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Movie Review: Midnight in Paris

Alternate Title: The Good Old Days

Story: What a treat to see Woody Allen back in fine form. This latest film both written and directed by Mr. Allen is 90 minutes of delightful cinema. If you like Paris (and who doesn't?) run to the theater, sit back and soak it all in. The City of Lights is Allen's latest passion. Similar to his bygone odes to Manhattan he has now graced Paris with his writer's and director's eye.

Successful, Hollywood hack, screenwriter Gil, is visiting Paris with his fiancee and her parents. He wants to move to Paris and work on his novel about a man who runs a nostalgia shop. His fiancee wants him to continue to produce those financially viable movies while he is still a hot commodity.

Magically, Gil, while alone on a midnight walk in Paris, is transported back to the 1920's. His world is turned upside down. Each night as he re-enters this coveted period in time his decision to marry gets further and further away. His career as a writer seems closer than ever.

I will not spoil the surprises by telling you who he meets as he time travels. Much of my fun was guessing who each new character was before their identity was revealed.

The film is funny at times, a bit romantic, lovingly shot by director of photography, Darius Khondji. It also has terrific production design by Anne Seibel and costumes by Sonia Grande.

I don't often want to become part of a film but this flight of fancy titillated my time travel inner self and I would gladly join this band of supporting characters in a flash.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYRWfS2s2v4

Acting: Owen Wilson (Gil) was one of the first Woody Allen stand-ins that does not come off as a total neurotic. Rachel McAdams (Inez) as the fiancee was a bit annoying - but I imagine that's what she was supposed to play. The entire supporting cast was terrific, including: Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen, Tom Hiddleston, Alison Pill, Marcial Di Fonzo Bo, Corey Stoll, Kurt Fuller, Mimi Kennedy and Léa Seydoux.

Predilection: I am a big Woody Allen fan.

Trivia: Owen Wilson has appeared in 10 films with Ben Stiller. He and his brother Luke Wilson were originally meant to play the Malloy brothers in Ocean's Eleven (2001), but dropped out to make The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). He attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he met his future mentor and friend, Wes Anderson. They wrote a screenplay, Bottle Rocket (1996) together.

Critters: One dog in a restaurant. I thought there would be more dogs.

Food: Surprisingly little.

Blatant Product Placement: Apple

Soundtrack: Typical Woody Allen with lots of Cole Porter.

Opening Titles: A beautiful moving montage of Paris at it's best.

Visual Art: A history of art (101) for all. Delightful images abound.

Theater Audience: About 25 other Woody Allen devotees and us.

Weather: Paris is lovely in all weather. Rain is a big feature in this glorious city.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Go for the big screen and soak it all in.

Length: A Woody Allen 90 minutes.