“American Animals” and a Napa Valley Wine Heist on This Week’s “Cogill Wine & Film” Podcast

This week’s “Cogill Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing” podcast on reVolver Podcasts we pair an ill-concieved heist with one that may have only been slightly better concieved, though both restulted in jail time for the theives, “American Animals,” and the wine heist at Napa Valley’s famed French Laundry Restaurant.

To listen to the show, click here, or listen through your favorite podcast site, including Spotify, iTunes, IHeartRadio or Google Play. Gary’s review of the film is below.

Also, we are excited to share an exclusive deal with a fantastic new wine website called Wine Access which features hand-selected, premium wines from across the globe. If you are looking for a few great bottles of bubbles to enjoy with this, or any film, Wine Access has offered our listeners an incredible deal of 20% off their already well-priced selections, just by clicking here or going to their website, wineaccess.com/cogill.

The Film: “American Animals”

Can you admire but not like a film? The answer is, yes, and “American Animals” is a strong example.

Based on the 2014 true story of four irrational college students in Lexington, Kentucky who attempt to steal twelve million dollars in rare books from their university library, the film often mixes the real life “crooks” on screen with the “actors” hired to portray them.

It’s an admirable docu-style gimmick, but I’m still confused about the overall affect. Don’t get me wrong, this is a terrific story, but without any reservation I can honestly say these guys are idiots.

Writer, director Bart Layton knows exactly what he wants with “American Animals.” He tells the truth about what happened without romanticizing “the heist” or turning the students into sympathetic characters.

They are what they are, selfish, unenlightened, narcissistic, mean spirited, and did I say stupid?

Character actress, Ann Dowd, plays the memorable librarian guarding the rare books, and is a breath of fresh air in a movie filled with uninformed decisions by young men who spend way too much time getting high and watching movies rather than learning.

All to make the point, I admire Layton’s film for not playing it safe. This is not “Oceans 11,” “Heat,” “Rififi,” “Baby Driver,” or “The Inside Job.”

It’ a frustrating movie that tells the truth. A film I admire but find difficult to like.

  • Gary Cogill

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