Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blood and Wine

Blood and Wine; Crime, USA, 1996; D: Bob Rafelson, S: Jack Nicholson, Stephen Dorff, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Caine, Judy Davis

Alex Gates is a wine merchant married to Suzanne, who lost her husband, and has a stepson, Jason. Alex has a mistress, Gabriela, who works as a nanny and plans to bring her family from Cuba to live in the US. After Alex and criminal Victor rob the house of a rich man, they plan to sell the stolen diamonds. But when Suzanne finds out about this, she knocks him unconscious. When Alex wakes up, he and Victor chase after Suzanne and Jason, who have the diamonds. In the chase, there's an accident and Suzanne dies, while Jason lands in hospital. Jason has an argument with Alex over Gabriela. He tells Victor that he handed over the diamonds, upon which the criminal has an argument with Alex. Alex kills Victor. Jason uses a boat to crush Alex's legs. Gabriela shows up and Alex throws diamonds in the sea.

The fifth and last collaboration between director Bob Rafelson and actor Jack Nicholson is an interesting 'light' noir film "Blood and Wine" that stands well on its own feet, except that it doesn't have something special to tell. The authors tried to complicate the situations as much as possible to pass their point across, how crime can destroy a family, though it still seems slightly overstretched and mild. Likewise, the relationships of the characters remain slightly unclear, which causes a few illogical situations (for instance, why would Victor trust Jason more than his partner Alex?). Still, the film should be seen at least for the interaction between Michael Caine and Nicholson, whereas Jennifer Lopez made a surprisingly good performance in her feature length debut film, which assured her further roles. All in all, "Wine" is not nearly as good as the best Rafelson-Nicholson film, their first collaboration, "Five Easy Pieces", but it is competently made.


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