You've been waiting with baited breath for the answer, and, since it was rather fittingly released into the darkening twinkle of autumn's beginning, you didn't have to hold your breath and go red and collapse with exhaustion in the meantime. Midnight in Paris is Woody's best film in years; certainly his most vibrant since Match Point, and unlike that arch and slightly morbid exercise, this feels like classic Woody. It isn't, don't get me wrong, because he's still lost his touch at writing personable, funny, truthful female characters and in the final event, Rachel McAdams' shrill fiance almost sinks the entire ship.
|You'd never be able to tell they're not really in love.|
|They're looking at each other. I'd say that's a good first step towards romance.|
To return to my months-old question, I'd be hard-pressed to say that there are any particularly revelatory human insights to be had here. That's a shame, because once upon a time, Woody Allen was one of those writers who could start a scene with a joke and end it with a revelation. Woody the scribe is still stuck in convention, ending the film with a message that's far too bluntly delivered, and rather at odds with his entire career of late. Does Woody actually recognise his own situation - a writer in need of a Gertrude Stein - in Wilson's? Doubtful. But Woody the director has livened up again, and the final point is this. Midnight in Paris, for the first time since, oh, Everyone Says I Love You (just fifteen years ago! ...), is a Woody Allen film genuinely alive with the sense of its title. It might not be Woody back on his unchallenged classical form but it's a Woody who seems to have recovered a sense of the magic of cinema, of the discovery of a troubled character's ventures, and of a sense of romantic purpose. The clock has struck, and I can spy Manhattan down the street. (B-)