Barkley Michaelson is in a deep life rut. He's struggling to finish his PhD thesis when his father, the learned Eli Michaelson, wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Barkley and his mother, ... See full summary »
Just days before leaving for Nashville, Rhett Ryan discovers that the desire to follow his dream conflicts with his desire to be with the woman he loves. While Samantha does love the ... See full summary »
In a small Catholic boarding school an unspeakable act has been committed. When High School student, Luther Scott, confesses to Father Michael Kelly, Kelly is bound silent to the ... See full summary »
Matthew Barnes is a young exec on the move up who finds himself a pawn in corporate in-fighting when he's sent to London to oversee a merger. He's to replace John Gissing; Gissing's gotten ... See full summary »
When her daughter Sara (Davalos) unexpectedly passes away, Natalie (Keaton) retreats to the summer home where she and Sara used to visit. Time with her best friends and some of Sara's friends help her deal with her loss.
Tom Everett Scott,
In 1976, Steven Spurrier, a sommelier in Paris, comes to the Napa Valley to take the best he can find to Paris for a blind taste test against French wine. He meets Jim Barrett, whose Chateau Montelena is mortgaged to the hilt as Jim perfects his chardonnay. There's strain in Jim's relations with his hippie son Bo and his foreman Gustavo, a Mexican farmworker's son secretly making his own wine. Plus, there's Sam, a UC Davis graduate student and free spirit, mutually attracted to both Gustavo and Bo. As Spurrier organizes the "Judgment of Paris," Jim doesn't want to participate while Bo knows it's their only chance. Barrett's chardonnay has buttery notes and a Smithsonian finish. Written by
When Spurrier leaves the tasting fee under the ashtray and the owner picks it up, it is a new style bill with the large numbers which were not in use until the nineties. See more »
[voice-over during a vineyard pan]
It wasn't always like this. Before Paris, people didn't drink our wine. I mean, my friends did. But you could hardly consider their palates discerning...
Hell, we were farmers... sort of...
[pan to empty bottles of Montelena label and several early twenties/late teens smoking hookah]
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Great story with a bit of Hollywood editorializing
Yes, it may be a bit Hollywood-ized, but overall it's a fun film with a great cast. Alan Rickman is delightful as Stephen Spurrier (not portraying him as effete, as the real S. Spurrier complained of upon reading the screenplay), and Bill Pullman, Freddy Rodriguez, and Chris Pine all turn in great performances as well. Dennis Farina is an amusing and welcome addition if also because of his scenes with Rickman. One negative aspect is that the gorgeous and talented Rachael Taylor is not put to better use. Also, one very negative aspect is that the love plot is totally weird and seems an afterthought - the movie would have been a lot better without it.
That said, I really don't have other complaints, and I found the story interesting and basically just enjoyed the film. Sure, it may have some corny scenes, but geez.. when was the last time you watched a movie without a corny scene?? Just because you've seen the story before in, say, The Mighty Ducks, doesn't make it necessarily bad.
Also, for those who have issues with the facts of the story that have been changed, you can rent any number of documentaries on the story for free from your library - this film, might I remind you, declares itself "based" on a true story, which it is. I also highly recommend checking out George Taber's book, Judgment of Paris, which inspired this film.
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