Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” has been a film of “many great mornings,” says Sony Pictures Classics Co-president Michael Barker. And today is no exception: Allen’s highest grossing film to date received a SAG Award nomination for performance by a cast in a motion picture.
“We’re very happy this morning. We were hoping this would happen,” Barker said, while on a train into New York City from his home in Connecticut. “Woody Allen, over the years, has been known for the incredible ensembles he’s directed, from picture to picture. And in this one, there were so many characters fully realized. We’re just really happy for him and the cast.”
"Midnight in Paris" stars Owen Wilson as a successful Hollywood screenwriter who visits Paris with his fiancée and finds himself transported through time to the ‘20s, where he encounters various cultural luminaries of the period. Barker said that today’s acknowledgment for the film is, in a way, validation for the director, who’s known for working with ensemble casts.
“It just validates Woody Allen –- here he is, he’s at the peak of his form after all this time,” Barker said. “It also validates how actors adore working with him and always want to work with him.”
Barker hadn’t yet connected with Allen on this “very happy morning,” but he’s sure that the director is particularly pleased with the SAG nom, as it’s a peer-to-peer award. “It always pleases him and he’s really gratified. But the fact that other actors are acknowledging this cast and Woody Allen’s continued ability over a long period of time -- not only to show respect to his actors, but to pull off these movies –- it just means a lot that it comes from the actors’ peers.”
"Midnight In Paris" opened on May 20 and it’s playing still in theaters, said Barker –- which signals that the film “has real staying power with the public,” he said. “And acknowledgments like this one [the SAG nomination] continue to give the movie a [great] profile.”
Photo: Marion Cotillard and Owen Wilson in the Woody Allen film "Midnight in Paris." Credit: Roger Arpajou/Sony Pictures Classics