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The Oscars' Best Picture Nominees In Wine: Robin's Movie Review

A close-up image of wine grapes.
Robin Holabird

The Academy Awards are coming soon, so for this week's Movie Minutes, KUNR Entertainment Reviewer Robin Holabird looks at this year's Best Picture nominees — and pairs them with the perfect wine.

As a board member of the Northern Nevada Wine Association and voter with the Las Vegas Film Critics Association, I view Oscar season as a time to combine two of my favorite activities. Rather than predict winners, I prefer to pair each nominee with a wine that reflects the movie’s qualities. Eight nominees provide more than a week of sitting back and appreciating the wine-movie combo at home.

The Father gets a best picture nod based largely on its nominated performance from Sir Anthony Hopkins undergoing the frustrations of Alzheimer’s disease. Like a fine burgundy, Hopkins ages with brilliance.

Judas and the Black Messiah follows energetic storytelling techniques as its main characters fight tradition and work outside the system. A grapelike petite sirah meets those criteria, especially one from Theopolis.

Mank includes the wild party life at Hearst Mansion that helped inspire the movie Citizen Kane. French Champagne poured with abandon, a good choice to savor while watching.

Minari portrays the American Dream from a Korean immigrant perspective. Both deep and refreshing, it fits the description of the bright but solid wines from the grenache grape.

Nomadland takes on key issues of finding the right home when fate disrupts a long-settled life. The movie features unexpected hybrid elements, which reminds me of a seemingly odd blend of grapes that works well, a structured viognier with a light chenin blanc.

Promising Young Woman puts some surprisingly sweet rom-com moments into a powerful look at rape and its aftermath. It reminds me of drinking port—at first it goes down easy but its extra dose of alcohol packs a punch.

The Sound of Metal features a standout performance from Riz Ahmed as a musician coming to terms with harsh realities of his life. That leads me to a Bordeaux blend where tough, tannic grapes like cabernet get softened by merlot.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 explores a real group of rebels who hoped to make changes by using the system. Often viewed as a U.S. original, zinfandel reflects a revolutionary spirit.

Aside from Judas and the Black Messiah, these films stream on various services. The Oscars broadcast takes place Sunday, April 25, so now is a good time to get caught up.

My choice for winner? Nomadland remains the favorite amidst the award circuit, plus it bears a special place in my heart for using Nevada locations. But, to whoever wins — Cheers!

Robin Holabird is KUNR's Entertainment Review, author and former film commissioner of the Nevada Film Office. Her full online archive can be found here.

Robin Holabird reviews movies for KUNR, and her reviews have aired for more than 30 years. During that time, she has had a high profile in the Nevada film community.
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