Battle for an Oscar: Midnight in Paris

Thomas Hudson (’14)/ Eastside Technology Director

Midnight in Paris is a romantic comedy and a fantasy directed by Woody Allen. The main character is Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), an accomplished screenwriter. Gil is visiting the beautiful city Paris with his fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents. While Gil wants to move to the city, Inez insists on living in Malibu.

Gil is trying to finish his first book where an antique shop serves as the setting. However, Inez believes that it is only a daydream. While staying in Paris, coincidentally, they run into Inez’s friend Paul (Michael Sheen) who is a know-it-all, but makes mistakes while discussing the art and history of Paris. Paul is married to Carol (Nina Arianda) and she is also with him in Paris.

One night after dinner, Inez, Paul and Carol want to go dancing, but Gil would rather go for a walk. He decides to go alone to get some fresh air. At midnight an antique car pulls up to him while he is sitting on a step, and the people in the car are all dressed in clothes from the 1920s.

They call out to him and he gets inside with them. They go to a bar, where Gil comes to realize that he has been transported to the 1920s, an era he believes to be Paris’s golden days. He encounters Cole Porter (Yves Heck), Josephine Baker (Sonia Rolland), Zelda (Alison Pill) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleson), who take him to meet Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll). Hemingway agrees to show Gil’s novel to Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), and Gil goes to fetch his manuscript from his hotel. However, as soon as he leaves the bar, he finds that he has returned to 2010.

The trees are green and the skies are clear and sunny throughout the movie. The scenery in this movie is amazing and it makes a person feel like he or she is actually in Paris. The music works very well with the movie and nicely coincides with the scenery.

Wilson is perfect as Gil Pender in this movie. The way he speaks makes the movie so well- crafted and there is no other actor that could play this role. His southern accent is incomparable makes his character flawless in this movie.

There are few unanswered questions at the end of the film, but none of which would drastically change the plot. If Wilson’s acting does capture viewers, then the scenery of Paris will engulf their senses so that they will feel the magic of Midnight in Paris.