Australian Council on Children and the Media

Midnight in Paris

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Not recommended under 10; PG to 14 (Lack of interest; Adult themes; Substance use; Sexual references)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Midnight in Paris
  • a review of Midnight in Paris completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 25 October 2011.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not recommended due to lack of interest, themes, sexual references and substance use
Children aged 10-14 Parental guidance recommended due to themes, sexual references and substance use. May also lack interest for this group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Midnight in Paris
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild sexual references
Length 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Midnight in Paris is a visually beautiful film that tells the story of Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams) an American couple who travel Paris with her parents.  Gil, a successful Hollywood screenwriter, is eager to find a more meaningful expression for his literary talents and has begun writing his first novel.  He is wildly in love with Paris and jumps at the chance to go with Inez and her parents on an unplanned trip.  Inez however is less enthusiastic about Paris, and when she bumps into friends of hers she seizes the opportunity to spend time socialising with them.

While Inez parties and visits tourist attractions with her American friends, Gil walks the streets alone, soaking in the sounds, sights and feel of Paris and finding inspiration for the novel he is writing.  One evening Gil stumbles into a piece of Paris’s history and meets some of his literary idols from the 1920’s. His magical experiences help bring clarity and direction for his life, both personally and professionally, and force him and Inez to face the truth about their relationship.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Relationship breakdown, infidelity

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some mild violence in this movie including the following examples:

  • Ernest Hemingway who has drunk a lot of alcohol, stands up at a party and asks “Who wants to fight?”
  • During one scene a character becomes drunk and, thinking that her husband no longer loves her, threatens to drown herself

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

No additional scenes of concern

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

No additional scenes of concern

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

No additional scenes of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

none of concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Moet
  • Dior

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • One of the characters makes reference to Adriana being in love with Gil, and talks of Adriana’s past sexual encounters with other men.
  • Inez admits she has been unfaithful and spent a number of nights with another man.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Gil and Inez kiss on their hotel bed.
  • Gil and Adriana kiss.

Use of substances

There is quite a lot of use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Many characters throughout the movie are seen drinking, often to excess. The scenes that depict 1920s Paris include significant alcohol use by many of the main characters with characters seen acting in an erratic manner due to their alcohol use. Other characters are seen drinking wine at almost all meals and occasions.
  • Many characters are seen smoking throughout this movie.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • hell
  • Oh my God
  • damn

In a nutshell

Midnight in Paris, directed by Woody Allen, is a whimsical romantic comedy likely to be enjoyed by adults. It lacks interest for children who will not recognise the historical characters, and contains some sexual references and frequent drinking and smoking.

The main messages from this movie are about being true to yourself, and not sacrificing the things that make you happy just to please other people.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

Trust and honesty - How important are they in relationships?  Did Gil and Inez trust each other? How would honesty have helped their relationship?

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