8:00 PM, 2nd March, 2012
In writer/director Woody Allen's love letter to the city of lights, Gil (Wilson channelling a toned-down version of Allen himself), a hack Hollywood screenwriter attempting to make it as a novelist is holidaying in Paris with his gorgeous, wealthy fiancée Inez (McAdams) and her overbearing, conservative parents.
Walking the streets alone one night, at the stroke of midnight Gil stumbles upon a miraculous part of the city where a long-gone Paris for which he has always nostalgically pined suddenly returns to life. In this 'other time' Gil brushes shoulders with the likes of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein and his other heroes of the so-called 'Lost Generation'. Returning night after night, he becomes infatuated with the by-gone era, and with Picasso's mistress, Adriana (Marion Cotillard). Meanwhile, back in the present, Gil and Inez's relationship is showing strain and Gil's midnight absences lead Inez to suspect something is amiss. The question is - in what time will true love be found and is Paris more romantic in the rain?
This delightful film is a true return to form for Woody Allen, with stunning cinematography courtesy of Darius Khondji (Se7en, Evita). Midnight in Paris is a fairytale for lovers of art, literature, song and love itself and was certainly one of my favourites from 2011. Be sure not to miss the lovingly edited opening sequence of Paris in all its resplendence.
9:49 PM, 2nd March, 2012
Oliver (McGregor) is a melancholic graphic designer in his thirties who has had little luck in forming a lasting intimate relationship. He meets French actress Anna (Laurent) at a party, and her vivaciousness draws him closer. In order to try and make this relationship work, Oliver reflects on the connections he had with both his parents. In particular, he ponders the life lessons he learnt from his father (Plummer), a man who came out as gay at the age of 75 after the death of his wife.
This sweet, quirky, affecting film has so much going for it. We can all identify with Oliver's central elusive search for happiness, and those of us with a slightly left-of-centre sensibility will be charmed by the many authentic scenes (dressing up as Freud for a costume party, a subtitled canine who projects Oliver's thoughts). But it is Christopher Plummer as Oliver's father who brings the most touching and moving moments to this film. Plummer has given the greatest performances of his long career in recent times (this, Up, The Last Station), and I'm torn between him and Albert Brooks (Drive) as to who I want to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar this year.
This is truly a film for the heart, and you will be charmed and entertained.