Perhaps it’s the beautiful travelogue pans of the Seine and Montmartre, or the Django Reinhart music on the soundtrack, or the sight of Marion Cotillard in fetching flapper gear…. It can’t be Owen Wilson, can it?
Whatever the reason, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris – a cute and charming comedic reverie about a modern-day Hollywood screenwriter (Wilson) who finds himself hobbing and nobbing with such literary lions and art world greats as Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso and Dali in a nostalgia-hued 1920s Paris – is now the certified hit of the Woodman’s career. Distributed by the always savvy Sony Pictures Classics, Midnight in Paris -- Allen’s 42nd film in 45 years of directing -- opened May 20 on just six screens and started doing explosive business from the get-go. Two months later, on more than 1,000 screens nationwide, Midnight in Paris has topped $42 million in ticket sales and is still going strong. Add another $34 million in foreign numbers (and it’s yet to open in most overseas markets) and you have what, for the prolific Mr. Allen, is a blockbuster.
So, forget Vicky Cristina Barcelona’s $23 million and Hannah and Her Sisters’ $40 million (and definitely forget You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger’s $3.2 million!). Midnight in Paris, it's the Deathly Hallows of Allen’s oeuvre.
So, look out for his 43rd picture, The Bop Decameron, coming to a theater near you in 2012. This one’s being shot in another iconic European burg: Rome. Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Greta Gerwig, Judy Davis and Midnight in Paris’ Alison Pill are in it – it’s said to be a modern-day retelling of The Decameron. But will it have Midnight in Paris’ je ne sais quoi?