See Allen’s homage to the City of Light

In a complete switch from the theme of the first of the Vernon Film Society’s films, Woody Allen’s fanciful Midnight in Paris will be shown Monday at the Towne Cinema.

  • Sep. 14, 2011 3:00 p.m.
First Lady of France Carla Bruni plays a tour guide who takes Owen Wilson’s Gil on a journey through the Rodin Museum in Woody Allen’s latest film

First Lady of France Carla Bruni plays a tour guide who takes Owen Wilson’s Gil on a journey through the Rodin Museum in Woody Allen’s latest film

Vernon Film Society devotees have only one week between the first and second films of the fall season.

In a complete switch from the theme of the first of the society’s films, Woody Allen’s fanciful Midnight in Paris will be shown Monday at the Towne Cinema.

Paris is shown in all its splendour in this romantic time-travelling story.

Owen Wilson plays a Hollywood script writer, Gil, who yearns to write a literary novel. He finds himself in Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her grouchy parents, none of whom share his nostalgia for bygone bohemian Paris.

The fact that Inez’ parents are right wing Americans gives Allen a chance to insert some contemporary Tea Party jokes.

When having a solitary midnight stroll, Gil is picked up in a vintage car and finds himself in the Paris of his dreams, mixing with the characters many of us have read of: Hemingway, Picasso, Dali (a vastly amusing portrait by Adrian Brody), and even Gertrude Stein, portrayed by a multilingual Kathy Bates.

He continues to return night after night, falling in love with Picasso’s mistress, Adriana, who is played by Marion Cotillard. He finds she cannot understand his enthusiasm for the era, saying, “Surely you don’t think the ‘20s is a Golden Age? It’s the present, it’s dull.”

The movie may make us wonder why generally a previous age is looked on as more interesting and exciting than our present age and if this continues to be repeated through history.

Carla Bruni has a cameo performance as a guide in the Rodin museum and by all accounts carries it off well.

Previous travellers to Paris will enjoy the chance to see many of their favourite haunts, while avid readers will enjoy seeing how the writers and their friends of the 1920s are portrayed in this homage to a bygone age.

Midnight in Paris was the opening film at the Cannes Festival this year and the Hollywood Reporter stated “Darius Khonji’s cinematography evokes to the hilt the gorgeously inviting Paris of so many people’s imaginations (while conveniently ignoring the rest), and the film has the snappy pace of Allen’s best work.”

Monday’s screening takes place at 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are $7 and are available at the door in advance one week prior at the Bean Scene and the Towne Cinema.