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Darius Khondji

Woody Allen finds 'Midnight' in the City of Light

As a European filmmaker, Woody Allen has worked in England, Spain and now France, where his new movie, "Midnight in Paris," serves as a love letter to that city. Next up on his cinematic map will be Rome.

Allen is a long way from the overly familiar sidewalk cafes of New York, which helps explain why his career has experienced some much-needed rejuvenation.

Although his characters and thematic obsessions haven't changed all that much, the change in photogenic backdrop has been a decided plus. It also helps that the 75-year-old director no longer feels the need to cast himself as the nerdy intellectual wooing (and usually winning) a much younger...