Review: Red Obsession Movie
Tonight was the red carpet premiere of the new movie Red Obsession, an Australian documentary that looks at the fortunes of Bordeaux and the rise of the Chinese Bordeaux buyer (view the Red Obsession trailer here).
Now I am hardly a movie critic (I still have more Bond movies than anything else), but after having seen Red Obsession twice now I can at least pass comment from the wine perspective.
The general theme of this movie is that of an exploration, via a series of interviews with collectors, retailers, critics, winemakers and the like, into what it is that makes people obsess about Bordeaux.
It’s an exploration – a narrative really – that uses the stories and opinion of interesting wine people to attempt to communicate the joy of wine.
What I most like about this film is that it never feels pretentious in any way – indeed there was more laughter than anything else in the cinema tonight, which was great to see.
I suspect that the lack of pretentiousness is largely due to the clever choice of interviewees such as the ever-jovial Christian Moueix (who proudly proclaims to be a good drinker and an average taster); forever articulate Jancis Robinson and the mischievous pipe-smoking Chinese collector Peter Tseng (who made his money in sex toys).
What I also like is just how much the film romanticises wine production and collecting, painting Bordeaux as a place of magic, mystique, history and prestige – all of which the wine industry could do with more of.
Actually, perhaps one of my few criticisms is that the Red Obsession subtext seems to suggest that Bordeaux makes the best wines in the world bar none, and has the strongest mortgage over fine wine history, when the region is merely part of the jigsaw.
Regardless, this is a very entertaining film that – most importantly – manages to share a little of the fervour that drives wine lovers to obsess about this most magical of beverages, all without relying upon esoteric language or technicalities. For that alone it is not only worth watching, but also worth recommending to others – and not just fellow wine geeks.
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