the awesome/terrifying freedom

out here, somewhere, figuring it all out.

virginia madsen

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should win. granted, she was given one of the best speeches of the year, but her delivery - gentle, heartbreaking, and just damned honest. that giamatti is not nominated is a travesty. even with all the hype, this one scene made my heart stop. i know, i'm a sentimental softie. after some searching i found the entire scene. posting it just cuz i want to read it a lot. if you haven't seen the film, maybe you shouldn't read it. actually i don't think it would ruin anything. in fact, out of context, this scene probably seems quite boring - and when you see it, you might be amazed at how packed with meaning these simple words can be.

Wow, this is really starting to open up. What do you think?

My palate’s kind of shot, but from what I can tell, I’d dub it pretty damn good.

Can I ask you a personal question?

(bracing himself)

Why are you so into Pinot? It’s like a thing with you?

Miles laughs at first, then smiles wistfully at the question. He searches for the answer in his glass and begins slowly.

I don’t know. It’s a hard grape to grow. As you know. It’s thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s not a survivor like Cabernet that can grow anywhere and thrive even when neglected. Pinot needs constant care and attention and in fact can only grow in specific little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing growers can do it really, can tap into Pinot’s most fragile, delicate qualities. Only when someone has taken the time to truly understand its potential can Pinot be coaxed into its fullest expression. And when that happens, its flavors are the most haunting and brilliant and subtle and thrilling and ancient on the planet.

Maya has found this answer revealing and moving.

I mean, Cabernets can be powerful and exciting, but they seem prosaic to me for some reason. By comparison. How about you?

What about me?

I don’t know. Why are you into wine?

I suppose I got really into wine originally through my ex-husband. He had a big, kind of show-off cellar. But then I found out that I have a really sharp palate, and the more I drank, the more I liked what it made me think about.

Yeah? Like what?

Like what a fraud he was.

Miles laughs.

No, but I do like to think about the life of wine, how it’s a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing, how the sun was shining that summer or if it rained... what the weather was like. I think about all those people who tended and picked the grapes, and if it’s an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I love how wine continues to evolve, how every time I open a bottle its going to taste different than if I had opened it on any other day. Because a bottle of wine is actually alive -- it’s constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks -- like your ‘61 -- and begins its steady, inevitable decline. And it tastes so fucking good.

Now it is Miles’ turn to be swept away. Maya’s face tells the moment is right, but Miles remains frozen. He needs another sign, and Maya is bold enough to offer it: she reaches out and places one hand atop his.

(suppressing his panic)
But I like a lot of wines besides Pinot too. Lately I’ve really been into Rieslings. Do you like Rieslings? Rieslings?

She nods, a Mona Lisa smile on her lips. Come on, Miles. Finally --

Bathroom over there?


Miles gets up and walks out. Maya sighs and gets an American Spirit out of her purse.

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  • 5: the man of genius

  • 4: blunders & absurdities

  • 3: conservative after dinner

  • 2: what lies below

  • 1: where there is no path

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