British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
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
The Parisian street scenes were filmed in Sonoma, CA using cars provided by members of the Arcane Auto Society car club. The automobile's owners were used as extras in the street scenes that showed their cars. See more »
(at around 1 min) One of the characters mentions that if the French lose, they might bring back the Guillotine. In actual fact, it was still in use in 1976, as it was the standard method of Execution in France. (The last Execution was in 1977, and the Death Penalty itself was abolished in 1981.) 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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I have to disagree with the negative comments. Of the six or so films I saw, this one was the best. First off, it was beautifully shot. The scenery that was captured is going to get people to visit Napa on it's own. Alan Rickman was as great as always, and Freddy Rodriguez was amazing. Bill Pullman's character, as the owner of the winery, had a terrific arc. I understand that elements of the story were fictionalized, but I come to expect that with most "based on a true story" films.
There were some great, touching scenes between the father (Pullman) and son (Chris Pine) and with Rodriguez as almost a "son he never had" type of character. Oh, and Dennis Farina nearly steals the scenes with Rickman he's so funny - I have to say nearly, because I love Rickman.
In all it was thoroughly enjoyable, and I talked it up with several other movie goers on the tram ride afterward, and EVERYONE I spoke to loved it.
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