Every historic character that made it into Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris is a walk-through Paris, Woody Allen’s filmic paean to the city of love and a tribute to the era’s art and literature. But who were Allen’s prized historical characters that made it to this homage to modernism?

Woody Allen’s films often enmesh comedy, drama and romance well. With Midnight in Paris, Allen retreats from the present day in a fantasy-nostalgist time of the yesteryear. The protagonist’s time travel is kept under wraps, prying away from those who wouldn’t know where to look. But those who find charm in the old Parisian amber hued alleyways would meet some of the most influential artists, novelists, photographers and keep coming back for more.

Here’s a list of all the historical characters Allen’s protagonist, Gil, gets to meet.

Gertrude Stein – The celebrated Kathy Bates plays the American playwright, poet and art collector Gertrude Stein, who moves to France in 1903. She dominated the avant garde scene and was an avid collector of Picasso’s art which is proudly presented in the film.

Salvador Dali – Salvador Dali is easily embodied by Adrien Brody, the latter’s wide-eyed expression captured the eccentricity of Dali’s paintings -melting clocks, deserts and what-nots.

Pablo Picasso – Picasso is portrayed in the film by Marcial di Fonzo Bo, who flit in and out of Stein’s café in the film. Famed for his extensive love life and a painting of Stein herself, he is seen to be having a heated argument with Stein when Gil first meets him.

The Fitzgeralds – Gil meets a man named Scott F Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddlestone) and his wife named Zelda (Alison Pill) and is perplexed because Gil does not know yet that he has time travelled and is indeed in the presence of the Fitzgeralds.

Ernest Hemmingway – Ernest Hemmingway, the author, is the one to bring Gil to Stein’s café. There is a stark contrast between the long novel-like sentences of Hemmingway and Gil’s Californian accent.

Man Ray –The American visual artist who spent most of his life in Paris shares a short-lived scene with Dali. Allen paints a stark contrast between the serious and philosophical Ray and the eccentric Dali.

Gil in this time-travels meets Matisse, the Spanish film-maker Luis Bunuel, Allen also pays tribute to the Jazz age as we get to meet Josephine Baker and the singer-songwriter Cole Porter.

While the 1920’s was all about surrealism making way for modernism, Gil gets to visit the 1890’s where the impressive cameos of Degas, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec – the impressionist painters – is hint of the painters’ contribution to drive in modernism.

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