These past few weeks certainly have been challenging, stressful, and, well pick your synonym, for most people around the world. So much uncertainty and despair has left many of us isolated at home instead of being out socially, going to the movies among other things. With movie theaters closed until the curve is flattened on the current pandemic, millions, like myself, are left with streaming as the only way to watch new movies in place of our theatrical experiences at our local multiplexes. Thankfully, Netflix is still rolling out new content on a daily basis, including original movies like Uncorked, which drops today. From director Prentice Penny, this dramadey about wine and family is just what the doctor ordered during these uncertain times.
Set in Memphis, Tennessee, Uncorked follows a young man named Elijah (Mamoidou Athie), who has a passion for wine and wants to one day be a master sommelier. However, his father Louis (Courtney B. Vance) owns a barbeque restaurant and wants Elijah to take the business one day. As you might expect, visions and dreams collide over the course of the movie’s entire 100-minute runtime. We see numerous highs and lows of the wine and barbeque business, from the perspective of both father and son. Without spoiling anything, Uncorked throws a couple of curveballs in what would otherwise be an all-too-familiar story, which helps make for a better message than what Hollywood typically shows in these types of family dramedies.
Despite the movie’s dramatic moments, Uncorked has good vibes throughout its entire story. Infused by a great score from Hit-Boy, accompanied by excellent song selections, Uncorked shows viewers the different varieties of delicious wine, mouth-watering shots of barbeque, and playful humor amongst its cast to keep the energy and feelings good for anyone who decides to hit play on this title; I couldn’t tell you how many times I smirked/slightly/chuckled at some of the great dialogue here, thanks to Prentice Penny’s sharp script.
Uncorked turns out to be a great showcase for its center star, Mamoidou Athie. Seen in other titles, such as Netflix’s short-lived The Get Down and as recently as this year’s Underwater, Mamoidou flashes just the right balance of charisma and character in this feature; I can only imagine he’ll go places from this point on in his career. The always wonderful Courtney B. Vance has great chemistry with Niecy Nash as an on-screen couple and continues to demonstrate why he should be in more features.
Right now, millions of people need things to do to combat the inevitable cabinet fever that is bound to set in, so thank God for services like Netflix . It certainly helps us avoid the constant depression constantly emanating from the news outlets that seemingly have nothing else to report other than stories related to the pandemic. And thank God Netflix decided to choose this time to gift us with Uncorked since it is just what the doctor ordered–if that doctor is having it delivered from your local winery or liquor store. Savor it. Enjoy it. And be sure to recommend it to your friends who need the distraction right now.