Blood and Wine Bob Rafelson

Bob Rafelson's attempted 1997 comeback seems just like his work in the ‘70s, with the eerie distinction that the strangled, young free spirits of his early work have come back as corrupt adults. Frequent collaborator Jack Nicholson stars as a Florida wine dealer at the end of his financial tether who's planning a jewellery theft to bring him back to solvency. He's also cheating on his long-suffering wife (Judy Davis), neglecting his stepson (Stephen Dorff) and nursing a mistress (Jennifer Lopez), all of whom are sucked into the maelstrom caused by his bungled heist. Nicholson isn't exactly unsympathetic but he's also not the person he wished he'd turned out to be — much like the dispersed American Renaissance, the hustling dreams he had as a young man are now spoiled, maintained in a world he can't control. The movie doesn't always live up to its suggestive content, with dramatic high points dribbling away on conventional set-ups perhaps mandated by the studio. But though there's a vague whiff of dissatisfaction, Rafelson still manages to make a potent thematic brew and has in Michael Caine's dying accomplice a sad and hilarious portrait of a thug who doesn't know when he's down for the count. Caine alone is a reason to see this film; he gives his subtle all to a role any actor would kill for and Davis is also excellent in a role that could have been just another standard wifey-wife. Extras include a feature commentary by Rafelson, whose comments are genuinely on-issue (if occasionally sexist), 11 scene specific commentaries by the cast and producer, seven "making of" featurettes that impress with their thoroughness, eight deleted scenes and the trailer. (Fox)