10+1 films you have to watch for Christmas
Christmas is coming. Warm blankets, hot stove and, why not, a good glass of wine. Or the whole bottle, that surely warms you up.
In addiction, this is the perfect period to fully enjoy it. Maybe adding a good movie to watch with who makes us feel good.
Here’s our list of 10+1 films you have to watch for Christmas. Goes without saying, they’re all wine-themed!
10+1 films you have to watch for Christmas
10+1 films you have to watch for Christmas:
DOCUMENTARY- RED OBSESSION (2013)
How can a bottle of prestigious Bordeaux get paid 50.000 dollars? What’s the reason that makes rich chinese enterpreneurs planting the finest Bordeaux vines, that usually grow in a privileged french territory, in the hostile area in the North-West of China ? In this documentary, the expert enologist Andrew Caillard explores this case in order to understand the origins of this phenomenon. He tells the incredible story of the Bordeaux market evolution, and how it is like the mirror of the evolution of global society. Trough the voices of french winemakers and of chinese enterpreneurs, he puts a focus on the relations between West and Asia. They’re in fact linked by a modern Silk Road that passes through the centuries old Chateau of Bordeaux, Hong Kong and Pechino’s Aste Christie’s. Ending in the wine cellars of collectors, up to the attempt to plant vineyards of bordeaux in their narrow territories.
DRAMMATIC – THE SOMMELIER (Netflix 2020)
An original Netflix production directed by Prentice Penny, that tells the story of a young man torn between following his dream and pleasing his father. Elijah is a young humble man that works in his family’s grill restaurant. He’g got a strong passion for wines, which makes him dream about becoming sommelier. Even if Elijah is very doted, his father insists so that he will give up his ambitions to take over the family business.
Thus begins a hard internal struggle in Elijah’s consciousness, whose aspirations risk disappointing the expectations of the man who raised him and desperately seeks his approval. The contrasting wishes of the father will create a conflict within the son. Elijah’s life in Paris, in the middle of his studies, is turned upside down. In fact, he discovers about the loss of his mother who, unlike his father, was very determined to contribute to his son’s dreams.
ROMANTIC – A WALK IN THE CLOUDS (1995)
Paul Sutton comes back from the war, happy to start a new life with his life. They met eachother the day before his departure, and got married impetously. During his trips as a chocolate salesman he agrees to pass himself off as the husband of a pregnant girl. Victoria Aragon is the daughter of rich winemaker from Napa Valley that owns “Las Nubes” vineyard, and she has to go back to him. He is a conservative old-styled parent, and she has to tell him about her extra-marriage child.
Daring adventure begins
Paul pretends to be her husband and goes to her family’s house. Involved by the warm family atmosphere, Paul, orphan, is won over and delays his departure to return to his wife. He finds in the young woman’s family a refuge from the horrors of war that still traumatize him. The ritual of the harvest then, with the bacchic and sunny climate of the pressing of the grapes, almost makes him lose his head.
When Alberto tries to marry them in a religious marriage, she tells him the truth and Paul is forved to go back to his wife. When he gets back, he discovers thet she has another lover. Paul leaves his wife, goes back to Victoria’ family vineyard but he finds Alberto drunk and still angry with him. Alberto tries to hit him with a torch but he unintentionally throws it in the vineyard, that starts burning uncontrollably. Paul saves a single plant, that will become the mother of the new vineyard. He helps Alberto reconnect with his daughter, and marries her promising to be a good father for the newborn.
4- COMEDY: SIDEWAYS (2014)
Wine ways are infinite, but also aromatic, tasty, cristal clear. This emotion’s taste gave birth to a movie that revolves around frienship. Friendship here represents a hard reflection between staying young or appreciating the pleasures of maturity and aging. Miles is an english teacher, recently divorced from his wife. Depressed, introvert and unsuccesful with women, but with a great passion and knowledge of wines. He aspires to write his own book.
They’re getting close to his school friend’s wedding, the actor Jack Lapote, so they decide to go on a wine full immersion week through Santa Ynez Valley, in Santa Barbara’s county, California. Miles simply wants to drink some good wine, eat high quality food, play golf and forget about his ex wife. Jack, on the other hand, just wants to enjoy women one last time before getting married. They will also meet love, and Miles will meet Maya. Just like Miles, Maya lives for the joy of a good wine bottle. Mile’s culture clashes with Jack’s animal instinct.
Women and wine
And women go hand in hand with wine for them. For the writer they must be rare and unique (like his ex-wife), to be appreciated and sipped in their maturity. For the pretty soap opera star, they must have the immediate explosiveness of a sparkling one. As Maya says, in one of the most intense moments of the film: “wine is alive, like everyone else. It is born, it grows and it reaches maturity. In that moment, it has a fantastic taste”.
5- THRILLER – THE LAST PROSECCO (2017)
We are in the Veneto countryside, Prosecco wine production area. Count Desiderio Ancillotto, owner of a large land dedicated to vineyards and a beautiful villa, a staunch defender of organic farming, has just died, perhaps by suicide. Inspector Stucky, recently nominated, is the one in charge of the investigations. Suddently, two other homicides happen. Stucky, with his placid behaviour, tries to win the sympathy of the unfriendly villagers in order to discover the truth. Meanwhile the man, who has partly Persian origins, also faces a private question.
The one of the loss of the mother and the cumbersome presence of the dead father, whose room in the house does not want to touch despite the insistence of Uncle Cyrus, who is hosting. While Stucky investigates in his own way, he discovers, during a conversation with the housekeeper, the lover and the priest, Celinda Slvatierra arrives in town.
She’s the only heir of Count Ancillotto. She sows panic among the winegrowers, threatening to uproot the vines to plant rows of bananas as as far as the eye can see. On a thunderstorm night, three gunshots are confused with thunders. Engineer Speggiorin, director of the cement factory, falls into the mud forever. Stucky sees the usual worldly intrigues behind these unnatural deaths. Betrayals, rivalry, revenge. But he knows the real answer is in the gas, in the wind. In the bubbles of prosecco, in the powder that rises from the chimneys of the cement factory and settles on salads, water, golden bunches.
“Don Ambrosio tried to look at the woman straight in the eyes. It was hard for him, but he struggled and found a background of hell, dark and dense. He surrendered, while imagining a swarm of Indians picking bananas in the middle of the Prosecco hills”.
6- COMEDY – WINE COUNTRY (2019)
Abby decides to celebrate her dear friend Rebecca’s birthday with a weekend of wine tastings and a program of stricted planned activities. Abby, Rebecca and four other friends decide to spend the weekend in a countryside house in Napa, California. It seemes to be a simple trip with friends, but life has reserved obsessive thoughts and responsibilities for each of them.
They face everything, between useless husbands, illness, stressful work, unrequited loves, and flat, stimulus-free lives. The morning after their arrival, after a dinner in an expensive restaurant that will end up drowning in various amounts of alcohol, the women are read the tarot cards by a fortune teller named Lady Sunshine. The woman foretells him an uncertain and disastrous future if they do not begin to communicate with each other honestly what they keep hidden from each other. As time goes by, they begin to deal with their problems one at a time by carrying the harmless birthday through a series of energetic and daring adventures.
7- DRAMATIC – BOTTLE SHOCK (2008)
In the mid-1970s, Jim Barrett and his son Bo were grape producers in Napa Valley, California. His son was entrusted with his father’s company and decided to represent Napa Valley in a competition dominated mainly by French wineries. British sommelier Steven Spurrier is on a business visit to the United States and tastes their wine, finding it delicious. Bo chooses to accompany Spurrier to Paris for a competition, despite his father’s opposition. But tasting on French soil will bring wealth to the family, contributing to the good reputation of American wines on a global scale.
8- DOCUMENTARY- SOUR GRAPES (2016)
Sour grapes is a documentary that revolves around the true story of wine fraud Rudy Kurniawan. Rudy Kurniawan, a boy of Indonesian origin, was a rich collector of very charismatic wines who had a strong fascination for Burgundy. Although it was unclear where his money came from, he spent millions of dollars at fine wine auctions while selling countless bottles of wine from his own wine cellar. Acker Merrall & Condit, an auction company, achieved, thanks to the sales of the wine owned by Rudy, the annual world record of sales for the industry reaching 35 million US dollars. In 2008 the company held a sale in a Manhattan restaurant of several bottles of wine, belonging to Rudy, of Domaine Ponsot Clos Saint-Denis dated 1945, 1949 and 1966.
All that glitters is non gold
But the commercial owner of the business revealed that the particular wine had never been produced before 1982. It also emerged that the enormous amount of money at his disposal to buy wines at auctions came from two of his family members who many years before, from managerial positions, stole the equivalent of hundreds of millions of US dollars from Indonesian banks and then went into hiding. In 2014, he was found guilty by a federal judge in New York City of fraud and forgery and sentenced to ten years in prison and to pay a multimillion-dollar indemnity as compensation to his victims. Kurniawan refused to be interviewed for the documentary.
9 – ROMANTIC DRAMA- FRENCH KISS (1995)
Kate is a young American woman who is looking forward to becoming a Canadian citizen and lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Charlie. When Charlie moves to Paris for work, Kate stays in Canada because she has a crazy fear of airplanes and cannot move from the country until she gets her citizenship. A short time later, she receives a phone call from Charlie that tells he has fallen in love with a french girl, Juliette, and that he no longer intends to return home.
Desperate and determined to win back her boyfriend, Kate finds the courage to take a plane and leaves for Paris. During the flight, she makes the acquaintance of Luc, a thief who is trying to transport a stolen necklace. He intends to resell it in order to obtain the money needed to buy a land where to grow a vineyard of his own. A long series of vicissitudes leads Kate to chase her boyfriend and to be chased in turn by Luc, who hid the necklace in the woman’s bag believing that she would stay with him.
When Kate sees Charlie kissing Juliette, she faints and is robbed by another thief, who however manages to reach thanks to the help of Luc, determined on taking back the necklace. Kate realizes that she is no longer in love with Charlie when he expresses his jealousy towards Luc, to whom she gave all her money to buy the vineyard, returning the necklace. Luc, on the other hand, realizes that he is in love with Kate and joins her at the airport to ask her to stay with him in France. She, no longer afraid to fly, accepts and the two go to live together in his farm.
10- DRAMMATIC – A GOOD YEAR (2006)
Max Skinner is a British broker very found on his job. Greedy, ruthless, cynical and convinced that “winning is not everything: it is the only thing”. Both of his parents died in an accident when he was a child, so he spent much of his childhood in Provence with his uncle Henry. When his uncle dies without leaving a will, Max finds himself as the only heir of the Château La Siroque vineyard.
He starts with the new inheritance, initially willing to sell it and capitalize the value. While driving through the streets of Provence talking on his phone, he unintentionally invests a woman, Fanny Chenal, the owner of the bistrot in the village. The next day he has to leave for London and, while photographing the estate for possible buyers, he accidentally falls into an empty pool. He is found by Fanny, who, as a revenge to the car accident, fills the pool. After a few hours Max manages to get out, but his meeting in London was canceled and suspended for a week, which he decides to spend at his uncle’s estate. He receive the visit of Christie Roberts, an American girl who claims to be Henry’s daughter.
Slowly, living in the places where he had grown up, he rediscovered the values that his uncle had tried to teach him and these, together with love, will transform him from a smart and insensitive business-man to man able to appreciate the small pleasures of life that he has let slip too many times. He meets Fanny and asks for her forgivness, falls in love with her and they spend a night together, after which she leaves him saying that, for their distant lives, there can be no future for them.
The next day Max comes back to London with a heavy heart, because all he can think about is Fanny. His boss offers him a lifetime partnership. Max realizes that he does not want to become a dry and cynical man like his boss and so abandons his job and writes a letter on behalf of his late uncle that proves the existence of the blood bond with his illegitimate daughter Christie. He returns to France, where he reunites with Fanny and goes to live on his uncle’s estate, now owned by Christie.
Arrived at the end of our list of 10+1 films you have to watch for Christmas, we conclude with a flourish leaving you a small clue:
“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.“
If you don’t guess, no bonus movie.