Midnight in Paris is one of the best films directed by Woody Allen. Paris is not just in the title of Allen’s movie, but it is in pretty much every frame of it. The picture tells an old tale that revolves around characters that are based on figures from history. Paris is the perfect setting for such movies. Here are some locations from Midnight in Paris and information regarding the history of these places and where they are.
Inez (Rachel McAdams) and Gil (Owen Wilson) go to the amazing Musée Rodin Paris with another character, Paul. As Gil quietly moves ahead and Inez looks on in pleasurable thought, Paul Bates (Michael Sheen) shows the guts to dispute with a Rodin Museum tour guide. Paul insists that that tour guide’s knowledge of Auguste Rodin’s relations is not more accurate as compared to hers.
The Rodin Museum houses the world’s biggest collection of sculptures and drawings by the French artist. The sculpture ‘The Thinker’ may be the most popular work by Rodin housed here. The museum has free entry to every permanent exhibition held on each first Sunday.
The film starts with a mosaic of many different locations around the City of Lights. After that montage, it truly starts with Owen Wilson’s character, Gil at the former garden of the French impressionist artist Claude Monet. As he marvels at this garden situated in Giverny, his future wife quickly interrupts him. She tells Gil, “You’re in love with a fantasy.”
The Giverny gardens are not a fantasy, though. Situated on the outskirts of Paris city, Monet gardens can be seen by the public. Take a shuttle bus somewhere from Paris to get to and see Giverny. Once you are there, walk the gardens which inspired many world-famous impressionism-style paintings.
Église Saint-Étienne du Mont
On the steps of this church, Gil leaves the Art Deco period world, and he finds himself revisiting each night to experience the time he romanticizes. It has the tomb of the female patron of Paris, Saint Geneviève. The movie does not show the stunning interior of the cathedral. Masses are seen here right through the week, so keep this in mind when you visit the church. After you see the stunning adobe of it, sit on the steps outside to mimic a surreal scene in the picture.
Musée des Arts Forains
The word ‘musée’ in French stands for museum in English. This is another museum shown in Midnight in Paris. In Gil’s third journey back to the Art Deco age, we see the character dancing among an indoor place where he meets Adriana (Marion Cotillard) and others who belong to their itinerary crew for another fun night. It is here that he falls for Adriana in spite of Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll) making passes at the latter.
This museum containing works from antique dealer cum actor Jean-Paul Favand’s private collection, did not open to common folks until 1996. Today, it is a carnival-like setting with 20th century rides and games, including merry-go-rounds. You can tour this place by paying a small fee for a whimsical experience.
Maxim’s de Paris
After Gil announces his love for Cotillard’s character Adriana, a horse carriage picks the two up and then sends them into the 1890’s. This turns out to be the greatest period for Adriana. The two are then taken to the Maxim’s de Paris restaurant. Here, they meet the small Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Vincent Menjou Cortes), Edgar Degas (François Rostain) and Paul Gauguin (Olivier Rabourdin). After that, they visit the Moulin Rouge.
Founded in the year 1893, Maxim’s de Paris is a restaurant situated just off Paris’s Champs-Élysées avenue. Since then, it has been one of the celebrity hotspots in Paris. Known visitors include Marcel Proust, Aristotle Onassis and Jean Cocteau. You too may recognize this Paris bistro from a sequence in Inglourious Basterds, a film directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Pont Alexandre III
In one scene, Gil is seen walking along this bridge named after the Russian emperor, Alexander III. After Gil and Inez break up, with the latter learning that the former is no match for her, he moves to Paris city. Here, Gil unexpectedly encounters Léa Seydoux’s antique dealer named Gabrielle when strolling the bridge.
He offers to walk Gabrielle home, and soon realizes that they might be made for each other. Woody Allen used rain as a metaphor to convey this romantic feeling. This is the point where Gabrielle tells Gil, “I don’t mind getting wet,” adding that “Paris is the most beautiful in the rain.” Paris is referred to as the city of romance, and the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Élysées are its most romantic parts. It is doubtful you have a better city to visit and find your soul mate than Paris.