Woody Allen Surprises: Midnight Is a Delight

He opens Cannes with a pleasant comedy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2011 6:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – No wonder audiences at Cannes loved the opening film, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, writes Andrew O'Hehir at Salon. It's a "lightweight, rather silly fantasy about the eternal allure of the City of Light." And while that sounds like the set-up for a negative review, it's anything but: "Allen seems to be paying attention in a way he hasn't always done in recent films, and has found a way to channel his often-caustic misanthropy, half-comic fear of death and anti-American bitterness into agreeable comic whimsy," he writes.

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Owen Wilson charms in the time-travel comedy, whose point is that we should stop pining for the glorified days of yore and make the best of our modern lives. "If anything, Allen seems to be rebuking himself, ever so mildly, for his compulsive romanticism, his obsession with the past and his disconnection from contemporary American life," wrotes O'Hehir. The nice result is "a sweet, airy Parisian pastry with just a hint of wistful substance in the finish." As for the cameo role by Carla Bruni as a tour guide: "She does no damage." Click for the full review. (Read more Woody Allen stories.)

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