Five Memorable Films by Randall Miller
[Alt Text: Bill Pullman, Jody Savin, and Randy Miller from Bottle Shock (courtesy of Shocking Bottle).]
Randall Miller, a longtime director, is known for his off-kilter comedic style and character-driven films. As someone who has directed mainstream, big-budget Hollywood movies as well as a number of independent films, Miller only takes on projects that communicate a deeper meaning and will resonate with audiences all around the world.
“I create films with heart,” said Miller. “I want people to be able to relate to my films and find the meaning in them.”
In honor of Miller’s career, let’s take a look back at some of his most acclaimed projects.
“Bottle Shock” stars Alan Rickman as a snooty British sommelier who comes to California wine country in the 1970s to discover what all the buzz is about. The industry in California is young, and the wine business remains very snobby about the superiority of French wines. However, with Rickman on their side, a father and son winemaking team, played respectively by Bill Pullman and Chris Pine, proves the snobs wrong. This feel-good film with a rocking 1970s soundtrack is a beloved tale of the events that put Napa wines on the map.
Another collaboration with Alan Rickman, “CBGB” catalogues the rise of the famous punk rock venue in 1970s New York. Like “Bottle Shock,” the film is about an underdog going against the odds and coming out on top. For any music connoisseur, this film is a must-see.
“Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School”
“Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School” stars an amazing cast – Marisa Tomei, Robert Carlyle, John Goodman, Mary Steenburgen, and Danny DeVito – in a touching film about love and loss. The movie follows widower Frank (Carlyle) who helps Steve (Goodman) fulfill his dying wish to reunite with a former love interest, Marienne (Steenburgen). At the same time, Carlyle finds his own love: Meredith (Tomei). This love story will have you crying and rooting for the characters simultaneously.
This dark comedy is a third Rickman-Miller collaboration. In it, Rickman plays Eli Michaelson, a Nobel Prize winner who receives the award’s handsome payout. However, everything goes wrong when a criminal kidnaps his son and holds him for ransom for the prize money. This dysfunctional family is put to the test when everything is on the line. “Rickman was always brilliant to work with, and Jody and I miss him dearly,” said Miller. “’Nobel Son’ was some of the best work of his career.”
Miller’s first film was a prince-and-pauper tale of switched identity. The film stars Kid N Play in this absurdist take on a high school comedy romp. Still in his twenties, Miller made his first film for Warner Bros. The film is a love letter to the steady diet of great John Hughes films he grew up on. Several times over the years, he has been approached about a remake.