May 28, 2017

Woody Allen’s Cannes opener already earning Oscar buzz

By Sean O’Connell Woody Allen’s “Midnight In Paris,” a nostalgic love letter to the French city of the title, opened the 63rd Cannes Film Festival with a red-carpet screening of the out-of-competition film.

“Paris” stars Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams joined Allen on the red carpet today to help promote the movie, which is receiving positive reviews.

“There was laughter and applause from famously fussy Cannes critics at a screening of this year’s opening film,” Reuters reports from the fest.

Meanwhile, some industry pundits already are weighing the film’s Oscar chances. (Sheesh, already?)’s Dave Karger writes, “Allen’s latest comedy, ‘Midnight in Paris,’ has just screened for the press at the Cannes film festival, and I’d say he could have a shot this time. I’ll leave the official critique to my colleague Lisa Schwarzbaum, but I’d say the consensus will be that ‘Midnight’ is easily his best film since ‘Vicky Cristina,’ while some critics will harken even further back to find an Allen film as witty and magical as this one.

“While Best Picture or Best Director citations may be tougher to snag given all the promising films still to come this year, I’d say a 15th screenplay nod for Allen certainly seems doable,” Karger concludes.

Talking to reporters about the film, Allen said, “I learned about Paris the same way all Americans do — through the movies. I didn’t go to Paris until I was a grown-up, until 1965. When I went to Paris it was the Paris that I knew only from American movies. That’s the same New York City that I’ve shown to people around the world in a picture like ‘Manhattan’. It’s the Manhattan that I don’t see around me but recognize from movies and it was the same thing in Paris.”

“Midnight In Paris” opens in the States later this month. The Cannes Film Festival continues through May 22.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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