Well done, indeed. The film is a full bodied experience.
At first, Bottle Shock catches the viewer by surprise with a history lesson. It tells the story of local Napa Valley farmer, Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman) who grows and cultivates the land way off oenophile's radar in northern California circa 196. Barrett is a dreamer who dreams of creating the perfect bottle of Chardonnay; a feat never before accomplished away from the rarefied, God-kissed vineyards of Western Europe. In fact, Barret's staked his entire life savings and family's future on this quixotic adventure. Little could Barrett have known that he and his vineyard would turn the staid and carefully cultivated world of wine upside down at a now legendary event known as "the tasting of 1977" in France.
Dennis Farina that mesh subtley and complimentarily with Alan Rickman's disciplined comedic flair. Bottle Shock also offers verdant greens through the dappled, sun-soaked Napa Valley. Cinematographer, Mike Ozier captured the region's otherworldliness, evoking a nolstagic dreaminess.
There is also a strong youthful vibrancy to this movie. Integral to the story is Bo Barrett (Chris Pine), a leftover hippie who's got just enough privilege to not realize that the times are a changin'. A blond Adrian Grenier-type, actor Chris Pine successfully shoulders a significant portion of the film. This young actor, a relative newcomer, was likable, easy on the eyes, and has some solid acting skills. Look for him to do more. Flick Chick sees that he is set to be in the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.
The only wrong note in the film was an underlying sugariness that reared its head from time to time in the form a love triangle. Regardless of how true it may have been, the romantic entaglements between Bo, the wine intern, and a fellow wine grower felt ham handed and shoehorned into the script. Too bad, since the movie would have benefited from focusing more on the struggle of creating the perfect Chardonnay and Rickman's Brit 'discovering' the northern California wine scene. THAT story was interesting and definitely worth the watch.