Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Owen Wilson, Rachel MacAdams, Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates, Tom Hiddleston, Alison Pill, Corey Stoll, Adrien Brody

To be honest, we didn’t think Woody Allen still had it in him. It’s foolish to underestimate a cinematic icon such as the New York heavyweight, we know, but, after his one-two punch of mediocrity with 2009’s Whatever Works and last year’s unbearably dull You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, your man Woody seemed to be on the verge of a harsh fall-off. In typically slick form, though, the tight-lipped Allen sucker-punched all skeptics with Midnight In Paris, a fantastical and breezy dream of a romantic comedy that both reinvigorated the filmmaker and made us like Owen Wilson once again—that’s one hell of a double-edge feat.

The magic of Midnight In Paris lies in what its commercials and trailers didn’t tell us; sold as a character-driven, subtle comedy about a guy finding himself in the legendary French city, Allen’s best film in decades actually plays like an amiable Twilight Zone episode. Wilson’s character is a hack screenwriter who dreams of becoming a respected novelist, and, while in Paris with his cold-hearted wife (Rachel MacAdams), Wilson encounters literary spirits such as Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Thor’s Tom Hiddleston); along the way, he also falls in love with Pablo Picasso’s free-spirited mistress (Marion Cotillard).

The film’s supernatural elements are charming, not macabre, and Allen’s intention is to promote the worldliness and cultural appreciations of literature and art, as well as tell a delightful story. Midnight In Paris succeeds on all fronts; it’s consistently funny, well acted, and quietly poignant. He might be 75 years old, but, yes, Woody Allen is 2011’s comeback kid. Or man, rather.