“Midnight in Paris” was a little like “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” for the literary set. The story is a time-travel fantasy that assumes you had at least heard of Man Ray, Gertrude Stein, Toulouse-Lautrec and others. Some of the portrayals are better than others. Adrien Brody seemed cartoonish as Salvador Dalí. I liked the film a lot but I don’t think it will win Best Picture.
Owen Wilson plays Gil, the part that Woody Allen probably would have played if the movie had come out a few years ago. Gil is a Hollywood screenwriter who longs to write something more substantial. While visiting Paris with his fiancée and her parents, Gil takes a late-night walk. When the clock strikes midnight, Gil is able to catch a ride back in time to the 1920s. Each night, he goes to parties with his heroes of that era and soon falls in love with a girl who had been dating Pablo Picasso. Like Gil, she feels out of place in her own timeline and wishes she could travel back to La Belle Époque.
My wife and I watched “Midnight in Paris” via On Demand over the weekend. It was the third Best Picture nominee we’ve seen so far this year. At this rate, we probably won’t get to all nine before the Oscars especially if we also try to catch some of the films nominated only in the acting categories.