âMidnight In Paris' Troubles: Almost Didn't Happen In Paris
"Chapter one. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. Uh, no. Make that He romanticized it all out of proportion." Woody Allen is known for his long, loving portraits of New York City -- and, in recent years, long swathes of European landscape -- but "Midnight in Paris" was his first tango with The City of Light. As it turns out, it almost didn't get made.
His longtime producer (and sister) Letty Aronson traveled to ol' Paris, scouting locations and hiring crew members but the production was too pricey to finance. (Sacrebleu!) Allen shelved the project until the French government passed a film tax credit in 2009. Production began in Paris in 2010.
Aronson had her own concerns about the production beyond the financial. âWhen I first read the script, honestly, my impression was, whoâs going to come to this movie?â she told The New York Times. "Nobody even knows Gertrude Stein anymore.â
"Midnight in Paris" ended up being Allen's highest grossing film of his career. It snagged four Oscar nominations for best director, picture, art direction and original screenplay -- his 15th nomination in that category.
Any Woody fan knows that the avuncular director has always sat the Oscars out. âItâs just not his thing, really,â Aronson said. âIâm sure that he is appreciative of and gratified by having been nominated, but participating is not his strong suit.â
I guess it goes back to that old joke: I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.