Film Scouts Reviews

"Blood and Wine"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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What is this? A Stephen Dorff film fest? This week sees the release of two films starring
the young lad badly in need of a good barber. And both films involve jewel heists which
go awry. Maybe he needs to change his genre as well. But Dorff gets to work with two
of the best actors around so that makes up for a lot.

In "Blood and Wine" Dorff is the stepson of Jack Nicholson as Alex Gates, a wine
merchant who seems to have it all: prestigious business, wealthy clients, Judy Davis as
his wife, and Jennifer Lopez as his exotic mistress. This should be the end-piece that
began with Bob Rafelson's first collaboration with Nicholson, "Five Easy Pieces". Now,
that was a piece of art. Everything in it flowed and pulled me along for the ride. Now
I've aged as Nicholson has, and I was looking for the same existential questions that
Rafelson and Nicholson continued to generate in "The King of Marvin Gardens". I was
looking for too much. Screenwriters Nick Villiers, Alison Cross, and Rafelson were
trying too hard.

As always for Nicholson, nothing is as it seems. His life is a façade, he is going to chuck
it all except his mistress, and what will allow him to do this is the diamond necklace he is
lifting from a client. He employs the help of Michael Caine, who you can tell is the truly
villainous sort because he dyes his hair. What comes between Nicholson, his mistress
and the necklace is Dorff. "Blood and Wine" is a showcase for Nicholson, Caine, and
Davis, but not for Lopez whom we can see in a better light in the upcoming "Selena".
Dorff's performance is much like the movie: not too bad but aimless.

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