Movies are one of my favorite things. One of my seven favorite things. Along with food, wine, women, music, food and wine.
I like award shows too. I almost always watch the Golden Globes. I never miss the Academy Awards. Because I relish the showbiz, the low cut dresses, the pomp, the glamor, the skin tight dresses, the ostentation, the humor, the three solid hours (plus five minutes of overtime) of Hollywood unabashedly peddling their products.
For the last few years, Don Day’s Wife and I have hosted an Academy Awards party in San Miguel de Allende. But we’re not this year. Because I think there’s a better place to watch the show. And not just because it means I won’t be missing Scarlet Johansson while I’m topping or clumsily toppling someone’s glass.
A Night at the Oscars will be held, as you can guess, on Oscars night which this year is Sunday, February 26. The party gets rolling at 6:00 pm at Casa de la Noche located at Organos 19. And here’s the part I like. A portion of the proceeds will be going to one of my favorite charities, Mujeres en Cambio, a charity that Barbe Poole (owner of Casa de la Noche) supports throughout the year. There will be champagne, margaritas, beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks available throughout the evening, as well as tacos from Andy’s, San Miguel’s tastiest taco cart, which will be set up on the property.
Tickets are $500 in advance or $600 at the door and include your food and your drinks. They are available at Casa de la Noche, Organos 19. You can dress to the nines (like Don Day’s Wife) or dress to the five and dimes (like me). Just like we’ve always had at our house parties, there will be a who’s going to win what contest where the person who has the highest score predicting the winners receives a prize. And just like at our house parties, it will almost surely be followed by a who shudda won what rant by at least one attendee, possibly me.
Now I could share my top picks with you except I have every intention of winning that contest. So, instead of telling you who I think is going to win, I’m going to tell you a little about five films that don’t have a snowball’s chance of ever putting a statue on someone’s mantle. But they were films that I saw last year that I really enjoyed. They all…surprise, surprise…have some food or wine content. And they’re all available on Netflix.
I love road trips. So how could I not enjoy a journey around the world searching through Argentina, France, the U.S., Japan and Spain for the best steak? Except for the part where I unsuccessfully tried to find Wagyu beef in San Miguel after the movie was over. Nice also too to see that some of the more humane treatments of cattle produce the best meat.
A sad and touching account of how Georges Perrier, the chef/owner of iconic Philadelphia restaurant Le Bec Fin finds himself playing an old game that has new rules. After 40 years, the classic French restaurant has seen its day but not without one last chance at reviving its sumptuous dishes with a young protégé.
Somm: Into The Bottle
This follow-up to the 2013 film Somm takes us deeper into the wine industry and gives us an understanding of what happens in the field, the barrel and the bottle and why certain wines are perceived as better than others. Warning: Don’t watch this in the morning as it’s difficult to do without a glass in your hand.
A portrait of Curtis Duffy, one of America’s most renowned chefs and, like so many chefs, a man having trouble juggling family and career. Grace is Duffy’s ultimate dream restaurant and we follow its development from the ground up. If you’ve always wanted to own a restaurant, this film will almost definitely change your mind. But it’s fascinating watching the struggle from the corner table.
Back in 2013, Rudy Kurniawan was found guilty of duping wine collectors out of millions of dollars by substituting fake wine into bottles from the world’s most celebrated wineries. I love tales about swindlers especially when they’re tricking people with more money than common sense and, like all good cheats, Rudy Kurniawan has become something of a folk hero. I’m just happy I’ve never had enough money to buy the wine that Rudy faked because I know he could have…no make that would have…conned me.
So those are five films that won’t win awards that you can see on Netflix. But how can you see some of the films that are nominated and prep yourself for the big night? Well, your purchase of an advance ticket to A Night At The Oscars also gets you into screenings of many of the Oscar-nominated films the week before at Casa de la Noche. There will of course be popcorn. And a cash bar.
Hope to see you there. But hope you don’t do better than me at picking the winners.