Yesterday we went to a gorgeous film: Midnight in Paris.

I think it’s the first Woody Allen film I’ve ever seen. I’d heard fairly dodgy things about Woody Allen films, which explains why I haven’t sought them out before, but I might have to give him a bit of a chance if Midnight in Paris is indicative of his work.

This was such a charming film. It’s set in Paris (the clue’s in the name) and I doubt that the city has ever looked better – the cinematography captures the beauty of the city perfectly (and thoughtfully passes over the unattractive bits). The plot concerns Gil, an American scriptwriter who is visiting Paris with Inez, his stroppy fiancee and her overbearing parents. As the trip unfolds it becomes clear that Gil and Inez are fundamentally ill-suited, largely because he’s fairly gentle and romantic in nature, dissatisfied with his life in Hollywood and yearning to follow his literary idols and produce a great novel. Inez is a bit of a bitch and does nothing to support him, choosing instead to put him down on a regular basis, particularly when she’s around an obnoxious old friend that the couple encounter. The scenes with her, her parents and her friends captures so perfectly a certain type of self-obsessed, shallow woman – it was great work from both the scriptwriter and the actress (Rachel McAdams, who I like a lot).

Gil (played by Owen Wilson, who I also like a lot) starts spending more time alone, wandering the streets of Paris at night, and very cool things happen to him. It’s one of those films that will suffer if I tell you much more about it, so I urge you to watch it for yourself. It might not suit everybody – Tristan only quite liked it, whereas I loved every scene – but it’s just so well done that anybody who likes decent films (as opposed to mindless shooty-killy-die Hollywood mayhem) should find something good about it. It got great reviews and ratings at rottentomatoes.com – 93% from critics and 84% from audiences – so you don’t just need to take my word for it.

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