I have to confess that your debating skills are better than mine. I can't continue to defend Midnight in Paris on the particular grounds we've been debating it. You're right about Allen manipulating us into sympathy for Gil. And you're right about challenging my particular wording of the message of the film. I was a bit too general, I think. But as I said to Adrienne in my comments, my enjoyment of the film was 80% story and 20% message. It made me laugh, it stimulated my imagination, it reminded me that the present is good (which I don't think is a shallow message), and Gil left his fiancee before he cheated on her. That's why I liked it.
As for Tree of Life, I'd really like to see it this weekend, but it's my wife's birthday, so what she wants to do trumps. I'm also stressing out because Meek's Cutoff and Cave of Forgotten Dreams are both playing locally this week and I don't know when I'm going to get to see them.
I did see The Lower Depths a couple days ago, and pretty much agree with both Jeff and John on various points. I liked the friendship between the baron and the thief, but the rest of it didn't really speak to me in any way. I also realize it was the thirties, so maybe it wasn't as tired a plot device then, but I myself am tired of suicide as a plot device. In this case in particular, it didn't really seem to fit the rest of the film. I am not familiar with the play, however. But if it's true that Renoir adapted the screenplay significantly, then he wouldn't be blamed for changing that part either. I would be interested to see Kurosawa's more accurate rendition.
I also saw Green Lantern. I was disappointed. But I don't want to talk about it.