Lucky you, Gina. I haven’t seen it yet, but looking forward to it. I have, thanks to Netflix, been thoroughly indulging in rewatching old favourites. It will be a summer project as I can never get to the end of the list before starting again. It was Woody Allen's Murder in Manhatten last weekend, which makes me want to watch Husbands and Wives again.
How interesting that Midnight in Paris should share its plot with our The Sidewalk Artist, though I do disagree without even seeing it that Owen Wilson’s character having an unsympathetic fiancé is a flaw in the movie. There is no one who isn’t too shallow/cruel/petty/boring/evil/dull/stupid/fill in the blank that some fool – even a fool who should know better – isn’t going to fall in love with them. Falling in love with someone totally inappropriate is the stuff that art and literature, whether Jane Austen or Woody Allen, especially Woody Allen, is made of. Watching Anthony Hopkins throw away his dignity in You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger was wonderfully and pathetically human.
And perhaps it's another way to compare Midnight in Paris with The Sidewalk Artist. Why was Tulia in love with Ethan? It was something that bothered some of our readers. Why would she fall for a guy her father described as “not having a drop of poetry in him.” And even when she wasn’t sure if she was, lives get tangled up together, and breaking away can be like extracting oneself from a crazy cult.
It is good to see Owen Wilson back where he belongs - in a good movie. Far too good of an actor to be wasted on Marmaduke sequels. I’m sure I’m not alone either in wishing he would go back to writing with Wes Anderson. What a great co-writing team they made! I would sell my soul to be half as good! And it is true that he was our model for Frank our American soldier in Ciao Bella (see the description on page 9). There is a little bit of Ned (Owen Wilson’s character in The Life Aquatic) in Frank too. Perhaps Owen Wilson is a little too old now (happens to the best of us) to play Frank, but maybe with a little of the time travel, which he seems to have perfected in Midnight in Paris, it could work.
Something else that Woody Allen shares with us and The Sidewalk Artist is his love for Venice, and when I was there last year, it was rumoured he had purchased the marvelous Palazzo Dario on the Grand Canal.
Let us know, Mr. Allen, if the rumours are true, and if you haven’t yet read The Sidewalk Artist, perhaps on my next visit to Venice, I could pop a copy of it over the garden wall for you and you could let us know what you think over a glass of Prosecco on the balcony. We’ll bring the Prosecco.