Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen) - 2011

Owen Wilson has discovered a time machine in Paris that takes him back to the days when Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald occupied the city.  Owen is a writer who loves the city and the rain.  He is an American traveling with the parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy) of his fiance, Rachel McAdams.  The creative mind of Woody Allen takes us back to the 1920s when you could not enter a building without bumping into a famous artist.  Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), Pablo Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo Bo) and Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody) are never far away in this dream world.  Allen manages to include every major talent of the time and then dips into the 1890s for more.  This movie is a treat for wannabe time travelers and an adventure for those of us who enjoy the adventure of not knowing where a story will go.  Corey Stoll is exceptional as the young Hemingway.  And, love interests McAdams and Marion Cotillard are radiant in their roles.  As budget restrictions have moved Woody Allen into the "European phase" of his directorial career, he continues to make movies that emphasize dialog and scenery over explosions and green-screen magic.  [JAM 5/30/2011] 

["The lead was a more East Coast character in the original script ... Julie Taylor suggested Owen Wilson.  I had always been a fan of his , but always felt that he has a very West Coast persona.  He belongs very much at home on a beach or with a surfboard.  So I rewrote the script, making the character a West Coast character.  I sent it to Owen and I was very lucky he wanted to do it ... I'm happy to do it if I can get an actor like Owen, who is a strong person to play something.  Then I am perfectly willing to rewrite a character if I can rewrite it.  Of course, there are some characters that you could never change.  That would ruin the story.  But very often you can adjust a character.  If you have a strong personality, sometimes it requires an adjustment."  Woody Allen interview with The Hollywood Reporter 5/10/2011]