"Woody the Gentile: Comedy, Nostalgia,and Christian-Jewish Interplay in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris"
Josh Moss, "Woody the Gentile: Comedy, Nostalgia,and Christian-Jewish Interplay in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris"
Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris (2011) is one of the director’s most acclaimed films. The cosmopolitan landscapes of an idealized Paris mixed with the melancholic themes of a frustrated writer have been celebrated by critics and audiences alike as a thematic continuation of Allen's musings on the relationship between life, art, and nostalgia. But the performance of Owen Wilson as an unlikely "Woody" substitute has also presented a challenge to Allen's iconic Jewish outsider status. This talk will examine how the construction of Wilson-as-"Woody" rewrites and reconfigures Allen's career-long engagement with Jewish masculinity, the Jewish body, and the artistic process. In addition, transnational perspectives in a global media context shed light on the reception of Midnight in Paris beyond the specifics of Allen’s cinematic style.