Friday, 29 May 2009

Bottle Shock: Movie Review

Bottle Shock: Movie Review

Rating: 6/10
Cast: Bill Pullman, Alan Rickman, Chris Pine, Freddy Rodriguez, Dennis Farina
Director: Randall Miller
Based on a true story, Bottle Shock (one of the contenders for worst film title of the year) is the account of how, in the 1970s, a British ex-pat Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman), living in France, decided to travel to the then unknown Napa Valley to see if there were wines which could compete against the best the French had on offer.
Once he gets to Napa Valley, he has a chance meeting with struggling Chateau Montelena vintner Jim Barrett (the ever wonderful Bill Pullman) and realizes there is plenty to tap into.
However, Barrett and the rest of the would-be vintners scattered around the region are not sure how to take Spurrier and initially begin to fleece him.
Barrett has his own problems - the acres of land he owns are mortgaged upto the hilt and if his latest attempt to crack the industry fails, he'll lose everything.
Throw into that mix Bo Barrett, Jim's son (Chris Pine from Star Trek) a hippy who's still living the Woodstock life, and it's easy to see why everything could come crashing around their ears.
Bottle Shock is beautifully shot (with rolling footage of vines and acres of land - which will see it do well in New Zealand) - and has a wonderful character whimsy about it.
Granted, it's not the most earth shattering of stories - even if it is based on events back in the 1970s which saw the wine world open up to tipples outside of the French Riviera. It could do with a bit of editing as well as it feels a little like it's dragging towards the end.
But Bottle Shock has an easy laid back charm - and is essentially about coming to accept your place in the world - or doing something to ensure that position changes; it's about fathers and sons, ambition and self belief, independents and the big players and competition among friends.

Don't dismiss it because of its title (although it is a term associated with the wine industry) - Bottle Shock deserves to do well in New Zealand - many Kiwis will associate with the have a go mentality on display as well as the roguish element of youth.

No comments:

Post a Comment