Mrs Wondering Pilgrim and I are just back from a night out at the local multiplex. With a birthday just around the corner, we thought it a good idea to use a Gold Class gift voucher and enjoy some special cuisine while we luxuriated in some plush recliners.
With this sort of setup, one selects the movie very carefully – and what better offering than Midnight in Paris. Forget the storyline for a moment. Just breathe in the bon vivant atmosphere that floats off the screen as you are immersed in Parisien streetscapes and partake in the cafe scene of eras now and bye-gone – not so difficult as your own waiter serves up decadent delights while you watch.
The movie is vintage Woody Allen – a comedy borne of the sadness of something not quite right or missing. In this instance, Owen Wilson plays a Hollywood scriptwriter who dreams of publishing his first novel. (Hello all you NaNoWriMo athletes out there!). He is in Paris with his fiancee and prospective in-laws whose agendas are at variance with his dream – a dream that sees his nocturnal walks time-warp into the night-life Paris of the 1920s. There he encounters the lives and loves of such literary and artistic giants as Ernest Hemingway, Picasso,Salvador Dali and others. You don’t have to be au fait with their work to enjoy the exchanges and the conflict that the protagonist finds himself in as he moves backwards and forwards from the demands of the modern era to the romance of what he understands as a Parisien Golden Age. A turn of events and an unlikely romance brings clarity – nostalgia has its place, but needs something more tangible to fulfill the promise it seems to offer. We were not left with unfulfilling angst, but with a note of promise alighting from “an insight of a minor nature” (to quote our self-effacing hero).
Four stars out of five!