A Walk in the Clouds is the March selection for Food ‘n Flix.
Wendy from A Day in the Life of a Farm is the hostess this month. (You can read Wendy’s announcement post here.)
On a rainy Sunday afternoon, The Hubs asked if I wanted to watch a movie. “Sure,” I said, “if I get to pick.”
As soon as the film started and he noticed that I had a pen and paper in hand, he asked, “Is this one of your foodie films?”
I responded, “Yes, but I don’t think it’s going to be a chickie flick.”
We settled in to watch.
About ten minutes in, he picked up his laptop and started working.
I guess I was wrong.
A Walk in the Cloud is set in post WWII California. The plot takes place between San Francisco and the Napa Valley. Paul Sutton (Keanu Reeves) is a decorated veteran that finds himself with a war bride that he doesn’t really know or love. (His bride is played by a tartified Debra Messing.) As he picks up his lack luster career where he left off as a traveling salesmen, he is fated to meet Victoria (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón), a young woman who is returning home pregnant and unmarried. She is terrified to tell her father, a man set in very traditional ways.
Paul offers to pose as Victoria’s non-existent husband so her father will not disown her. The plan is simple, but as their eyes lock, they know their destiny.
The description of this film on Amazon calls it “visually stunning.” Unfortunately, I felt like I had fallen into a Thomas Kincade painting.
Although a mystical quality was achieved, I wanted to see the beauty of the real Napa Valley. I also think the director, Alfonso Arau, wanted the entire film to be dreamlike, hence the war scenes in black and white. One stunning scene, however, depicts the family saving their grape harvest from frost by “flying.”
I really wanted to love this film. Instead, I ended up just liking it.
What in the world was up with the roaming troubadours who always seemed to be at the family patriarch’s (Don Pedro’s Anthony Quinn) beck and call?
There was not a lot of food in the film besides grapes, chocolate, pumpkin flower soup, and wine. One scene stuck with me though as Don Pedro bonds with his new “grandson-in-law” over brandy, brandy he had made himself and aged for twenty-one years. This scene showed a wise old man giving the young Paul advice on love (while the ever present musical troupe accompanied his words).
Don Pedro’s Brandied Grapes
From the National Honey Board’s Brandied Green Grapes
1/3 c. local honey
1 t. fresh lemon juice
2 T. brandy (or cognac)
1 lb. seedless grapes (I used a mix of green and “black” seedless grapes.)
1/2 c. sour cream
Mix honey, lemon juice and brandy. Remove grapes from stems and add to honey mixture, stirring to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate several hours. Four hours before serving, add sour cream to grape mixture. Stir lightly. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Especially nice served in champagne glasses.
Quinn’s Don Pedro was a lovable character and he delivered a lot of charm to the film. I can imagine him relishing this dish with a good glass of his own well-aged brandy.
Even though there is only 2 T. of brandy in these grapes, they still pack a punch. These brandied grapes are a perfect spring dessert.
Thanks for hosting this month, Wendy.