sour grapes Review : “Sour Grapes” investigates an embarrassing scandal that rocked the world of highest-end wine collectors — and left as many as 40,000 “fake” bottles still circulating in their milieu — approaching the stunningly expansive scam as a real-life comic mystery fit for Hercule Poirot, complete with a cast of privileged dupes for whom the average viewer isn’t likely to feel much sympathy. Those already interested in the mechanizations of the wine biz will be fascinated by this doc feature by Jerry Rothwell (“Deep Water,” “How to Change the World”) and Reuben Atlas (“Brothers Hypnotic”), though such rarefied tastes are hardly a prerequisite to appreciate this highly entertaining stranger-than-fiction saga. A Canadian theatrical run launches May 27, and other territories should eventually follow suit.
In Sour Grapes, filmmakers Reuben Atlas and Jerry Rothwell thoroughly and concisely detail the progression of Kurniawan’s wide-ranging fraud in a style that merges an Antiques Roadshow-style fascination with rare wines with a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous-type fixation on the spending habits of the overly affluent. The fact that a couple of Hollywood types were caught up in the deception only increases the likelihood that the documentary will become a staple of true crime-related accounts of the free-spending years preceding the Great Recession.
Sour Grapes – first look review
Reuben Atlas and Jerry Rothwell don’t match Welles for narrative tomfoolery or visual splendour – who could? – but Sour Grapes shares a sense of mischief with F for Fake, its co-directors revelling in their bizarre true tale. Like Welles, Atlas and Rothwell take a certain satisfaction in the con and its eventual unravelling. Along with Koch and his personal PI, French winemaker Laurent Ponsot retraces his steps in unmasking Kurniawan as a charlatan, vacuuming up easy cash from (mostly white, mostly male, mostly bored and eager to burn their “fuck you” money) people hardly bothering to check whether their extortionately-priced plonk was the real deal.
Sour Grapes review – highly entertaining uncorking of counterfeit wine scandal
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