MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS 3

365 High-Def Days of Oscar: Day 112

Oscar Wins:

Best Original Screenplay

Oscar Nominations:

Best Picture

Best Director

THE PLOT THUS FAR

This is a romantic comedy set in Paris about a family that goes there because of business, and two young people who are engaged to be married in the fall have experiences there that change their lives. It’s about a young man’s great love for a city, Paris, and the illusion people have that a life different from theirs would be much better.

WHAT WE THOUGHT

“Midnight in Paris” is set in several time periods, and Paris glows intensely and seductively in everyone of those. From its overcast skies and reflective streets, showing lovely architectural details and its magnificent landmarks to the superb and lovely recreations of older time periods, one can’t help being seduced, charmed, and inspired to find a way to show what a special place, and consequently what a truly magical film this might be.

Performances are outstanding all around, with Cotillard once again stealing every second she is on the screen. Through her eyes and carefully delivered lines, we understand what attracts us to this special time and place. She is a gorgeous and very talented performer, one who might be truly aware of her standing, yet she doesn’t dwell on it. She attracts many types, but her philosophy is unique, move on, enjoy, live the moment. In a way, she is like the city that has inspired Allen, and many others before him. Paris as a place might not be aware of its magnetism, its beauty, and its power. Cotillard’s muse is the perfect human equivalent, a dazzling and potent woman, who moves from man to man, place to place, time to time, and who surprises us with her own wishes near the end of the story.

Allen’s screenplay leaps right off the page thanks to his cast, but this too is something that isn’t unusual for a Woody Allen film. At his best, Allen picks actors that play their parts with a sense of realism that, when combined with some elements of the fantastic, charm the audience. Just about everyone here manages to do just this, with the exception of Rachel McAdams, who tries her hardest with an underdeveloped character. Marion Cotillard is the best of the cast in her role as Picasso’s mistress. She’s bursting with sexuality yet she’s grounded in her ability to deliver her dialogue with her natural French accent.

The DVD comes with a single special feature about the film’s time at Cannes. The A/V Quality is pretty strong for standard definition and we get a Dolby 5.1 track that seems really loud for a Woody Allen movie. Hell, it’s a Woody Allen movie and we’re getting special features. That’s a coup by itself. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

The Blu-Ray sports a 1080p transfer and DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track. Plus, you get a featurette and photo gallery.

RELEASE DATE: 12/20/2011

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