Paris is the new Manhattan for the newest Woody Allen project. Details have been made public about Allen’s next film, which is to have the rather uninteresting title Midnight in Paris. Some of Allen’s best films have had uninspiring titles that simply state a fact about the plot or characters (Manhattan, Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters).
The new film will star Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen, and Carla Bruni. Bruni is the wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and her rumored appearance in the film was confirmed in today’s press release. Letty Aronson, Steve Tenenbaum and Jaume Roures are producing with Allen set to write and direct.
The cast is very promising with two of my favorite working actresses in Cotillard and McAdams. It is unclear whether or not Owen Wilson’s character is this film’s Woody Allen proxy that the aging auteur sometimes employs (like Larry David was in last year’s Whatever Works). Wilson has the ironic sense of delivery that would be appropriate for Allen’s witty dialogue. I’m reminded of Wilson’s performances in Wes Anderson’s films, particularly The Darjeeling Limited, as to how Allen will employ him.
The plot sounds like Allen’s usual fare:
“Midnight in Paris” is a romantic comedy that follows a family travelling to the city for business, including a young engaged couple that has their lives transformed throughout the journey. The film celebrates a young man’s great love for Paris, and simultaneously explores the illusion people have that a life different from their own is better.
Over the past several years most of Allen’s films have been set abroad and this film will continue on its trend. However, with the above synopsis I’m feeling a strong thematic connection to Allen’s 1979 masterpiece Manhattan. Particularly the last sentence where it states that it celebrates love for one city and the escape from reality that city provides.
Regardless, I’m very happy that Allen continues to go strong as a filmmaker. His upcoming film You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger is playing out of competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and will hit theatres this fall.