Tag: wine


Paris Can Wait

May 10th, 2017 — 5:20am

***

Paris Can Wait – sp

If you are a Francophile, a connoisseur of French wine, appreciate tasty French food, love the beautiful French country side with small historic towns and are touched by French romanticism then this may be the movie for you.

Eleanor Coppola, wife of famed director Francis Ford Coppola, a woman who recently turned 80 and is an accomplished documentary filmmaker herself, undertook her first feature film in the role of producer, writer and director. She based this story on a circuitous trip that she once took from Southern France to Paris with her husband’s male colleague when a combination business and vacation trip in Europe was interrupted by her husband’s business needs.

Mrs. Coppola morphs into Anne Lockwood who was intriguingly played by Diane Lane. Her character is the wife of Director Michael Lockwood who was played perfectly by Alec Baldwin who has to fly away on a business trip with plans to meet up with his wife in Paris. Coincidently, his colleague, a Frenchman by the name of Jacques Clement (played by a relatively unknown French actor, Arnaud Viard) offers to drive the director’s wife from Southern France to Paris since she has a minor ear infection and really should not fly.

What follows is a most subtle blend of scrumptious food, velvety deep red wine, magnificent scenery of lakes and mountains, attractive middle-aged people who the more you know about them, the more you are drawn to them as you see them drawn to each other. This is not a hot R-rated movie. Perhaps the sexuality, which is in the mind of the beholder, or in this case, in the viewer, is therefore all the more powerful.

Although only a little bit more than one and a half hours, some might find this film a little drawn out, probably depending on how much you appreciate the previously stated elements of the movie. The best part of this movie treat is that what you bring to the table will determine how well you will digest and remember this cinematic experience. (2017)

2 comments » | 3 Stars, Drama

You Will Be My Son

August 20th, 2013 — 5:25pm

images-1****
You Will Be My Son-sp
-(French with subtitles) This is an intense drama involving family relationships, specifically fathers and sons. The characters and their personalities are clearly defined through the story line and the great acting. There is Paul de Marseul(Niels Arestrup) owner of a magnificent French winery who is self centered, arrogant and insensitive to the desire of his son to please him and follow in his footsteps. Martin de Marseul (Lorant Deutsch) is the owner’s son, college trained in the science of wines, married to Alice and living on the grounds of the winery. He is emotionally tortured by his father’s neglect. Alice (Anne Marivin) is Paul’s beautiful and supportive wife. Francois Amelot (Patrick Chesnais) is the Estate Manager of the winery, the man who has been the brilliant wine expert who knows when and how to harvest . He has been vital to the success of the business. He also lives on the grounds with his wife and is slowly dying of pancreatic cancer. Phillip Amerlot (Nicolas Bridet) is Francois’ son, an up and coming wine expert himself who has just left his last job and visits his ill father. Paul de Marseul the owner and honcho clearly likes Phillip and favors him over his son to take over the fading Francois’ position and ultimately the winery. The movie is filmed and framed in the lush French countryside. The winery itself is a character in the movie played by a vineyard estate with endless fields of growing grapes, modern harvesting equipment including shaking machines which remove the picked grapes from the vines, large temperature controlled vats where the wine ferments deep in the vast cellars where there are also thousands of stored bottles of valuable wine. There are close ups of the interesting attractive faces of all the characters as well as of the swirling glasses of wine which they are frequently analyzing and drinking during the dialogue. Wine aficionados will particularly appreciate the banter about wine and how the two sons seem to be measured by Paul de Marseul based on their knowledge in this regard. However even deeper insight into his feelings about his own son due to some unresolved grief comes out in a brief cemetery scene. Sometimes we complain that characters are too underdeveloped. In this case who they are is very clearly put forward, perhaps a tad too much. A little more subtlety in the writing and direction by first time director Gilles Legrand might have made this film even better than it turned out. Overall it was thought provoking, unpredictable, out of the ordinary and worth seeing. One more thought which is not very important for the enjoyment of this movie but worth contemplating when the film is over. That is the question of whether cell phones would work in a wine cellar? (2013)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, Foreign

Bride Flight

July 4th, 2011 — 7:29am

****

Bride Flight- rm– The white subtitles, translating Dutch to English, on mostly white background, especially at the beginning of the, film mixed with some  rapid flashbacks to different time periods, also early in the film, were found to be quite bothersome by myself and the  three others with whom I attended this movie . This was especially true as the characters and storyline was being established.  Despite this distraction, as the movie progressed we all found it to be quite engrossing. There was some very rich character development, excellent plot lines and a magnificent beautiful setting in New Zealand. The story begins in post World War II Holland in the 1950s as three young women (Karina Smulders, Anna Drijver and Elise Schaap) are boarding an airplane for New Zealand to join their new husbands and start a new life. One of them is Jewish and the trauma of the holocaust will have a very subtle cast on the film.  On board they also meet Frank (Wakdenar Torenstra ) a young man, somewhat of a free spirit, also seeking a new life as a farmer and ultimately a wine maker who will play prominently in their lives. The story captures the frontier life in New Zealand at this time, the conflicts of religion, passion, friendships and good old fashioned romance. There is also a theme of an important family secret that hovers in the story and should be one that you have seen and thought about in other settings. In alternating time sequences, we get to know these people as their lives progress   to a point 40 or 50 years later. There is a coming together at the conclusion of the film, which is poignant and quite moving. This is the story about these people but the background atmosphere is the post war settlement of this small beautiful land. After seeing this film whenever you enjoy a glass of New Zealand wine you may reflect on this movie and the people whose lives you came to understand

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, Foreign, Romance

Bottle Shock

September 8th, 2010 — 1:30am

Bottle Shock* * *
Bottle Shock
– nf – We finally caught up with this movie that we had been wanting to see since we missed it at the local movie theatres. As new Californians the pride we have in California wines is nothing compared to the passion that Napa valley vinters had in their local wines which 35 years ago were hardly recognized world wide as compared to French wines. This movie, which is based a true story, centers on Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) a Brit living in Paris who had a wine store there and his pal and confidant (Dennis Farina). Spurrier decided that he would stimulate interest in buying wine by showing that in the 1976 bicentennial anniversary year, the upstart Americans still could not make wine, which could hold a candle to the established French products. He travels to America and meets Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) owner, but deeply in debt, of the Montelena Chateau and his son Bo (Chris Pine) as well as a group of other California vintners. He convinces 12 of them to give him two bottles each to enter into a French wine tasting event in which the wine would be blindly judged. The California group knew that “if one wins, they all would win.” As they say, the rest is history. There are a few subplots which include Sam (Rachel Taylor) the beautiful graduate student wine intern, Bo, Barrett’s son who gets boxed around by his father and Gustavo (Freddy Rodriquez), the Mexican-American farm hand who is owner of a small wine maker operation with his father (Miquel Sandoval). The movie also stars the beautiful green California grape yards, the spirited Napa Valley Wine growers and the very French wine guys in Paris. There is the expectable dramatic blind wine tasting contest in Paris which has subsequently come to be known as Judgment in Paris. There were no big surprises although you do come away from the movie feeling good and also having learned an important history lesson about a product many people love and revere. (2008)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Comedy, Drama

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