The advance buzz was correct: Woody Allen‘s Midnight in Paris is a goodie. I don’t think it’s possible to discuss it without using the terms “thinking man’s fantasy film” or “time-trip movie” or “a down-the-rabbit-hole excursion” so I’ll just say it’s his most charming and engaging film in this vein since The Purple Rose of Cairo…how’s that? And certainly his overall best since Match Point.

On one level it’s almost a trifle except that it’s thoughtful and reality-based (whatever that term may be worth in this context) and very funny…although in a way that requires the viewer to be at least glancingly familiar with the world of Paris in the 1920s and 1880s and ’90s (“la Belle Epoque”). In other words, you need to be at least semi-educated. As we all know that leaves out a significant chunk of 2011 moviegoers so we’ll see how it plays.

Life is always vaguely unsatisfying because it always has been and always will be vaguely unsatisfying to those caught up in the striving and sufffering and the hurly-burly (or in other words everyone, including those with heroin habits.) But Midnight in Paris satisfies very nicely. It is time well spent, and a time-trip worth taking. [Posted from iPhone while waiting for the Paris press conference to begin.]