Film review: Midnight in Paris

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Midnight in Paris (12 – Dir: Woody Allen – Stars: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard)

Woody Allen on top form with this charming – and rose-tinted - tribute to the world’s most beautiful city and its art and culture.

Gil (Wilson) is an American screenwriter bored with America, screen, and writing. He’s in Paris with his fiancée Inez (McAdams) and her gruesome Republican parents for whom much of the ‘charm’ of Paris is so ... well, un-American.

Then one night, lost and on the stroke of midnight, a jalopy stops and escorts Gil into his nostalgic fantasies of 1920’s and Belle Epoque painters, sculptors, dancers and writers. He meets up with Matisse, Gertrude Stein, Gauguin, Degas, Hemingway, Picasso, Modigliani, Josephine Baker, Dali, Man Ray, Bunuel, Matisse.

Gil is intoxicated - the parties, the can-can, the wine, the promiscuity, the absenthe, the creative conversations about art and ideas and life.

Then he discovers that everyone is nostalgic for some previous Golden Age, and vows to get on with his own.

Carla Bruni, otherwise known as Madame Sarkosy, pops up in a nicely understated cameo role as a discerning tour guide.

8/10

Tyrannosaur (18 – Dir: Paddy Considine – Stars: Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan)

All the failing lives in Tyrannosaur have been withered down to mere existence by violence.

Joseph (Mullan) drinks away his benefits, and rage simmers and often explodes in his tormented mind.

Hannah (Colman) is a Christian charity worker who is being beaten by her monster of a husband.

Then they meet, and out of their joint desolation the smallest of kindnesses begin to hint at a caring humanity they could share.

Hot Fuzz and Bourne actor Considine makes a searing directorial debut. Colman’s, especially, is an unflinching portrayal.

8/10

Albatross (15 – Dir: Nial MacCormick – Stars: Jessica Brown Findlay, Felicity Jones)

Emelia Conan-Doyle (Brown-Findlay) is beautiful, talented, and damaged. The new maid, she drops into the precarious harmony of her boss’s family, and blows it to bits.

Beth (Jones) is the coming-of-age daughter of the house who is the very last person who should be exposed to this emotional whirlwind.

7/10