Owen Wilson doesn't really have great range, but if you can find the right role for him, he's fantastic. Midnight in Paris's Gil is a right role for him. He captures the pathos of your typical Allen-like lead, but without the neurosis that usually comes along with it when Woody himself plays the part. I genuinely enjoy his films, but the stammering and relentless self-deprecation wears thin on me after awhile.
I had no idea that the film was a fantasy, so I was tickled pink as the plot unfolded. I love time travel in non-sci-fi films because it associates itself with the plot and characters differently than in standard sci-fi. It's refreshing.
It was interesting to me that the moral was so overt. It's nothing unusual for Allen to project himself fairly obviously in his films, but his moralizing is usually more subtle, if it exists at all. I haven't seen a lot of his films, but what I've seen is fairly well spread out over his career, and I can't say that I've seen anything that comes as close to preaching as this does. Not that I mind it; it's a good messsage. But all I could think of was, "Woody's feeling his age and is starting to get nostalgic." Because, of course, one can get as nostalgic about the present as any other time period.
The acting was terrific. I loved the self-referential portrayals of so many art and literature icons. It's a bunch of inside jokes, sure, but if you get them (and I didn't get all of them) it's really funny. Heck, it's funny even if you don't get them. And Wilson played the foil for these characters really well. Cotillard was lovely and understated as usual. If you want to see her in an unusual but compelling role, check out Love Me If You Dare.
I also appreciated that the budding romance between Wilson's and Cotillard's characters didn't play out in a stereotypical Hollywood way. The final scene did for sure, but it also completed the circle to the first scene quite pleasantly.