GIL AND INEZ
The breathtaking panoramas of Paris in the opening scene as well as a cozy inviting sequence within the ‘Monet’s gardens’ (80 km distance from Paris) are followed by a couple of principal characters on their way into a Parisian Hotel. At that very instant the audience find themselves in ‘Arrondissement de l’Élysée’, the VIII district of Paris, more or less at equidistant from the Louvre and the Arc of Triumph. ‘Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré’ street, the one the hotel faces, gently accommodate governmental institutions and boutique dress-shops with Pierre Cardin as the nearest, at arm’s end from ‘Palais de l’Élysée’ or ‘Elysee Palace’, a residency of the President. The hotel accommodation, which occupies a part of a living quarter at 112 rue du Faubourg St Honoré, presents Woody Allen’s movie with a reminiscence of the lobby, a restaurant, and interiors of the rooms. ‘Hotel Le Bristol’ answered the first guest’s bell as far back as 1925 and since that welcomed a myriad of outstanding figures: 33rd president Harry Truman, Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Orson Wells, and Grace Kelly. The restaurant and a cafe within ‘Hotel Le Bristol’ have Michelin stars to its name, the largest inner garden in Paris, and hypnotic terraces over the city. Gil settles a bill for a premier apartment of 320 square meters facing the garden.
CHOOSING A WEDDING RING
A surprise encounter with Inez’s old friend morphs into a visit to Versailles and an unexpected lecturer from Michael Sheen’s character, a talkative social climber. Celestial landscapes of the former residence of the French kings give way to a shot with a bijou in the shop window of a Parisian jeweler. ‘Chopard’ takes pride in being originated in Switzerland back in 1860 as a family business. In a lifetime of generations since then, the producer of boutique pocket watches extended its sphere of influence in goldsmithery. Inez and her mother take a glimpse of a jewelry shop at 1 Place Vendome and their subsequent promenade favors a low panorama over Colonne Vendome, erected in the first years of the XIX century on the order of Napoleon Bonapart.
Paul’s eloquent walking lecture throughout the gardens of Versalles is not to be the last experience of such kind for Gil (Owen Wilson). The next encounter, not long in coming, leads the four to ‘Musee Rodin’. The largest collection of works of the iconic-like French sculptor is to be appreciated in the VII district of Paris, across the road from ‘Hôtel des Invalides’. A dispute on the loved ones of Rodin between the educated female guide and a self-assertive Paul takes place at the foot of ‘Le Penseur’ or ‘The thinker’, the most recognized work of the architect. The museum itself is widely considered to be one of the most visited in Paris.
WINE TASTING AT THE ROOFTOP
The walking tour endures and goes the extra mile with another occurrence for Paul to declare himself as an enlightened person: a wine tasting at the rooftop over Paris serves as an ideal pretext for self-glorification. ‘Midnight in Paris’ movie makes no secret of the exact location of this sequence as the name of the hotel could be easily grasped at the front in a scene with all four breaking into the streets to debate plans for night entertainment. ‘Hotel Le Meurice’ has been welcoming its guests since 1835 and bears an unwritten status of ‘Hotel of the Kings’ thanks to the VIP lodgers among the regent families of Europe. The movie skims the cream of the location, the breathtaking panoramas of its upper terrace in particular. At the start, we luxuriate the observation wheel, one among the modern symbols of the city at ‘Place de la Concorde’ square. The same side of the terrace delights a panorama over ‘Le Jardin des Tuileries’ (Tuileries garden) and a palace complex of the Louvre. The subsequent perspective fills the scene with the image of the Eiffel tower.
In succession to the most splendid night in his entire life, Gil feels spiritual enlightenment to write his novel, yet he willinglessly follows Inez’s agenda not to miss a price decrease on the in fact meaningless piece of antiquariat. At this very moment in time, the principal character looks little like a maker of his own fate, notedly with claiming Gil to be a know-nothing man on the issues of antique possessions. Unsurprisingly, the idea of buying the worthless chair for 18 000 euros provokes Gil’s suppressed doubts. On the way out of the shop, he is delighted to take a walk across the rainy streets of Paris: a dream seems to be unshared both by Inez and her mother, who find no joy in such leisure. The far background of the scene is dominated by Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, consecrated back in 1861. The landmark gives us no chance to miss the exact location of the sequence: a crossroad of ‘Boulevard de Courcelles’ and ‘Rue des Renaudes’ streets, less than ten minutes of moderate walk distanced from the Arc of Triumph and Champ-Elysees. At present, the BONTON shop accommodates the exact shopping site.
THE ART GALLERY
The educational promenades across Paris with Paul (Michael Sheen) are to be continued with ‘Le Musée de l’Orangerie’ as a new rostrum for the over intellectualization. This art gallery in the South-West part of ‘Tuileries gardens’ is widely known for the collections of impressionists and post-impressionists. The unique naming of the building originates from its initial purpose, namely a green-house for heat-loving fruit plants. As early as the XX century, the former greenery of 1852 was reshaped into an art museum, in no small degree to accommodate the works of Claude Monet. It bears noting, that Monet’s hall, which witnesses a new dispute between Paul and Gil on art, mirrors the exact lightning from the ‘Monet Gardens’, a place of the birth of the paintings.
A suspicious father of Inez finds a solution in hiring a private detective for a harmless family spying on Gil and his moving across Paris, notedly in the night time. The naming of the agency on a neon sign, which itself is a landmark, grants a helping hand in locating the exact place: 18 rue du Louvre in the I district of Paris to the East of Louvre. ‘Duluc detective’ owes its origin to Jean Duluc, the founder, who opened his doors as far back as 1913. The business shifted its residency twice and the owner once since that to find the present location in 1945. It is worth noting that the neon sign has welcomed potential clients since 1954.
GIL’S LONELINESS IN PARIS
GIL IS LOST
All while Gil’s intended wife-to-be gossip Gil unkindly with Paul, the principal character himself gives preference to a moderate walk across the cozy streets of Paris. The audience sees him walking down ‘Rue Edouard Quenu’ street in the V district of Paris. The street has used to shape the map of the city since the XII century and has been renamed oftentimes until the present commemoration of an appraised French surgeon. Gil experiences a moment of frustration while trying to track his own location next to a street cafe. The coffee spot has changed slightly since 2011: the same ‘Bistro, Resto, Cafe’ signs at the crossroad. A few moments later he turns into ‘Rue Pascal’, named after the philosopher and mathematician of the XVIII century.
AN AUTO TO THE PAST
Gil Pender apparently is a little off-course toward his ‘Le Bristol’ hotel, finding himself within a cozy welcoming street of Paris. He takes his time to take a load off his feet at the stone steps next to a cross-road. The wonders are not long in coming as cue Peugeot car emerges from around the corner and takes Gil to the most recognizable ride of his entire life. The cathedral, which gave space to Owen Wilson’s character, can be described as an architectural and historical fusion of renaissance, gothic and baroque. The building up of ‘Église Saint-Étienne du Mont’ stretched out for more than a century and is appreciated as a cradle of St. Genevieve, the patroness of Paris. Any movie admirer is in a position to take time at the stone steps and wait for his own car to the past within ‘Rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève’ street.
Gil luxuriates an incredible Parisian night in the 1920s and makes his way back to Polidor restaurant a few moments after an outing. While his own trail is still hot, Gil finds nothing more than a modern laundry upon the location of the recent banquet. It is worth noting, that the location is distanced from the POLIDOR at half an hour of walking at the least. ‘LAVERIE’ laundries have been well-regarded in the course of the last half a century and the Parisian topography of the cleaning units extends for a few dozens of places throughout the city. It must be said that Woody Allen’s visit has turned a laundry at 16 Rue des Patriarches in the V district into a Parisian landmark. Admittedly the site is close enough to ‘Rue Edouard Quenu’, where Gil got lost on the eve.
GIL WALKS SEINE
Once declining a perspective of an ideal weekend, as Inez and her parents appreciate the agenda, the main character makes another meditative promenade across Paris his first choice. Gil takes his time walking beside the quay of the Seine river in the very place he and Adriana have recently saved the life of Miss Fitzgerald next to Pont Neuf. In the narrow sense, this short sequence with Gil lavished the ‘Midnight in Paris’ movie with its commonest cover image. As far as ‘Quai des Grands Augustins’ dominates the far background, the scene is being beautified with “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love” song by Cole Porter, another legend that Gil has already seen in Paris. The lines about the ‘overeducated fleas‘ cultivate a metaphor for Gil’s life, who literally deserves falling in love and being an apple of one’s eye.
BUYING A BOOK
Being governed at the bidding of the heart rather than clear-eyed realism, Gil retraces one’s steps toward a vintage market and meets up with a girl of his dreams once again. With an aged phonograph-record under one’s arm, he carries on a walk beside a Seine quay to fasten eyes on a vintage book at a pavement trader. In practice, it may take a length of light to travel through all book installations of such kind in Paris. Taking into consideration the previous scene, the best-educated guess points the way toward Quai de Montebello across the iconic-like Notre-Dame de Paris.
Once getting possession of a relic book, Gil vainly gives encouragement to a book trader of translating the memoirs. The Parisian roads take him to a guide, who had to experience Paul’s crooked pomposity. The Woman reads aloud complete passages from the book, which turned out to be Adriana’s memoirs, the one containing mysteries of her heart and reminiscences on Gil in particular. The eastern side of the Notre-Dame de Paris could be easily appreciated in the background of the scene. It staggers belief, that this very corner of the Cite island had been a spoil heap until the XVIII century when the location was shaped into a residency of the arch prelate and later to a public garden. At present the park is well-regarded as ‘Square Jean XXIII’, once named after the Pope of the mid-XX century.
A STREET CAFE
The previous night affected Gil’s life and worldview fatefully. Gil gets wise to the fact, that he could not leave in past anymore dreaming about a girl not of this time, who therefore feels herself disappointed with one’s age. Gil breaks off the relations with Inez, knowing her mistruth and intrigue with Paul. Owen Wilson’s character finds a place in a street cafe with a glass of beer rather than a cup of French coffee. Geographically speaking, his present promenade across Paris brings him once again to Seine quay: the corner of ‘Quai de la Tournelle’ and ‘Rue des Bernardins’ just across the ‘Square Jean XXIII’, where Gil had taken advantage of a day before.
SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY
A new narrative sequence is beautified with a front-side and conjointly the iconic status of the ‘Shakespeare & Company’. The worldwide acclaimed book-store has been sheltering desolated hearts and artistic individuals for decades. It is the very place, from which the story of ‘Before Sunset’ by Richard Linklater originates. Gil outdoors the store empty-handed. It’s not likely for him to crave other revelations in French in memoirs: these last days in Paris veered his life and attitude to life and a facultative walk freshens his thoughts to see new opportunities. Hardly surprising the fact that Owen Wilson has become frequenter at Shakespeare & Company while shooting the movie: a place which indeed granted just a few seconds to the story.
PONT ALEXANDRE III
Gil’s promenade across Paris endures right to the nighttime and midnight. He makes his deliberate walking, still with hands in the pockets, lengthwise a people-less Pont Alexandre III. The most ‘delicately shaped’ bridge in a city, as it is generally well-regarded, indeed worldwide famous with its ornamental finishing, light posts, and statues. Once falling into existential thinking with a view over the Eiffel tower, Gil discovers Gabrielle, a charming young girl from the antique marketplace. She reveals the fact that her accommodation in fact neighbors Pont Alexandre III, which could easily provoke envy for anyone who appreciates the location of the bridge in the very heart of Paris. “Paris is the most beautiful in the rain” phrase serves as a culmination of the whole story, Literally of vital importance for Gil, mirroring his yet unshared romantic nature.
GIL IN THE PAST
THE FIRST PARTY
As the story shows, Gil required being lost in the streets of Paris, metaphorically and quite literally. A vintage Peugeot with eccentric passengers inside picks him up at the foot of ‘Église Saint-Étienne du Mont’ church to take the American for parts unknown. The very next scene makes no extended overture prior to the first stop. Much to his surprise, Gil happens to get together with Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, all while Cole Porter and his music gives convincing, that unimaginable things are taking place. As for the exterior of the scenery with a car, a cozy ‘Quai de Bourbon’ quay luxuriates the Western end of ‘Ile Saint Louis’ island, a younger brother of Cite island in the heart of Paris and Seine river.
During his first night in Paris in the 1920s, Gil had the good fortune to come over a number of locations. Upon the earlier of a cheerful party at ‘Quai de Bourbon’, the joyous core of the clique, including Fitzgeralds sweep Gil away in the open car. ‘Bricktop’ club, the second-in-a-row party place this night, makes a historical reference to Ada ‘Bricktop’ Smith, the famous singer and dance girl of her time. Back in the early XX century, she set up two-night clubs in Paris, both at ‘rue Pigalle’ within the Montmartre neighborhood. The movie adapted version of the ‘Bricktop’ club was located in the V district of Paris next to Luxembourg palace. It is worth saying that the next night’s adventures would take us again to this very location while exhibiting Gertrude Stein’s home.
As a miraculous night shows its kindness to Gil Pender, ‘Polidor’ restaurant at 41, Rue Monsieur le Prince is to become the third adventure in the 1920s. Historically and still located in the 6th district of Paris in the neighborhood of Sorbonne University and Odeon theatre, it is regarded as one of the few authentic cafes in the city. Its history originates from as far back as 1845, a cheese store at that time of the formative years. As early as the end of the XIX century, Polidor was privileged to become one of the fancied oases for the intellectuals: artists, writers, politicians, and students. Jack Kerouac, James Joyce, and of course Ernest Hemingway were among the most recognized guests of the restaurant. The iconic eccentric author used to live in close vicinity with his first wife and the Polidor was given the honor to be mentioned in Hemingway’s writing. The author used to appreciate the place while getting encountered with close friends: it’s twice symbolic for him to find a new one in Gil Pender. The interior of Polidor has changed slightly in the course of more than a century and captivates with pretty the same sense of place as in the times of its legendary frequent visitors.
GERTRUDE STEIN HOME
On his second night in the Paris of the 1920s, Gil had a good deal of luck to make a visit to the home of a legendary Gertrude Stein, a writer, and poetess, a playwright, and advocate for women’s rights. As a matter of interest, Woody Allen has already made advantage of the location for the exterior of the Bricktop restaurant the night before. 27 rue de Fleurus in the vicinity of the Luxembourg palace used to accommodate Gertrude Stein for 33 years, the fact commemorated in a plaque at the entrance. A century prior to Gil Pender, the door witnessed intellectuals, writers in particular, who used to spend Parisian time at home with their friend and a mentor. Though the location still serves the status of a landmark for every admirer of Gertrude Stein, the apartment does not include a museum and is in private ownership.
GIL AND ADRIANA
A WALK WITH ADRIANA
Coming together with Adriana turns Gil’s world upside down just as much as friendship with Hemingway, Picasso, and Fitzgeralds. On the heels of their first acquaintance at Gertrude Stein’s home, the two lovebirds are together once more. The last thing Gil wants to do is discuss his writing activity, thus he comes up with an idea to perform walking across Paris. Adriana wises up a playful remark on Gil’s status as a tourist. The movie takes its characters and the audience to ‘Place Dauphine’ on the other side of the road to building number 17, giving a clue to the exact camera angle. A square of a triangular shape invitingly accommodates oneself in the Western part of Cite island at arm’s end from the legendary ‘Pont Neuf’ bridge. The place stood out against the surrounding area for centuries ago and the present ‘Place Dauphine’, once named after the unwritten naming of the heritors to the throne, has preserved two authentic buildings of the times of French kings. The fact that the square is located on an island and surrounded by a quarter of buildings densifies in sensing of Parisian authenticity, the one lavished and appraised by ‘Midnight in Paris’.
Time in the open Parisian air with Adriana originated at Cite island in the heart of the city, yet to be endured in the distance from the initial point of getting together. With respect to their snail-paced rhythm of working, it could take up to two hours to cover this topographical interval, yet may very well be. The narration is being carried away to the XVII district of Paris, the world-regarded Montmartre. It is hard to contemplate this corner of the French capital without a glimpse of the magnificent Sacré Coeur, a catholic church in the highest point of Paris, dominating the area. In clear weather, the site grants a breathtaking panorama over a city, likely appreciated by Gil and Adriana. The sequence locates the characters at foot of a cozy ‘Rue Du Chevalier de la Barre’ street to the East of the cathedral.
Gil and Adriana seem delighted to express their mutual excitement with the outing across a night-time Paris. The two branches off ‘Quai des Orfevres’ in the Western part of Cite island and meet the Seine river. It is just the very quay of Paris, which would breathe life into the cover of the ‘Midnight in Paris’ movie and the one Gil would later take advantage of as a walking area (‘overeducated fleas‘ sequence). The two soon-to-be love birds descry a woman silhouette, came up to be Zelda Fitzgerald, trying on her impetus to touch the waters of the Seine river. A befriending, four helping hands and a pill of Valium keep a young woman safe from an inconsiderable act to preserve Mrs. Fitzgerald for history. The scene comes to life next to a world-famed Pont Neuf, the oldest preserved bridge over the Seine with four centuries of history.
A STREET CAFE
In their last joint-ventured night in Paris, Gil and Adriana take delight in the continuation of their meditative walk across the city. A night fog enveils the far background of the site, yet readily guessed as ‘Place Dauphine’, a triangular square in the Western corner of Cite, the one from the previous night. For the present, they change position closer to the Southern part of a cozy open space, surrounded by a historical housing development. Moving to 15 Place Dauphine, the two make themselves comfortable in front of the ‘PAUL’ restaurant. The history of the place originates from the beginning of the XX century, the time when PAUL had already been appreciated by the artists and intellectuals. The interior of the restaurant has been preserved as an authentic piece of the bohemian Paris. It must be said that Gil and Adrianawould take advantage of the cozy site for a short while without even delighting a cup of coffee prior to the coming of a mysterious equipage.
Once out of the carriage, Adriana affirms her devotion to ‘Belle Époque’ or ‘great era’ of Parisian history. Within the doors of MAXIM’S restaurant, women parade with their best dresses as far as the painters of the XIX century do sketching at the tables, intellectualizing on historical eras. The iconic outing resort of the Parisian bohemia welcomed the first guests as far back as 1893 and has been later transformed into one of the most recognized restaurants in Paris. MAXIM’S is to be found within the VIII district next to ‘Place de la Concorde’, a square sadly remembered as a location for a guillotine in the time of the French Revolution, particularly used for King Louis XVI. The Art Nouveau interior has been preserved until the present days and over the course of the century, a restaurant welcomed Edith Piaf, Coco Channel, Marcel Proust, and Marlene Dietrich. The resort indeed includes a large concert hall for live performances as well as an art museum. Extreme popularity made it possible to found a franchise of the Restaurants of the same name, with three ones new in Tokyo, Shanghai, and Beijing.