Cogill’s Review: Roman J. Israel, Esq. and The Prisoner

This week on our “Cogill Wine & Film, A Perfect Pairing” Podcast on reVolver podcast we toast a few Oscar nominated”best actor” performances, starting with Denzel Washington in “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” pairing with a very popular, but rather over-extracted wine, “The Prisoner.” More on both below.

Listen to the show, with a few of my perfect wine pairings, here, or through iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music or IHeartRadio.🍷🎬

And, for more of Gary’s insight into the best films of the year, with a few perfect pairings, join us March 1, 2018 at Studio Movie Grill, Royal Lane for “Wine and Film, A Preview of the 90th Annual Academy Awards.” Get your tickets now, here.

The Film: “Roman J. Israel, Esq.

The more I think about, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” the worse it gets.
What begins as an interesting, well-acted, legal-minded film about an eccentric activist ends up a convoluted, disoriented mess of a film.

And then there’s two time Oscar winning actor, Denzel Washington, in the title role, doing what he always does best, disappearing into a role of a legal savant forced to step into the courtroom limelight where he likely doesn’t belong.

It’s a fascinating, well-rounded performance cut short by poor editing, and mismanagement on the part of writer, director Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler). What might have been a coherent look at an unusual legal mind ends up asking more questions than providing answers.

Colin Farrell plays Romans’ slick, serious minded boss at an upscale law firm, who offers glimpses of compassion to a brilliant man in need of kindness and understanding. But, ultimately, it winds up being another case of white America riding in on a white horse attempting to aid black America. It’s weird and has been weird for some time in American movies.

Denzel Washington is nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” and it’s a tribute to his ability to get lost in role that deserved better leadership. A powerful actor in a surprisingly non empowering film.

I would wait for cable.

The Pairing: The Prisoner

We discussed two main features on this week’s show, pairing both with wines from the same winery, Prisoner Wine Company. For our first leading man, “The Prisoner” is best, as he defends prisoners, yet he also finds himself in the midst of his own circumstances of giving up everything he believes in for the sake of a dollar. The activist that turns corrupt…basically because everyone else is.

The wine, like the film, is over-extracted, high alcohol, very jammy with black fruit and spice. There is nothing lean or austere here, it is very big, easy and approachable finishing with dark chocolate, vanilla, clove, and roasted fig.

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