Over France, the Cannes Film Festival is finally underway. And with the opening night selection screening complete, reviews are starting to pour in for Midnight in Paris, the latest from the uber-prolific Woody Allen. A few weeks ago I read one or two lines of buzz that hinted that the director's latest Paris-set effort was actually one of his best in the past decade. And if early remarks are any indication, those two sentences of hype were right:
Living in Cinema - Craig Kennedy: (4.5/5 stars) "Consistently amusing yet never straining for a big laugh, it feels effortless yet never lazy." Kennedy also praises the whole cast, especially Wilson, Sheen, and Cotillard.
Thompson on Hollywood - Anne Thompson: (N/A) "Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen's best movie since Deconstructing Harry in 1997." "[The film] has long term Oscar potential."
Hollywood Elsewhere - Jeffrey Wells: (N/A) "The advance buzz was correct: Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris is a goodie." "It is time well spent, and a time-trip worth taking."
Entertainment Weekly - Dave Karger: (N/A) "...I'd say the consensus will be that Midnight is easily his best film since Vicky Cristina." "The movie really belongs to Owen Wilson, who gives a droll and charming performance."
Rope of Silicon - Brad Brevet: (B+) "...inventive, imaginative, and charming." "...Sheen absolutely crushes the part." "As Adriana, Cotillard again brings a performance you can't help but be entranced by." "Midnight in Paris is a romantic comedy of the sort you wish Hollywood would aspire to."
Screen Daily - Mark Adams: (N/A) "...an amusing and elegantly constructed love letter to Paris, rich on romance, humour, and culture, and driven by a nicely pitched performance by Owen Wilson."
The Hollywood Reporter - Todd McCarthy: (N/A) "As beguiling as a stroll around Paris on a warm spring evening."
Guy Lodge (on Twitter): (B-/C+) "Sprightly and choux-sweet first half, gradually bogged down in skit-sized conceit and Woody's binary view of women."
Foundas on Film - Scott Foundas: (N/A) "...Allen has, I think, delivered one of his masterpieces - a movie about the romantic pull of yesteryear."
The Telegraph - Sukhdev Sandhu: (2/4 stars) "Some of its conceits are funny...[but] it devolves into a sweaty, over-crowded cocktail party."
The Guardian - Peter Bradshaw: (3/5 stars) "...a shallow examination of nostalgia with endearing performances by Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard."
Cannes Verdict: A thoroughly charming and engaging romantic comedy led by strong work from Owen Wilson and a lively supporting cast.