Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Director (Woody Allen), Best Original Screenplay (Allen), Best Art Direction
What's It About: Owen Wilson steps up into the Woody-surrogate role of Gil Pender, a Hollywood screenwriter on vacation in the City of Light with his fiance Inez (Rachel McAdams) and his soon-to-be in-laws. Gil is frustrated with his life, and dreams of writing a great novel instead of tacky scripts to bad movies. Needing to get away from Inez's bossy attitude, he takes a late-night stroll through the streets of Paris and magically travels back to the roaring 1920s, when the city thrived with art and culture. Soon Gil finds himself hobnobbing with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali and Ernest Hemingway and living the dream life he's always wanted. Trying to keep his fantastical experience a secret from his inquisitive in-laws, Gil is forced to choose between returning to the present with Inez, and living in the past with a mysterious beauty named Adriana (Marion Cotillard).
Why You Should See It: It's worth noting that between this film and "Hugo" and "The Artist" the Oscars are wrapped up in wistful recollections to simpler times, when art seemed to vibrantly thrive. And while that might seem like a clear sign of the times, "Midnight" cleverly skewers the danger in being hung up on nostalgia. Not to mention it's Woody's funniest, most imaginative film in years -- and when Woody is on, it's always a great movie-going experience. The eclectic cast of all-stars and unknowns bring some of history's greatest artists to life with crackling wit. Woody's trademark filmmaking style is on full display: simply put the camera on good actors and let them deliver funny dialogue, in the middle of a gorgeous location. And lastly, Owen Wilson deserves a special mention for playing the "Woody Allen part" without resorting to a hokey imitation of the neurotic New Yorker.
It's Kind Of Like: The original "Heartbreak Kid" meets Allen's own "The Purple Rose of Cairo," wrapped up in "Before Sunrise."
How You Can See It: "Midnight in Paris" is currently on DVD, Blu-ray and OnDemand.