciously pretentious performance as Gil’s romantic rival lifts the moments in modern day Paris, and Rachel McAdams also excels as a character who is shallow yet beautiful. The predictability of the film can be forgiven because of the charm and wit of Allen’s story, and the heartfelt way he tells it – particularly his use of music.
An incredibly sweet film with a moral that particularly hit home with me, someone who often wishes they lived in another time. Midnight in Paris is magical, despite not being perfect, rather like the sepia tint of nostalgia.