5. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen, Tom Hiddleston, Adrien Brody, Alison Pill, Corey Stoll
It’s tricky to discuss Midnight In Paris without giving too much away, but we’ll give it a shot. First, let’s acknowledge Owen Wilson’s fine performance, a comeback of sorts for the once-hilarious actor; here, he’s a familiar Allen leading man (witty to a fault, misunderstood, unable to connect with his woman) at the center of an atypical Allen set-up, a fantastical French world that’s more Rod Serling than Annie Hall. Woody Allen does The Twilight Zone? Yes, please.
Wilson plays a hack screenwriter who’s disenchanted with his crappy movies; on vacation in Paris with his gold-digging, obnoxious chick (Rachel McAdams), he becomes engulfed in the city’s history and settings, which motivate him to write a novel. His exact sources of inspiration are where that Twilight Zone angle comes into play; think a literature-obsessed English major’s “Name five celebrities, living or dead, you’d love to have dinner with” response come true.
Elegant with its visuals and consistently vibrant, Midnight In Paris works on multiple levels: comedic, romantic, even supernatural. And, like most of Allen's films, there's an abundance of eye candy (McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Alison Pill). Good looking out, Woody.