RR Films: Drinking

As if we didn’t love and respect him enough already, now comes the news that Mike Ashley held regular senior management meetings during lock-ins at the pub and would challenge subordinates to extreme drinking competitions. What a guy!

Anyway, it gives me a topic: films about drinking. It doesn’t have to be booze, I suppose, but…. I’ll start with a classic: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, in which Taylor and Burton are a magnificent pair of drunken beasts.

What films about or featuring drinking would you recommend?

37 thoughts on “RR Films: Drinking

  1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was the first film I thought of, closely followed by my nom, which is The Lost Weekend, starring Ray Milland. The film won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1946, with Milland getting the Best Actor award and Billy Wilder Best Director.

    Harrowing and uncompromising would be the best ways to describe the film.

  2. Oh, Leaving Las Vegas, definitely.
    That rare thing: a film of unrelenting misery that you’re happy to watch.

  3. I suppose the obvious choice would be “Barfly” with Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway, inspired (if that’s the word) by Charlie Bukowski’s life of debauchery. It’s a while since I last saw it but I remember thinking Rourke was pretty convincing in it. I suppose you could also argue that “Sideways” is about drinking but as I nommed it last week I’ll let that go. As for the best drunk ever portrayed on screen I think that would go to George Cole in Minder who, in at least 3 episodes, gives a masterly portrayal of a legless Englishman !

  4. I actually don’t think i’ve seen the classic films about alcoholism (few more i can think of that haven’t been mentioned yet) or the modern ones either. Maybe i find it too depressing, dunno. So i’ll go for The Verdict, which isn’t about alcoholism per se, but two of the main characters are alcoholics, and their drinking factors prominently in the film and their relationship.

    • Ace film.

      Would it be the World’s End if I suggest Withnail and I, again?

      And Mies tältä tähdeltä. An old b&w classic from Finland. There may be other Finnish movies with excessive alcohol intake at the heart of the plot. … Kahdeksan surmanluotia This is the scene where they get caught for brewing pontikka (Poitín / potcheen / poteen). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExdWbQelxLs It’s hard work being an alki in Finland.

  5. I read “Mothering Sunday” by Graham Swift this year and saw him speak at Cheltenham Book Festival last October. I was interested in his book “Last Orders” which won the Booker prize and was made into a film. It’s about a group of friends who travel to Kent to scatter the ashes of their departed mate – it involves various stops at pubs along the way. Very poignant.

    Another would be Cocktail – because who can resist a young Tom Cruise throwing bottles around?

    • That has made me laugh hard first thing in the morning! Thanks!
      I used to have to have a deep-seated dislike for Cruise; his smarmy manner and one dimensional delivery which was replicated in every film. To my recollection I’ve never paid to see any of his films. But I also have realised that when I watch his stuff on the TV I invariably am entertained, never pushed intellectually, but happily spend a mindless couple of hours being sucked into whatever nonsense he’s acting out. Hence the “irresistible.” There’s a space for Tom Cruise films.
      Whereas the other film is a gem of a tale…

        • Completely agree with the sentiment about losing yourself unchallenged in TC films.

          And in Sev’s point:
          I enjoyed Rain Man … because of Tom’s interaction with Dustin Hoffman.

          I enjoyed Knight & Day … because of Tom’s interaction with Cameron Diaz.

          I enjoyed Collateral … because of Tim’s interaction with Jamie Foxx.

          I even enjoyed Cocktail … because of Tom’s interaction with Bryan Brown.

          There’s a pattern emerging here!

    • I feel like being controversial today:

      Risky Business
      Born on the 4th of July
      Rain Man
      Minority Report
      Edge of Tomorrow
      Jerry Maguire
      The Color of Money
      A Few Good Men

      He may make lots of movies I dislike, be a pretty face, badly behaved, entitled and never challenge himself with his choice of acting roles, but I wish I was such a talent free zone.

      I guess he’s the Coldplay of the acting world.

  6. The first film I thought of (that wasn’t already taken) was the old Ealing comedy Whisky Galore.

    I just looked it up and had no idea that there had been a 2016 remake. The reviews don’t inspire much desire to go and see it, mind you.
    Eddie Izzard’s in it btw. I love his comedy and his acting is OK but he does seem to be in an awful lot of bad to mediocre films.

  7. The nudge that Sev’s Whisky Galore suggestion gave my brain cell has finally delivered The Angel’s Share, a fun (yes, really!) Ken Loach film about the art (ho ho) of whisky drinking.

    And no-one has mentioned a particular rabbit friend of James Stewart…..

  8. Ken Loach’s My Name is Joe is an absolutely devasting picture of a recovering alcoholic and his battle to stay off the booze. Peter Mullan is amazing in this life-affirming yet heartbreaking film. Not one i’d rush back and rewatch endlessly, but it blew me away when i first saw it.

  9. Just thought I’d mention another one that came to me just now. It was directed by Richard Jobson, (he of Skids’ fame) in 2003, was called “16 Years of Alcohol” and concerned his father, a violent alcoholic. As you can imagine it is not for the faint hearted and is probably best described as a Glaswegian version of Nil by Mouth !

  10. 35 shots of rum/35 Rhums, Claire Denis’ homage to Ozu’s Late Spring. Features consumption of said spirit in the aforementioned quantity.

    And a recent article with Ms. Binoche reminded me of Les Amants du Pont-Neuf, in which the protagonists drink themselves into a stupor, then suddenly shrink in size and find themselves rolling around next to people-sized empty bottles.

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