Wine Movies & Documentaries
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Wine Movies & Documentaries

WINE & DOCUMENTARY MOVIES

Domaine Florian blog takes a tour of the movies that introduce us to the world of wine.

 

We challenge you to find a good movie that lacks wine. There is always a good bottle around a festive table, a half-full wine glass at each sad breakup, a vineyard in the background of a road trip. However, there are a few good movies that make wine their main theme. The world of viticulture highlights several “cinematic” themes: the relationship with nature, the dominance of time, the return to the roots, the respect for traditions, family and succession.

 

Wine in cinema is mainly found in two forms:

 

  • Revealing Documentaries, such as the famous Mondovino and the wonderful Red Obsession, which we highly recommend you το watch and
  • more often in dramatic comedies, quite frequently for families.

 

So what are the blockbuster wine movies an­­­d most interesting wine documentaries?

 

We will start with the documentaries as we have a particular weakness for them. An interesting documentary makes an impression by just opposing questions about its era? We will talk about two wine documentaries that marked their time in the last fifteen years:

 

1.      First is the documentary Mondovino, released in 2004. Jonathan Nossiter’s active report on wine and the economy, which begins by exposing the positive aspects of the wine world – it refers to the winemakers and the love affair with their land – and it continues by changing the narrative to present another shocking and certainly more bleak aspect of the same story: the conflicting economic interests of the wine industry in the face of the struggle of small winemakers to survive in a competitive market that favors the economically stronger. The fact that Nossiter managed to provoke the reactions of the former more than any other of its kind, renders it aS a milestone.

 

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2.      More recent, Red Obsession, a documentary of Australian origin by David Roach and Warwick Ross, takes us on a journey through the vineyards of Bordeaux and modern-day China. This documentary, released in April 2013 in Australia, reports and analyzes the unprecedented haste of Chinese consumers to buy the legendary Bordeaux wines. It focuses on recording this consumer fury and disapproves of the Chinese mentality of buying the most expensive wines in the world simply for display or collection.. It successfully manages to highlight how well-known and popular winemaking tactics destabilize the precarious balances of vineyards and nature, as well as the implications for the wine market. 

 

 

 



SIDEWAYS 2015

A FILM BY ALEXANDER PAYNE,

with Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen

IMDb Review : 7,5 / 10      Our review : 7 /10

To talk about a wine movie, we have to start with Sideways, an American dramatic comedy in the form of a road trip through the vineyards of California.

A few days before his wedding, Jack and his friend Miles embarked on a tour to the cellars of the Californian vineyard. The opportunity for the two friends to rethink the old times and spend quality time together seems unique until they realize how frustrated they are with their everyday life.  It is a great opportunity to discover American viticulture, and especially this famous duel between two grape varieties: pinot noir vs. merlot!

This wine trip is the first of its kind.  It marked its era and the corresponding ones of its kind. Even if it is now considered old, it remains in the list of must see due to the authenticity it reflects!





TU SERAS MON FILS 2011

A FILM BY GILLES LEGRAND,

with Nils Alestrup, Laurent Deutsch, Patrick Chesnais

IMDb Review: 6,9 / 10      Our Review: 8 /10

 

Paul Marseul owns a historic winery located in the prestigious vineyard of Saint-Emilion. Martin’s son, who is supposed to succeed him, does not show the expected enthusiasm. The return from California of Philip, son of the winery’s director,  overturns the facts and leads to a shocking family drama.

 

Although the role of the protagonist Paul was originally supposed to be played by Gérard Depardieu, the film eventually goes perfectly with the trio of Niels Arestrup, Laurent Deutsch and Patrick Chesnais. Fascinated by the scenery, this family drama guides us to the enigma of Bordeaux’s vineyard environment, where the traditional succession of fortunes drowns out its protagonists more than it makes them happy.





a good year 2007

A FILM BY ridley scott,

with Russel Crowe, Marion Cotillard, Albert Finney

 IMDb Review: 7 / 10      Our Review: 7 /10

 

Max, a banker from England, inherited his uncle’s winery in Provence, where he spent part of his childhood. Determined to sell the property, he gradually fell in love with this new way of life and undertook to renovate the property to get a better selling price. The film deals with wine from a retrospective perspective. And what could be better than an English banker incorporating the need we all have to escape the suffocating reality that surrounds us? Although the subject is multifaceted and the message wants to be promising, we are disappointed with the accumulation of clichés that outline the film and the lack of craftsmanship.

 

The trivial pattern of the beautiful French waitress of the district bar of Provence (Marion Cotillard) and the behavior of the greedy banker (Russel Crowe), create luck of suspense. We regret that Ridley Scott did not go beyond this vision of the French countryside as a postcard photo. However, the places depicted are picturesque, the image of the vast vineyards and the stone-built medieval villages captivates you and it is a pleasant way to travel even imaginatively and if you accompany it and with the right bottle you can be transported directly to the heart of the most beautiful vineyard.     






SAINT- AMOUR 2016


A DRAMA COMEDY FILM BY ΒΕΝΟΙΤ DELEPINE & GUSTAVE KERVERN,

with Gerard Depardieu, Benoit  Poelvoorde, Vincent Lacoste

IMDb Review: 6,1 / 10      Our Review: 7 / 10

 

Saint-Amour is a crossroad film between comedy, family drama and road trip through the French vineyards. As funny and moving as the tortured Benoît Poelvoorde, the film is torn between the troubled youth embodied by Vincent Lacoste and old France, represented by Gérard Depardieu as a patriarchal farmer who has no eyes except for God.

 

Despite the excellent choice of actors, the production sometimes lacks originality, or perhaps a budget. The result is far from the popular success of Depardieu in “Les Valseuses”. However, it is one of a kind. If we allow ourselves to be trapped in the game, it is thanks to the quality of interpretation of Depardieu – Poelevoorde – Lacoste trio rather than the production signed by Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern. 






CE QUI NOUS LIE 2017

A FAMILY DRAMA FILM BY CEDRIC KLAPISCH,

with Pio Marmai, Ana Girardot, Francois Civil

IMDb Review: 7,5/ 10      Our Review: 6,5 /10

 

 

A few years after his departure from Burgundy, Jean returned to his property on the occasion of his father’s illness. The estate, his family, his relationship: everything has to be rebuilt.

 

Family, land, heritage, love. With the movie “Ce qui nous lie”, the director of “The Spanish Inn” is tested in a kind of Wine movie based on classic themes. All the ingredients are there, except for the recipe that wasn’t a success. The weakness of the cast? A genre that failed to manage? We expected more from Cédric Klapisch.





PREMIERS CRUS 2015

A DRAMA FILM BY JEROME LE MAIRE,

with Gerard Lanvin, Jalil Lespert, Alice Taglioni, Laura Smet

IMDb Review: 5,8/ 10      Our Review: 7,5 /10

François Maréchal, a winemaker in Burgundy, has lost his appetite for wine. On the brink of economic abyss, he decides to give the winery keys to his son. A brilliant critic of Parisian wine, he has not set foot in vineyards for many years and will have to prove that he is able to make wine and not just rate it. His methods will disrupt and challenge the codes of communication and hierarchy imposed by his father. “Premiers Crus” was received by audiences and critics with mixed reactions. We do not share the same opinion with those critics, because we loved this movie!

Fascinated by a convincing Gérard Lanvin in the role of the angry and frustrated winemaker, it is above all the photography of the film that blows our mind. Jérôme le Maire knew how to videotape Burgundy, the shades of colors and the atmosphere in the vineyards all year round. Dramaturgy only serves to support this visual spectacle.

THE BATTLE

We can wonder about the thematic proximity and similarities of Klapisch’s film with that of Jérôme Le Maire. Te fact that Klapisch chose the same area to shoot “C’est qui nous lie” does not cause intrigue. After all, Burgundy is suitable for this: its slopes, estates and wine history offer producers a rich material. What is surprising is the proximity of the vineyards that have been filmed in these two major films. They are very close to each other, specifically around Corton Hill in the Beaune area. A similar plot also complicates things. Klapisch presents a family drama about the survival of an estate, which faces financial difficulties and whose situation is complicated by succession problems and emotional stories. 

As for “Premiers Crus”, family’s love for terroir is the link to family relationships and this bond ultimately allows the winery to be protected and the tradition to continue. Finally, the similarities in terms of shooting raise even more questions. As a result, there is a question raised: Was Klapisch inspired by Le Maire’s film? Or is the “Wine Movie” genre destined to be limited to family and drama comedies shot in Burgundy?

Comedy, family drama, the road movies are all kinds adapted to wine movies. However, the separate category “Wine Films” remains a genre that needs to be created. We are always waiting for the wine film that will write its own story. Until then, there are several good options to learn more about wine in front of our screen

Do you know other movies and documentaries about wine that you would like to recommend to us? Have you seen any of the above suggestions and if so, with which wine of Domaine Florian would you watch them? Post your comment on this article or on our social networks and we will share the information!

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