“Midnight In Paris” a Gem from Allen’s Mind After a Long Hiatus

Posted on October 18, 2011

NOTE:  The following is an endorsement of Allen’s film; not his morals.

Once when asked where his comedy came from Woody Allen replied “I don’t know.”  It was the answer of a true comedic genius – in fact anyone of artistic genius.  The creative spirit takes many forms but generally it comes from the direction of the areas of the brain still to be investigated.

One hopes they never find the true origin of it. It would be a genuine tragedy to reduce creativity to a formula and a site in the brain.  The serendipity of creativity is key to its appeal when its originality is clearly discernible and Midnight in Paris, Allen’s latest offering, is, for all of its dependence on dramatic conventions, an original.

It is also as much the mythic musing of an aging play write as A Winter’s Tale was to Shakespeare’s repertoire.  In it the “Woody Allen” hero is fully matured.  In the hands of Owen Wilson as directed by Allen, it is pure delight to see the Allen persona in a balanced yet edgy way.

The first time Wilson magically visits the jazz-loving 1920s Paris, transported a la Cinderella by an equally fantastic vehicle, he finds what he thinks is a kindred spirit in the form of a woman in love with Picasso and Hemingway at the same time.  Imagine having that difficulty?

Suddenly the movie Lost in Time  springs to mind.  Christopher Reeve was the dreamer who actually relinquished the present for the past motivated entirely by love and few other principles.  In the hands of Woody Allen, this convention takes twists and turns that are just delightful and maintain more interest.  The denouement is another masterful twist and sustainable Allen at his best.

This is also an homage to a city, its soul over time and , well since this is the soul of the jazz-loving and playing Allen, jazz.  Poetic in its simplicity, tight delivery and short length – roughly 1 and 1/2 hours.  This is a SamHenry must see.