Friday, December 16, 2011

Woody Allen -- Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris movie poster
I enjoyed Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris."  I have always appreciated Woody Allen's brand of comedy even going back to his stand up routines in the 1960' which I enjoyed on recordings.  I really liked "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger."  His latest movie, Midnight in Paris, was entertaining.  I particularly appreciated the way it presented the nostalgia dilemma as an infinite regression of disappointments.

The movie was also, sadly, a classic manque.  For years Allen has eschewed cheap political satire in his productions.  In "Midnight in Paris" he proves unable to resist the temptation of typical Hollywood leftism.  He could not resist exploitation of the usual leftist anti-war cliches.  His hero played by Owen Wilson is a Bush-basher opposed to the Iraq war and contending with a tea-party supporting potential father in law.  Allen set up the tea-party straw man in order to knock it down for dramatic effect.

How interesting that Allen shows an exalted reverence in his depiction of his Hemmingway character while at the same time opposing war and conflict.  Did Hemmingway not serve in the First World War as an ambulance volunteer?  Was Hemmingway not a committed, indeed, addictive war correspondent?  Did Hemmingway not try to blow Nazi submarines out of the water in his fishing boat off of Cuba?

It seems that Allen is but a pale shadow of the reflected cultural heroes for whom he feels such keen nostalgia.

In his defence, it may be argued that he did provide gainful employment for the pulchritudinous Mme. Sarkozy who did a great job in the pic, by the way.   Hard to imagine Woody hiring Laura Bush for a role though!

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