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Today’s Netflix Pick is a sentimental romance movie with a lot of charm and an unexpected ending. Starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, it’s from one of the most celebrated filmmakers in cinema, a man who practically invented the quirky romantic genre, and while it’s a little fantastical, it’s got heart like no other with a terrific lead performance. It’s Midnight in Paris and it’s what you’re watching tonight. Here’s why.
THE STORY: Written and directed by Woody Allen, the film follows Gil (Wilson), a screenwriter who is disillusioned with modern storytelling and longs for the times of the classics, believing the writers, playwrights, musicians and thinkers of the 1920s are the greatest of any generation. Content but not happy with his fiancée Inez (McAdams) who is far removed from the lure of Paris as anything but the commercial opportunities it offers, Gil finds himself one night transported back in time and among his literary and artistic heroes, talking with Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston), and Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll) among others, some who show interest in his own writing. There, he meets Adriana (Marion Cotillard), a young woman on the arm of Pablo Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo). The two become smitten but alas, she longs for a time in the past … when there were great writers and thinkers.
WHY YOU NEED TO WATCH: Sometimes even the most inventive and fantastical ideas can come to life in perfect synchronicity on film, be it the combination of talent in front of and behind the camera or the writing, but whatever it is, it’s in Midnight in Paris. Wilson is perfectly cast, his starry-eyed wonder of it all a very thin line he has to walk, but he does with incredible skill, making Gil one of Allen’s best character’s. It’s an effortless performance and it’s easy to see how Allen himself would have played it thirty years earlier, Owen capturing that Allen-esque flavor his films depend on. Loaded with great cameos and plenty of charm, this is one of those movies you can watch over and over and feel good about every time. It’s streaming on Netflix right now.