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 Midnight in Paris 
 

ThemeA "pending" life

Gil Pender

 Gil Pender is the protagonist in Woody Allen's new movie "Midnight in Paris". His name is a very accurate appellation, for he is a man whose life is "pending" (undecided, in a process of adjustment) between two women, two cities, and two times.

Inez

Inez is not just Gil's fiancée in the film; she is the personification of Hollywood. Her enchantment with the pedantic Paul reveals her superficial appreciation of art and beauty. She is self-centered, egotistical and consumed with material desires. She would prefer Gil to continue prostituting himself being a "Hollywood hack", making lots of money, rather than finding his true self in writing novels. As she flits, flirts, and sashays about she is Inez/Hollywood.

Adriana

The "other" woman in Gil's life at the moment is the beautiful Adriana. There is no doubt she is the personification of Paris; specifically Paris in the 20's. She is a fashion designer and lover of many artists. Beautiful, charming, seductive, and enchanting; she has all the attributes of the great city. There is only one problem: she is in the past.

Two Times

There are two time periods in the movie. The genius of Allen's script is that Gil steps out of the present and into the past on his midnight walks in Paris. Gil enters Paris in the 20's because that is the time he is nostalgic for. He is the protagonist in his own novel. Frustrated and unfulfilled in the present he longs for a previous era, which nostalgia always paints with a golden glow.

What Gil learns is that a life lived without desire in the present cannot be satisfied by living in the past. For when a person lives a "pending life", swinging between the two they will miss the true beauty of life in the present.

Gabrielle

Gabrielle is the young woman in the antique market that Gil purchases a Cole Porter record from. She is there but he does not really "see" her until he dispels two illusions. He gets rid of the illusion that he would be happier in the past by releasing Adriana. He cannot remain in the past; he chooses to live life in the present.

Then he dispatches Inez the unfaithful fiancée. He has been validated by Hemingway and with that validation his eyes have been opened. He can write. He chooses to follow the desires of his heart; to move to Paris and write novels. He is no longer "pending", and so at this point Gabrielle1 walks back into his life, a woman after his own heart very much alive and in the present.

Note 1: Gabrielle means "Heroine of God".

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