Midnight in Paris
By Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Director/writer Woody Allen’s film opened the Cannes Film
Festival earlier this month and it is indeed one of his best films in a long
time; clever, sharp, entertaining and though not overly self-conscious as
Allen’s films can be, the litany of writers and artists in the film meet
Allen’s cinematic requirement for neurosis.
Gil (Owen Wilson) is in Paris with his fiancé Inez (Rachel
McAdams) and her parents who have business in the city of lights. Gil is a
screenwriter trying to write a novel about a man who runs a nostalgia shop.
When a friend of Inez, Paul (Michael Sheen) and his wife run into them in a
restaurant, Gil wants nothing to do with the boorish, pseudo-intellectual
professor. Instead of dancing, he goes for a walk.
At midnight, a vintage car stops in front of him, and F.
Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston) and his wife Zelda (Alison Pill) invite him
to come along to a party. There he meets expats, or the famous Lost Generation,
from America and other countries who form the vibrant artist community of Paris
in the 1920s; include Cole Porter and Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel.
The funniest encounter is with Hemingway who tosses off
words straight from his novels with references to his “A Moveable Feast” and
seems itching for a fight. Gil runs into a litany of famous people and falls
for Picasso’s mistress, Adrianna (Marion Cotillard) who wants to live in 1890’s Paris, the city’s
Hemingway, or Fitzgerald, tells Gil that “Nostalgia is a
flaw of the romantic imagination” and that nostalgia is denial.
There’s something to this, I think. After one of my younger sisters and I saw the
1992 Merchant-Ivory period masterpiece “Howard’s End”, she said, “I was born in
the wrong place and the wrong time.” And then she sighed as she grasped her young
daughter’s hand to return home.
Gil realizes that living in the present, while appreciating
the past, is probably the best way –and that the icons of the past were just
humans, too, gifted and flawed. And he decides to move to Paris.
Thank you for your comments. Editors will review all posts before they are visible on the website.
blog comments powered by