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Entries in Rachel McAdams (37)

Tuesday
Jul262011

Why, O Why, Don't I Love "Paris"?

Hallo folks! Ester here. You might remember me from such previous forays into Film Experience as my "Reader Spotlight" and my Two Stars, One Slot tribute piece, "Waif vs. Waif: Mia Wasikowska vs. Saoirse Ronan." Today I come to you with a feminist chip on my shoulder and a spark of rage in my eye, and my target is Woody Allen -- specifically his tepid time-travel fantasy, Midnight in Paris.

It's not surprising that Hollywood, the quintessential vehicle of nostalgia, is obsessed with landmarks. Jack Nicholson has only to get up in the morning and put his shoes on the right feet four shooting days out of five to get nominated for an Oscar, because Hollywood is just so gosh darn grateful an old-school movie star like him is still gracing films with his presence. Similarly, Woody Allen has only to make a movie that is not truly godawful terrible to make every film critic in the US sigh happily about how the maestro has done it again. 

Even then, by the way, he still makes several insufferable stabs at cinema for every Vicky Cristina Barcelona (or Scoop, which I actually kind of enjoyed).  

I understand the impulse to make ourselves hoarse praising the man. After all, we're talking about Woody Allen, auteur extraordinaire, Oscar-winner, redefiner of comedy, granddaddy to a thousand less-talented copy-cat narcissists. He's so prolific he probably doesn't even remember making one of my favorites of his films, the wistful and imaginative Purple Rose of Cairo. (Such small, delightful movies are often called "gems," which confuses me as gems come in all sizes; in fact, a woman I know recently received one that may weigh more than she does. But that's neither here nor there.)

Friends, a mediocrity is a mediocrity, whether it comes from Shakespeare or Dan Brown. Why do we insist on grading Woody Allen on a curve?

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