Sunday, July 31, 2011

Go See: "Midnight in Paris"

It was movie catch-up weekend for me and I finally saw the much-anticipated Woody Allen film, "Midnight in Paris", which was a star-studded adventure. Aside from it being shot in one of the world's most romantic cities, you fell in love with the incredible cast. It was refreshing to see Rachel McAdams in a role where she's not the happy-go-lucky, nice girl next door (and a bit obsessed with wearing a belt with every outfit) and Owen Wilson's character, Gil, took on the reminiscent, overly talkative character which is found in a typical Woody Allen film.

And like Woody Allen films, he takes you on a journey through the city and through time both physically and mentally. We travel to Versailles with Gil and Inez, being educated by Michael Sheen's character, Paul, who is an uber intellect, and his girlfriend played by broadway actress, Nina Arianda. The struggling writer, Gil, discovers one drunken night, a way to transport himself (and his imagination) to the roaring 20's in Paris. Gil finds himself rubbing elbows with the likes of Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Sayre, Gertrude Stein, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Man Ray - just to give you an idea. I imagine that I was sitting a couple of rows away from an art historian when I saw this film as this guy was constantly laughing throughout the film meaning the actors must have portrayed these artists to their full intentions.

Now skeptics may wonder who could have the audacity and talent to represent these iconic figures in the art world but you know me, my brain is searching for what other films these actors are in. So, let's begin with my mind wondering to who played Ernest Hemingway. Something seemed so familiar with him yet I couldn't place it but it was the actor Corey Stoll. Turns out this bloke was in "Salt" playing the russian spy "Shnaider", and then he goes and plays an LAPD Detective on "Law and Order: LA." F. Scott Fitzgerald was portrayed by the UK actor, Tom Hiddleston. He was in "Thor" and will be in a couple of films coming out over the next year, including "The Avengers". Playing his crazy, drunken lady love Zelda Sayre is the amazing Alison Pill, who I loved in "Milk" and the indie flick "Pieces of April". (And she recently became engaged to actor Jay Baruchel.) Feminist Gertrude Stein was played by Kathy Bates who has experience portraying historic characters - don't you remember her playing Molly Brown on "Titanic"? Perhaps one of my favorite portrayals (and because I am quite keen on him), was Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali. With his pencil-thin moustache and wild references to rhinos, it immediately made me log onto wikipedia to answer my curiousity. (BTW, Dali's rhino reference was symbolic to him as he believed it signified divine geometry, along with chastity and the Virgin Mary. Artists!) Marcial Di Fonzo Bo, the argentinian actor, producer and director played the anguished Pablo Picasso and the kicker...are you ready for it? His muse and mistress Adriana was played by the angelic Marion Cotillard. Need I say more?

If I missed anyone, well, it wasn't on purpose as there were so many fine actors in this film. Even the First Lady of France, Carla Bruni. So, I highly recommend this film - you will be fully entertained and maybe even a bit educated.