You never have to drag me to a theater to see the new Woody Allen. You can always pop one of his classics into the DVD-player and see the approval on my face. But even I must admit, the quality of his films is not constant.
I did not know what to expect, when I went to see Midnight in Paris last week, before reading any reviews. Best case scenario: a new Manhattan. Worst case scenario: a new Cassandra’s Dream. All that was guaranteed were some laughs and some beautiful shots of the city I adore.
The film’s beginning is not the best. An un-assuming American couple on a short holiday in Paris, running into, by chance, another American couple. The dialogues are clever and funny, the acting very good. Yet, I am not engaged.
It isn’t until the magic appears, that my critical self is silenced, and I just watch, mesmerized as a child. History and fantasy are woven into each other, creating both hilarious and philosophical scenes. About half way the film I look at my husband, smiling, and say: ‘I love this film! I’m already looking forward to see it again!’ And he smiles right back at me and says: ‘Maybe my favorite Woody Allen after Annie Hall’.
When we get home and out of the magic realm, my husband and I analyze the movie and agree and disagree on its flaws. It doesn’t surprise me that Midnight in Paris, although opening the festival, was not selected for the official competition in Cannes. But a contemporary film that uses no 3D effects, no violence and no sex, and still thoroughly entertains you and makes you reflect about your life, that’s an accomplishment.
My enthusiasm thus remains: I love this film!