With DiNiro, was the medium the message?

30 Aug

Was Robert DeNiro sending a message, albeit a mixed one, in “Everybody’s Fine”?

I finally got around to seeing the film — the story of a man trying to build connections to his grown childern whose only connection with him was through his late wife — that includes a scene in which DeNiro’s character is shopping at a local supermarket for wine.

The problem with that? His character lives in Elmira, NY, where, as we all know, it would not be legal to sell wine in markets because the state currently prohibits it.

Perhaps the actor, who also has/had interests in several New York City restaurants (Nobu, Tribeca Grille, Locanda Verdi, etc.), was making a point about what he thought the availability of wine should be.

Then again, when his screen persona asks a supermarket employee if he is knowledgeable about wine, the actor E.J. Carroll replies, “I stock the shelves.” He goes on to explain “We have English wine from France … and Italian wines from all over Europe.”

That could be read as a message about the lack of knowledge we might have to confront if wine sales were expanded beyond their current venues — wine and spirits shops only.

Was art imitating life, or what the moviemakers think life should be? And, in the bigger picture, even though the wine-in-markets idea died in the State Legislature once more this summer, will it get a replay next legislative season?

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

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Posted by on August 30, 2010 in Legislation/Regulation, Marketing


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