Two old friends embark on a spiritual journey through Californian wine country. They veer dizzily sideways into a wry, comedic exploration of the crazy vicissitudes of love, friendship and the enduring war between Pinot and Cabernet.
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This could be Payne's greatest film, a paean to life really. It salvages with a disarmingly honest eye, human fallibility, the desire for recognition on multiple levels, from the professional and the conventional to the intimate. Some of the lines are immensely funny and the entire ensemble (led by a remarkably expressive Giammati) orchestrates a Californian symphony of flirtatious moods and moves, secularly Bacchic.
I found the ending to this film to be so incredibly moving, it's what pushed me into loving it. Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church were both fantastic and the story had a very good balance of subtle humor and heavy drama. The characters and writing in this film are extraordinary. They felt very flawed but relatable very real. Loved this movie. Oaky.
A captivating drama that truly embraces its simplicity and closely follows its characters, examining their flaws as humans, and showing us some of the most tender sequences that also happen to be bittersweet and poignant. Loved it.
A sharply written and thoughtful dramatic comedy directed by a master of the genre: Alexander Payne. It is filled with interesting, charming and colorful characters. What makes their strength is that their flaws and complexity makes them more human. Giamatti and Haden Church makes a perfect pair together. I ain't a wine lover but I would have loved a bottle while watching it. "I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!"
My favorite Alexander Payne film. Paul Giamatti should have gotten the Academy Award for this film. He more than proves that he can not only carry a film but that his acting is more than on point. Thomas Haden Church holds his own next to Giamatti and two make an engaging duo playing off of each other's weaknesses and shortcomings. Truly a road movie for hipsters.
It’s got some funny lines and dramatic scenes but I still cannot put a genre label on it. The ideas in this film are a tree inside a very simple and small acorn. The fact that it defies categorization makes it more rewatchable. Payne’s film will certainly have a long shelf life in my movie collection.