Recognize Memorial Day and National Wine Day with these two classics

Monday, May 25 is not only Memorial Day, but it’s also National Wine Day.  Since we are a movie site, we think that you should recognize all notable days with a movie.  So, we recommend two.  See Best Picture Oscar winner “The Deer Hunter” (1978) today, give yourself time to recover, and catch Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar winner “Sideways” (2004) tomorrow.

“The Deer Hunter” is truly filled with a who’s-who of movie stars as Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage, and Meryl Streep descend on rural Pennsylvania in this purposely winding Vietnam tale.  Director Michael Cimino overflows his film with exposition in order to highlight the transformation between this group of beer drinking, deer hunting friends before, during and after combat.  The picture runs for 183 minutes, but play the movie without interruptions and distractions, and its full impact will resonate today and far beyond.

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Alexander Payne is a master storyteller with “Election” (1999), “The Descendants” (2011), “Nebraska” (2013), and “About Schmidt” (2002) on his out-of-this-world resume.  Only one movie, however, is about wine, so we highly recommend “Sideways”, the story of two flawed best friends heading into Southern California wine country for a weekend of wine, golf and foolishness.  Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church should’ve taken a comedy tour over the last 16 years, because they are dynamite among the vineyards and on the golf courses, and Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh are perfectly cast as their new friends.

Pinor noir sales went through the roof in 2004 and 2005 and with good reason.  Merlot?  Not so much.

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