'Midnight in Paris': Could it be Woody Allen's return trip to the Oscars?


Image Credit: Roger Arpajou

With 21 career Oscar nominations, Woody Allen can certainly be considered an Academy favorite. But in the five years since he scored a Best Original Screenplay nod for 2005’s Match Point, he hasn’t been invited back to the big show. (Though Penélope Cruz won Best Supporting Actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona in 2009, Allen himself wasn’t nominated.) 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. And (mild spoiler alert!) I think older Academy voters will be particularly tickled by Allen’s fictional presentations of artistic and literary icons like Gertrude Stein (played by Kathy Bates) and Salvador Dalí (Adrien Brody). 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.

As for the cast? Allen’s movies have garnered nine supporting actress nominations over the years, but none of the female performers (including Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy) has a showy enough role to go the distance. This movie really belongs to Owen Wilson, who gives a droll and charming performance that could contend for a Best Actor in a Comedy nod at the Golden Globes next January. It’s likely his only shot at awards glory next year: I don’t think Hall Pass will cut it, even at the Globes.

Dave on Twitter: @davekarger

Comments (21 total) Add your comment
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  • Dalton

    Rachel McAdams and Marion Cotillard are lovely, gorgeous, stunning and truly beautiful.

  • LOL

    They couldn’t find a Spaniard to play Dali?

  • KB

    It’s ‘hark back’ Dave — not harken.

  • My son is also named Bort

    So this was the film the 1st lady was in.

    • michael





    Thanks for some juice. : )


    “but none of the female performers (including Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy) has a showy enough role to go the distance.”. . . Oddly enough did you say so; Allen, if I’m not mistaken, also is well known for bringing out the best of his actors . . .: ) I think McAdams is such a promising actress, and I like Cotillard and the French first lady of Italian origin. Can’t wait for it.


    And yes, I’ve always loved his witty scripts and his first-class directorial efforts. All the best. . .


    By the way, maybe it’s just me; but Allen’s decision to cast Wilson, to me, denotes a sign of compromise and, possibly, apparently that of the want of power – though he’s never been considered a bankable director. Anyway, this could be but absurd an observation.

    • Le HIROSHI

      PS: Dave, if you have any opinions, even as a viewer, on Spielberg’s new film, please share. Reading: I enjoy reading your insightful opinions and trust your connaissances. Speaking for myself, those (actors) reportedly in talks with this great director were simply good enough to make me go wild on temporary basis the other day. : )

  • Jeff R

    I hope this film is as wonderful as Woody’s previous dalliance with Paris, the enchanting “Everyone Says I Love You.”

  • RK

    Roman Polanski made it back…

  • gi

    Hiddleston rules! every time! everything!

  • Shakespeare

    Dont think Hall Pass will cut it at the GLOBES, did you forget about THE TOURIST already?

  • Hugh Beaumont

    Surprising anyone still follows or cares about award shows other than those getting nominated. Maybe read about it afterward, but sit there and actually watch it for 3 hours?

  • Sploich

    Oh cool, I put Midnight in Paris in my Oscar predictions on my website a few days ago (sploich.com #ShamlessPlug). I guess I’m getting better at this.

  • m1

    I don’t know. It seems like a Golden Globe contender than anything else.

  • michael

    Keep in mind all y’all, that there are now 10 slots for Best Picture at the Oscars. There is plenty of room for the well received work of an industry legend. I myself do not like the 10 slots. When there are only 5 best director slots it rather invalidates at least of the best picture nominees who do not have best director noms. Which means it is a ratings ploy and that betrays selecting the best of the best. Yes, I am a film snob and I think awards should be elitist. If you have too many, they no longer mean anything extra special.

  • Raoul

    Who cares about the oscars? He’s in CANNES!

  • SusieQ

    Woody Allen rewrote the part to “fit” Owen Wilson when Wilson needed to gain back some indie cred and Woody needed some box office.

    Giving a good performance in a part that was tailor-made to fit you doesn’t even deserve a Golden Globe.

    Somehow I can’t see any directors having to rewrite an entire part to “fit” Christian Bale or Leonardo DiCaprio.

    Owen Wilson is a druggie hack.

    Save the awards (as meaningless as they might be) for the REAL actors.

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