Can we presume that Woody Allen‘s Midnight in Paris isn’t one of his wipeouts, and perhaps may even be one of his back-in-the-saddle resurgence films? I’m thinking that Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux, who’s announced that Allen’s latest will open his festival on 5.11…what am I saying? This doesn’t mean jack. Fremaux just wanted a glammy Woody with movie stars (Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody) plus French president Nicolas Sarkozy escorting wife-costar Carla Bruni-Sarkozy on the red carpet.
Midnight in Paris costars Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard during shooting last summer.
Most Allen films over the past decade or so have felt like first drafts that should have gone through another couple of passes. For all we know Midnight could be on the level of Whatever Works or Scoop or Hollywood Ending . But Allen’s pattern has been to dribble for three or four years between jump shots. His last swish was ’08’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, so maybe.
Fremaux has described Midnight in Paris, which he’s apparently seen in some form, as “a wonderful love letter to Paris.” That in itself gives me the willies. It suggests that Allen will portray Paris in picture-postcard terms, and that we’ll be seeing many, many scenes of Wilson and Cotillard strolling and talking and cafe-sitting in the usual romantic locales.
Fremaux also called it “a film in which Allen takes a deeper look at the issues raised in his last films: our relationship with history, art, pleasure and life.”
Midnight in Paris will open commercially in France on the same day it shows at the Grand Palais. For some reason that sounds like another mild “hmm, really?” Sony Classics, the U.S. distributor, hasn’t announced a domestic release date. Figure on late summer or early fall.
I love Sasha Stone‘s statement in her Awards Daily announcement piece: “I have to say that after the soul-crushing experience that Oscars 2010 has been, I so look forward to Cannes where the thing really is the movie. Daring, visionary films shown many times a day, every day. There is nothing quite like Cannes.”