Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Saturday February 1, 2020 


Alex (Nicholson), is a wine merchant in a bad relationship with his wife Suzy (Davis) and his stepson Jason (Dorff) and in love with his mistress Gabriella (Lopez) - and in debt. He schemes to steal a diamond necklace from Gabriellaís wealthy employers, a family he supplies with wine, with the help of the sleazy, wheezing Victor (Caine). His plan is unintentionally disrupted by Suzy who catches him on an illicit assignation, tacking the hidden necklace with her in a rage. While Alex chases the necklace, Jason chases Gabriella, unaware of her liaision with Alex. Caught between the father and the stepson, Gabriella is not the only one having to confront their inner selves.

Review by Louise Keller:
Blood and Wine is a great title. It conjures up images of the good life intertwined with evil. Bob Rafelson uses the themes of greed, lust and betrayal coupled with riveting ingredients to bring an emotionally satisfying, biting thriller. Jack Nicholson uses all his considerable skills to portray Alex, a seriously flawed character with a charming side and a hint of a conscience. Nicholson is a craftsman, and plays this type of evil convincingly. Michael Caineís role as Victor Spansky is perhaps his strongest in many years. He makes a formidable and intimidating villain, with his large physique and grossly dyed black hair, moustache and chronic cough. His believable portrayal of such a charmless brute of a villain with no quality to redeem him whatsoever is most convincing and he fully encapsulates the sliminess of this evil character. There is a certain piquancy to some of the scenes shared by Caine and Nicholson. ĎThere is no honour among thieves,í Caine says. There is something rather eerie about the pool-side scene when Nicholson and Caine make their final confrontation: we glimpse shades of "One Flew Over the Cuckooís Nest", which could not possibly have been a coincidence. Stephen Dorff is terrific as Nicholsonís step son, and Judy Davis gives yet another superb performance fraught with understated emotion and power. The script is sharp and deliberate; the lighting is moody; Michael Lorencís music score is dark and effectively uses repetitive phrases to build up the tension.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
I think the most lasting impression I have of Blood and Wine is Nicholson in a yet new guise: sure, echoes of his many other characters are evident, but there is something fresh here, a great delight for at least this one of his fans. Itís perhaps a reminder of his innate ability to conjure you a persona you want to meet - in the presence of a body guard. But here, he offers more; a complex man with something going on beyond the obvious. The film has other pleasures, Judy Davis not the least of them, although her screentime is limited. Dorff is taut, Lopez beguiling, the editing excellent, the music great . . . and Rafelsonís direction couples well with Steven Cohenís editing to carry us into this all-too-true world that is just outside our normal vision. The climax brings catharsis through pain, in what is a bitter sweet ending.

Email this article

Stephen Dorff with Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson wining and dancing Jennifer Lopez


CAST: Jack Nicholson, Stephen Dorff, Jennifer Lopez, Judy Davis, Michael Caine, Harold Perrineau Jr.

PRODUCER: Jeremy Thomas

DIRECTOR: Bob Rafelson

SCRIPT: Nick Villiers, Bob Rafelson

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Newton Thomas Sigel

EDITOR: Steven Cohen

MUSIC: Michael Lorenc





© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020