User Reviews (8)

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  • We saw this movie today as part of the monthly Camera Cinema Club program in San Jose. It's an independent film, based on a play written by David MacGregor. There are four characters: two married couples living next door to each other in suburbia. (The movie was filmed in Lincoln, Nebraska.) On Halloween, the couples get together and the hostess brings out a mysterious blue Peruvian wine made from the boiled skin of the blue dart tree frog--supposedly the same frog used to create poison darts. Drink this and you must tell the truth. Three of the four characters drink and what follows is more than an hour of some of the rawest truth you might hope to hear among four close neighbors.

    It's not like this field hasn't been plowed before. Yasmina Reza's "God of Carnage" comes to mind as a recent entry in this two-couples-speak-truth trope but you can go all the way back to "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and probably further back if you like. There's plenty of material to mine and "Vino Veritas" mines the topic deeply and well.

    This film is a comedy drama. It touches on so many land-mine subjects (life, death, truth in marriage, trials of parenthood, loss of a child, marital fidelity, sexual communication and power in marriage, loss of one's carefree youth, loss of ardor, terrorism, faith in God, and on, and on) that I simply lost count and waited for the next tick of the script. It's a high-velocity, zig-zag ramble through many, many topics and there's no way you're going to see when the next turn will occur or where it will take you. All that's required is the asking of a question to zig or zag to the next deep truth.

    All four actors do a spectacular job in this 4-person film. It's so suburban in appearance that most viewers will be easily able to identify with the characters, which digs the topical hooks in even deeper. This is a thinking person's film with a heart. Comedy, drama, pathos. A rare delivery in today's film choices.
  • Just saw this at a private viewing. Alternately emotionally intense and hilarious! You laugh and gasp as you watch it, and leave with a bug in your head that keeps you thinking - what is really important in life? Totally new take on the "suburban middle class"; it peels off the artificial veneer of suburban life. Everyone who sees this should leave thinking differently about their public lives and relationships versus their inner selves, and wonder how they veered so far off course! Viewers should be alerted that this movie touches upon almost every controversial issue our society currently faces and so contains adult material, language, and references to religion that may not be acceptable to all - but that's all the more reason to see it!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    An interesting exercise - saw this via Netflix at the recommendation of a friend. Wasn't disappointed, but mildly frustrated - a LOT of topics, some thoughtfully explored, a few touched upon & quickly dropped, with some outstanding work by skilled actors, and mostly tight, efficient direction.

    The suburban setting was letter perfect for the premise: two couples meet before a Halloween party, drink some "magic" blue wine, and get down to exploring truths. Their common ground initially is their focus on their children, whom we never see; misperceptions & frustrated hopes for their kids are uncovered and confronted. We also get believable, if somewhat rushed, glances at 9/11, atheism, suburban hypocrisy, career and money anxieties, etc - modern life.

    All four actors were excellent. Preston & White were the more vividly written couple; Preston had several chances to do her patented 'zany' characterization (see "The Good Wife"), and White was quite believable as an ambitious & somewhat oblivious MD. Interestingly, in a discussion of 9/11, bias d/t his ethnicity was only glancingly touched upon, an opportunity for deeper exploration unexplored. Rather, real and imagined sexual peccadilloes of both are mined.

    Raffo & Hutchison are less exotic, but the eventual history of their relationship is more heartfelt; they also seem to have a visible sexual chemistry not evident in the other couple. Raffo is touching in a somewhat underwritten role as a restless and disappointed mate to a man who, vaguely, is no longer as ... "exciting" as when they were married. Hutchison quite convincingly portrays a charming, somewhat goofy suburban dad who reveals unexpected depths; his reaction when he and Raffo discuss losing a child is immensely moving, and that discussion give the film a center it needs. Both he and Raffo deserve wider exposure.

    Less successful were the extraneous 'hooks' evidently meant to power the screenplay. The blue wine of truth was unnecessary - high-proof vodka would have done as well; 'roofies' (rohypnol) as an 'antidote' was just silly. Being an atheist or agnostic is not really so dumbfounding, right? The Halloween costumes were interesting, but extraneous; the trope of "two couples settling in for an evening of drinking and verbal jousting" is tried & true for a reason - it works, & doesn't need a lot of explication.

    Overall, an 8 - because I stayed interested until the end, and the acting was excellent.
  • I've watched a lot of movies in my day and I have to say that this movie is stellar! Just a great movie with a beautiful message. The acting is superb and the screen writing was excellent. This movie relied purely on the acting which is rare in American cinema these days. If you truly enjoy films with a great message and brilliant acting then THIS IS IT! These types of films are rarity. Unfortunately, this movie probably won't get nominated for anything at the Academy Awards which shows that the AW is nothing more than a fashion show and a popularity contest. If the AW was truly focused on superb acting that didn't rely on special effects and millions of dollars spent making everyone look perfect then this movie would certainly be nominated.

    It starts slow so give it a little bit of time because it will not disappoint! :D
  • I would strongly give this movie two thumbs up!! The storyline was awesome and the movie flowed well. There were times that I laughed and times that I took deep thought into issues that have affected me personally and how I view them. This movie is a must see!!! I've watched it twice and I must say It was just as good the second time around. This movies makes you think. Even in the funny moments, you can dig deep into emotions that you may have experienced and laugh as it relates to your own life. I'm a wine lover and the title of the movie itself grabbed my attention and I believe the title to be true !! Would I recommend this movie to anyone? My goodness yes! This movie is great for a husband and wife, a fun girls night out or any adult audience looking for a great film to watch.
  • whatithinkis7 May 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    This film kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Mainly out of anxiety for its odd badness. Everything about it felt like a stiff, stilted one-act play. Dialogue obviously, screechingly at times, forcing its way to that final contortion: the excruciating connection between the 'Lawrence of Arabia' line about not caring that it hurts and the importance of truth in a relationship, and the importance of not caring that it hurts. Somebody thought that was pure genius, and somebody was wrong. Not skillfully written, nor directed, nor acted. Carrie Preston had one or two 'moments.' Heather Raffo was a major annoyance to be overcome in order to be able to stand to view the entire film. WHAT a painful-to-watch dud . . . And I find I DO care that it hurt, enough to take the time to write the review no one else seems willing to write. And warn you. This is inept movie-making.
  • iain73122 April 2014
    It's always interesting to see what a good writer can do when they let their characters take the gloves off. In this case, an obscure Peruvian wine removes the gauntlets and loosens the tongues of two couples on Halloween night. What comes out is not drunken ravings, but rather deep truths and petty insecurities - the things we go to great pains to obscure from even those closest to us. That one character does not imbibe in the truth serum while the other three do adds to the complexity of the premise and the potential for humor. Unformulaic and refreshingly honest, the film is riotously funny and brilliantly acted -well worth searching out!
  • What an intelligent, unusual film. Unusual in its simplicity; the setting is basically one room, yet the dialog is so strong that my wife and I found it riveting just about from the start. The writing and direction are strong throughout. All four characters are believable and interesting in their differences. I believe they had fun performing this, because I had fun watching. The film grabbed me as soon as the guests arrived. Even the opening scene is interesting; domestic bliss easily cast aside when a typical argument comes out of nowhere. Real life, real conversation.

    This is a film that stays with you long after you have seen it. My wife asked several times as we viewed it at home (with wine, of course) "who wrote this"?! She and I were both impressed and told our family and friends to check it out. Vino Veritas deserves wide distribution. Enjoy!