News / USA

    Woody Allen Pays Homage to City of Light

    'Midnight in Paris' recalls the past, looks to the present

    0wen Wilson channels Woody Allen and Rachel McAdams is his materialistic girlfriend in 'Midnight in Paris.'
    0wen Wilson channels Woody Allen and Rachel McAdams is his materialistic girlfriend in 'Midnight in Paris.'

    Multimedia

    Penelope Poulou

    Woody Allen taps into the allure of a bygone era in "Midnight in Paris." The acclaimed filmmaker captures a picture-perfect Paris and presents an intimate story in a centuries-old city only to remind us that, as much as we glorify the past, it's best to live in the present.  

    Gil, an American screen writer, and his fiancée, Inez, take a romantic trip to Paris. Gil is smitten with Inez but the two are worlds apart. He wants to live the Bohemian life in Paris writing novels. She is materialistic, impressed by status and attached to her ultra-conservative parents, who are in Paris with the couple so the father can clinch a business deal.

    The relationship between Inez and Gil begins to disintegrate. Things get especially tense when Inez meets up with old friends; her girlfriend from college and her fiancée, Paul, a professor at the Sorbonne who's a pretentious know-it-all.

    Gil has had enough of Paul. He wants to be alone. As he strolls along the quaint Parisian streets, the clock strikes midnight.

    All of a sudden, he's transported back to the 1920s, where he meets Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and the American writer Ernest Hemingway.

    And he falls in love, for real this time, with Adriana, an alleged mistress of Picasso, played by Marion Cotillard. Every night, Gil visits an enchanted past and every morning he wakes up in the 21st century.  

    Woody Allen delivers this fairytale with wit and comic lightness, while treating us to a magical Paris.

    “I wanted to show the city emotionally, the way I felt about it," says Allen."It didn’t matter how real it was or what it reflected. I just wanted it to be the way I saw Paris, Paris through my eyes.”

    Owen Wilson stars in Woody Allen's 'Midnight in Paris.'
    Owen Wilson stars in Woody Allen's 'Midnight in Paris.'

    To portray the great intellectuals of the time, Allen cast a group of A-list actors such as Adrian Brody, who plays Salvador Dali.

    “You know this was the first time I had accepted to play Dali," Brody says. "I have been offered this role several times in different incarnations. It was a relatively limited glimpse of that man in his life so I spent a great deal of my time researching the shape of the rhinoceros. That’s all.”

    Along with the superstars, Carla Bruni, the first lady of France, has a small role as a museum guide.

    Like Paris, the film enchants. But the rendition of an ethereal City of Light is out of step with the dialogue, which lacks depth. Owen Wilson, as Gil, mimics Woody Allen's style so much that it distracts. We feel we’re watching a young Woody Allen. As Inez, Rachel McAdams is a convincing shrew but her performance is too theatrical.

    There are many hilarious moments as well as magic in the midnight Paris air. But, like whimsy, this film has no lasting power.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora