Midnight in Paris – a magical journey to the past for those who feel lost at the present 



There’re always some reasons for us to in love with a place that we have never been to. And to me, the reason I always urge to be in the “City of Lights” is Midnight in Paris.

Everyone is in love with Paris, it’s not hard to guess, who doesn’t. Previously when I watched the Casablanca movie, I already had a crush on this city.

People keep saying it’s a crime to visit Paris alone. However, right after I watched Midnight in Paris, I just came to realize it’s not bad to be alone in Paris. In fact, it’s good to experience Paris all by yourself and especially at the midnight, just like the main character in the movie, Gil, did.

I  kinda have a feeling that Woody Allen portrayed himself as character Gil in the movie

To begin with, Gil is a successful Hollywood writer but he is struggling with his first novel. On the trip to Paris with his fiancée and her family, Gil had some weird experiences. At the midnight, he can go back to the past where he can meet those well-known authors of the world namely Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and a bunch of other talented artists.

Gil, of course, feels really happy with these trips back to the Golden Age 1920s because that’s the era he loves. He begins to feel unfit with the present. He starts to think that maybe the past is where he belongs not the present he has to suffer at the moment. He meets Adriana, a girl from the past, and is kinda in love with her.

Owen Wilson as Gil and Marion Cotillard as Adriana. I don’t think they have good chemistry on screen but they carried out their character quite well

Ironically, just like Gil, Adriana doesn’t like the age she is living. She wants to go back to the Age of Enlightenment, so she took the trip back to that time. She thought that people would love the Age of Enlightenment, but then she realized people there wanna back to The Renaissance.

And that is how a circle is formed. People from the 21st century wanna go back to the Roaring Twenties but people in the 1920s wanna go back to the Age of Enlightenment, and people from the Age of Enlightenment wanna go back to the previous age, the Renaissance.

At this point in the movie, I come to know we, people, always seek nostalgia because we can’t deal with the present, especially those who work in the art fields. We create an illusion that maybe we would be happy if we live in those “good old days,” but little did we know, the past is unhappy itself. None of the eras is happy all the time, each age has its own ups and downs. The fact that we are unsatisfied with the present makes us urge for an escape. And the fact that we cannot deal with things makes us wanna avoid them rather than face them.

My most favorite lines in the movie

The movie is successful in convincing us that the past is only used to treasure not to cling to it, no matter how beautiful it was, we have to understand the fact that it was gone. And instead of sitting there longing for the past, we should stand up and face the harsh present. That’s how we get things done, that’s how we create our moments and that’s how we live. Sleeping in the past can never lead you to the future, never.

I very much love the detail when Gil back to the present and breaks up with his fiancée then meets Gabrielle. I found a subtle message here, I am not sure that’s what director Woody Allen was trying to deliver to the audience but that detail brings me to the conclusion that you never know what happens next if you don’t move forward.

And by step forward, Gil chose to face his problem, he decided to deal with the fact that Adriana, a beautiful past, is not the perfect half for him, neither Inez, his fiancée, the tough present that he always tries to avoid. And the appearance of Gabrielle, in the end, is just like a gift for Gil after he decided to face his problem.

Léa Seydoux as Gabrielle. I love her since I watched “Blue is the warmest colour” 

So here my lessons learned: 1 – Don’t cling to the past, DON’T. 2 – Face your problem, FACE IT! If Casablanca makes me believe that Paris is a place for the couple then Midnight in Paris makes me rethink that Paris is not for a couple or a single. It’s a place for everyone, for love. People will find love here anyway even though they are single or not. And love here is not always referred to like romance, it can be you in love with yourself or with the city, with the moment you live.

Woody Allen made a gem for Hollywood and film history. It’s so well-deserved that the movie got Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars. Not mentioned to the script, the plot, or the acting, the movie already nailed it at portraying an amuse Paris. Paris is not always about the Eiffel Tower, Louver Museum, or Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. It can be those quiet alleys at the midnight, it can be those deserted roads in the morning or it can be those rainy days you walking alone on the streets. Paris is always beautiful at every corner, every season, and Woody Allen was successful in bringing it to the movie.

Here the movie soundtrack, Enjoy! :


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