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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 white car driving toward camera and out of frame immediately after the "Judgement of Paris" is a Jensen Interceptor. See more »
The keyboard shown at the airline counter is a PC-style keyboard from the 1990s. 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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