Bottle Shock is based on the true story of Steven Spurrier a wineshop owner who in 1976 single handedly brought Californian wines to the world, it may sound quite boring and I nearly didnt rent it but I'm so pleased I did. And although it's been compared to 'Sideways' it stands up on it's own.
Alan Rickman plays a snobbish wine expert quite ignorent to any other wines except from the French. He travels to California to discover that quitely the Americans have been producing very good wine unnoticed for years. He therefore moves from vineyard to vineyard tasting wine, meeting great people and taking bottles to be entered in his wine competition in which world known (French) wine experts judge.
It is a very upbeat kinda feel good film shot on location with breathtaking scenery of the Napa valley in CA. It's funny, heart warming and an all round great film that deserves to be more widely recognised, with a great cast including Chris Pine, Dennis Farina and a good performance from Bill Pullman playing the man struggling to follow a dream, and not forgetting the great Alan Rickman who is brilliant as always.
I would say get this even on a whim because I'm NEVER usually into these sort of films, I was left very very suprised. See for yourself.
Based on actual events which occurred in 1976 this is an entertaining, inspiring and heart-warming, if somewhat corny tale of how a Paris-based English sommelier staged a blind wine tasting outside that city and introduced Californian wine to the then French-dominated global market. Alan Rickman is at his sneery comedic best as the outwardly snobbish but entrepreneurial Steven Spurrier who travels to the Napa Valley vineyards to initially taste and thereafter transport twenty-six American wine bottles to his ‘Judgement of Paris’ taste trial, while Bill Pullman and Chris Pine give solid performances as an idealistic former lawyer pursuing his vinicultural dream and his layabout son who just doesn’t seem to get it. Despite not achieving the quality of Alexander Payne’s hilarious study of mid-life male crisis Sideways, I feel that this movie genuinely manages to bring to the screen a sense of the way of life of the people who work the land. There were times when I was totally transported to the 1970s, not just with the music and costumes and on occasions was reminded of the man from Del Monte as Rickman toured the Californian vineyards sampling the produce while one of his voiceovers was decidedly Keith Floydian in tone and content. The movie is not without its flaws (a little melodramatic at times) but I really liked it, and I would definitely recommend seeking it out (probably through LOVEFILM, as I did) if you appreciate a glass or two and enjoy looking at some gorgeous landscapes and sunsets.
Bottle Shock is about wine. Grapes. If you don't like wine, don't watch it. If you are a fan, you'd enjoy this one. It is about French arrogance, manifested by no other than a British gentleman. Is it possible? Not only is it possible. This is based on a true story.The film chronicles the events leading up to the famous 'Judgment of Paris' wine tastings, told through the lives of father and son, Jim and Bo Barrett. A former real estate attorney, Jim gave up his law partnership to pursue his dream of creating the perfect hand-crafted chardonnay. His business, Chateau Montelena Winery, however, is struggling, and he's fighting off the creditors. Meanwhile in Paris, unwitting British wine shop owner, Steven Spurrier (played marvelously by Alan Rickman) hopes to revive his own failing business by sponsoring a wine competition which will pit the traditional French powerhouse against the California upstarts. Chateau Montelena became a brand name not only in Napa but in the entire world. Unforgettable line: "Why don't I like you?" , the suspicious Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) asks the snobbish Steven Spurrier. "Because you think I'm an ass," Spurrier replies haughtily. "And I'm not really. It's just that I'm British and you're not."
After a history of dominating the wine business France received a shock when the much berated wine of California beat their revered wine in a blind testing set up by an english wine seller based in France. Alan Rickman plays the snobby wine seller who changed the world of wine forever. Funny and entertaining, watch this with a glass of wine and your feet up.
This movie has been compared to 'Sideways', but it is not trying to cash in on Sideway's success. Rather it tells the true story of how Californian wines came to be among the world's very finest. So 'Bottleshock' is a story about the wine industry and real people rather than wine industry being used to tell a story about fictional people. All the characters in the story are real, the events pretty well match up to what actually happened. I found it charming and moving with some excellent observations about the French, the English and the French, which made it amusing. Alan Rickman is always good value. Chris Pine made this movie before hitting the big time in Star Trek, and his talent shines through. Dennis Farina and Bill Pullman are two other cast members who bring their characters to life. Not a classic movie, like say Amadeus or Chariots of Fire, but simple tale well told. Thoroughly enjoyed it as a good night in video.
Simply put a good film. It's not a lost classic or a Citizen Kane, it's just an enjoyable film with a good cast. Alan Rickman as ever is superb, funny, dry and it's a film I've watched and enjoyed a couple of times...I've just this minute watched it a 3rd time on TV. It's not going to tax your brain or leave you guessing, just a good way to spend some time, and surely that's what films should be. One reviewer suggests you'd get more out of it if you were a patriotic American, I disagree strongly, there's no message like that throughout the film, it's about the coming of age and acceptance of the wine making industry in the U.S. - It's a historic statement the wine tasting of 1976 ... this isn't Indepenence Day, it's not done in a flag waving yehaww here come the Yanks to save the world...of wine, it's gentle humerous film that runs at a gentle pace. At the time that 1976 wine tasting opened the worlds eyes that there is more than French wine, which to me has always been the lesser of all the wines be they from Chile, California, Spain or Italy. But I'm not a wine expert, I just know what I like, and I'm not a film expert either. Good, enjoyable, fun film with a decent story.