This weekend some friends and I saw Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s latest. Some may say I have no taste in movies as my interests are limited to rom-coms and documentaries about evil corporations, so take this review as you like. I absolutely loved the film. It spoke to me as it addressed issues to which I relate. (At least four people walked out in the middle of the movie, but I doubt they knew what they were getting into. It was typical Woody Allen, and that’s not for everyone.)
Gil, the main character played by Owen Wilson, struggles to find balance between trying to make a living at a craft about which he’s truly passionate (writing prose) and one that pays well (writing movie scripts). I’ve always been creatively inclined and tried to “follow my dreams” my first two years of college, as that’s what you are told to do when you’re a young person thinking about your future. I quickly realized my industry of choice (apparel design) wasn’t a practical one and switched schools and majors in favor of something more secure. Only time will tell if this will result in a mid-life crisis.
In addition to being creative, Gil has other endearing qualities. He’s a romantic, a francophile, and falls in love with La Ville-Lumiere. Who can blame him? It’s Paris’ fault that I live with an incurable case of the travel bug. Although I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like, I adore every moment I get the chance to explore a new place, and it all started on my sixteenth birthday when I arrived in Paris. It was magic. (I envy my expat friends in London who have five weeks of vaca to my two and weekend Eurotrips at their fingertips! Lucky!)
The trip to Paris was offered by my high school as an opportunity for students to expand their cultural repertoires. My parents were generous enough to fund the trip, and I can’t ever thank them enough. If they hadn’t, I might not have become obsessed with travel or pursued a career in the industry. It was my first time to go abroad and it opened my eyes to history, language, public transportation, wine, food… Imagine spending a lifetime in a bubble in Mediocre City, USA; going to sleep one night; and waking up in Paris. Like I said: magic. (Disclaimer: I LOVE Oklahoma City and think it’s an excellent place to grow up, but I think we can all admit it lacks an abundance of cultural opportunities.)
I’m thrilled to finally get to “thank” my Mom in a huge way by taking her across the pond this fall! (I’m “thanking” my dad by letting him stay home- apparently the travel bug is not genetic.) Paris is absolutely inspiring and Midnight reminded me why artists flock to this gorgeous city. I’d love to rub elbows with the greats like Gil did in the film. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Picasso, and Dali were just a few of the legendary artists with whom he became friends.
The film jumps back and forth between the Roaring Twenties and the present. In the former Gil gets to know the artists personally and in the latter he experiences the legacies they left us. It reminded me why I love art for art’s sake…
- Having a passion for any method of expression allows one to see things from a different perspective and better appreciate the world in which one lives.
- A work of art captures a moment in a certain place and time and allows it to potentially exist forever.
I recently read a quote on an interior design blog that I love, because it’s so simple and true: “If you are passionate about something, inspiration is all around you. It shows up on any given day and in every possible way. When your passion fades, inspiration stops revealing itself.” – Kyle Bunting
Although Midnight probably won’t claim any Academy Award nominations, it was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time, as it sparked my passion for art, history, and la belle Paris. I’d better start brushing up on my French! Au revoir mes amis!