BOOZE THEATER – BLOOD AND WINE
Blood and Wine is a film noir crime drama from 1996 starring Jack Nicholson, Michael Cain, Jennifer Lopez and Stephen Dorff. I first ran across this film on cable a number of years ago through bleary eyes (drinking? me?) and at some late hour. I thought it was pretty good and then, and after watching again recently…I still do. Nicholson plays a rather slimy wine merchant, involved in various schemes. With a wife (Judy Davis) and mistress (Lopez) and a supposedly successful business all seems right in his world. But in actuality, things are falling apart and he’s in need of a score to right the ship. Unfortunately, that can’t miss opportunity that comes in the form of Michael Caine, backfires as well and that’s when the walls come crashing down
One is reminded of the film noirs of the 30’s, though this one may be a bit less subtle than those, yet it still retains much of the feel. Nicholson plays the “so close to coming unhinged” character that he has almost perfected and Michael Caine is steady and solid as always. In fact, he won the Best Actor award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival for his performance. As this space is usually reserved for wine themed movies, this one certain fits the bill, as wine is predominately seen in the film (spot Nicholson with the bottle of Opus One in one scene) but it is not a central character
A much younger Jennifer Lopez and Stephen Dorff play pivotal roles and add a little agony to Nicholson’s already spiraling character. This is one of those movies that was made for opening a bottle, pouring a glass and spending an evening enjoying someone else’s misery. Much like the film noirs of nearly 100 years ago, this movie won’t be ever considered for an Oscar, but it’s a very solid effort. Roger Ebert called it “A Richly Textured Crime Picture”…I just call it fun.
I’m going to give this film 4 glasses out of 5. Cheers….