Last night I watched Midnight in Paris. It is quite a good film with lots of honest fun for the intellectually or artistically inclined. On the down side, it is a Woody Allen film. By this I mean that it was continuously delightful but never transcendent. Of course, it will likely also be the best film you will see in the next year.
The main thing that bugged me was how heavy handed the film was about its theme of illusion and reality. It came to a head in the third act where Gil Pender has taken Adriana from her world in 1920s back to the world of 1890. Just as Gil wanted to escape the modern world and live in the 1920s, Adriana wanted to escape back to the 1890s. When Adriana wants to stay, Gil explains the problem. Most of it is unbearable. But like a good neurotic, Allen pulls it back to the reality of better living through chemistry:
As a side issue that doesn’t much get in the way, this is all fine. But to make a big deal about it? It detracts, to say the least. Not only is it old news that people dream of a better time. It is old news that people have always known it was old news. This is from 1859:
But as I said, it is a fun movie. Unfortunately, Modigliani did not live long enough to be one of the characters.
But we’ll always have this: