Nostalgia in Paris

Arts & CultureJanuary 1, 2022
Nostalgia in Paris

With magnificent parties full of intellectual conversations, the 1920s Paris and swing dances, Woody Allen gathers all the artistic figures of Paris in a single film. He travels through magnificent parties full of directors, painters, writers and poets and spreads the magic of nostalgia with Midnight in Paris. The film, which is a love letter to Paris and the past, offers the viewer a time travel experience. 

Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams are a couple who come to Paris to shop and visit before their wedding. Gil, played by Wilson, is a Hollywood screenwriter who was inspired by the history of Paris to write a good novel instead of a movie. McAdams portrays his materialistic fiancée Inez, who is overwhelmed by Gil’s idealism and his existential crisis.  Gil’s dream is actually not a losing battle.  He is actually trying to write a novel set in a nostalgia shop. He needs only Paris, the real Paris, to satisfy his reluctant muse. Unfortunately, his fiancée is determined to have dinner with her parents and wander around the classic tourist destinations.  

Idolizing 1920s bohemian Paris, Gil dreams that the city will revive his dormant inspiration to become a serious novelist.  One night, while wandering around the city alone, he sees a mysterious antique car pull up next to him, and champagne-drinking passengers encourage him to get in the car.  With that trip, he travels back in time to a party where he meets  F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, and Ernest Hemingway. At this party, he meets Adriana, Picasso’s lover, played by Marion Cotillard. 

Gil’s midnight adventures to another age each night to dine, dance and muse with his literary idols are magically captured by Allen.  But it is Owen Wilson, the charismatic representative of the neurotic state of the director, who really makes this time travel story shine.

Like many Woody Allen films, Midnight in Paris takes a vaguely self-deprecating, anti-nostalgia stance. Everyone wants to live in another era, even those who live in that era. The timelessness of nostalgic dreams is exposed with this truth.  This longing for the past also tells us something about the director’s style. It embodies not only the 1920s Paris but the nostalgia of the days when Allen regularly produced excellent parodies. The controversial director, who has made 57 films in his 86-year life, offers an undeniably fascinating experience with Midnight in Paris. 

You can follow the playlist on the link for a nostalgia trip through time with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Picasso, Luis Buñuel and many more.

Author: Öykü Bilgin