Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Woody Allen Cannes Opener: Love Letter to Paris, Return to Form


Woody Allen has scored big time this morning with “Midnight in Paris.” His new film is clever, beautiful, and profound. It’s a simple idea, too: the struggle to deal with the present while romanticizing the past. The film is cast perfectly as Owen Wilson plays the yearning screenwriter who — while visiting Paris with his horrible fiancee and her parents –does a little time traveling to the 1920s. There he meets Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and a wildly amusing cast of real life characters. Marion Cotillard is luminous as Wilson’s fantasy lover. A lovely, splendid film with great cameos from Adrien Brody, Kathy Bates, and yes, Carla Bruni. Michael Sheen and Rachel McAdams are fun as Allen stock characters transposed into this situation. Owen Wilson is genial, amusing and most sympathetic ever. More to come.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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