Exclusive Interview, Ben Lyons
As E! News‘ film and movie critic, Ben Lyons is most often found giving his take on films, interviewing stars, or covering the red carpet, awards shows and film festivals. This week Ben has been going beyond merely offering his film picks for tomorrow’s Oscar showdown. That’s because this week Ben has been offering up his picks for movie night in, as part of a series on the reserveyournight.com blog where he pairs Oscar nominated movies and performances with a Yellow Tail Reserve wine matching its Oscar flavor.
We had the chance to chat with Ben this week, asking him about his movie and wine pairings. He dished on everything from his favorite wine to his favorite movie and who he thinks will walk away with the big win. Ben even dished on what wine may pick to join him after the Oscars on Sunday. Take a listen after the jump!
STELLA: As we all know, the Oscars are coming up this Sunday. You’ve been working with Yellow Tail, offering Oscar pics and pairing them with wines. Tell me a little bit about that and how that idea came about?
BEN: Well, we worked together last year in the fall talking about some of my all time favorite movies and pairing them with wine and I’ve always approached film in a, you know, fun and different way and it was really fun to work with them then. So, when it came time for the Oscars we were like, ‘Let’s do it again with all these best picture nominees!.’
It’s so cool this year because it’s 10 films, and it’s only the second year that they’ve done this and it’s really starting to grow on me. You know, you get a real nice, diverse slate of movies- from bio pics to big studio films to indies to animated films. So with the diverse group of movies we thought it would be great to do the whole pairing of movies and wines again; this time pairing with the Best Picture nominees. So, if you are in the mood for a big bold wine, a wine with a lot of flavor and intensity, I think something like a Shiraz goes nicely with The Fighter. Then you have something more complex, more intricate flavors, like a Cabernet, that goes nicely with Black Swan. So it’s really fun to compare these wines with the movies and you can go to Reserveyournight.com and check them all out there.
STELLA: You paired Cabernet Sauvignon with Black Swan, and you write in the blog that Black Swan is your favorite film of the year, is Cabernet your favorite wine too?
BEN: I am a Cabernet Sauvignon guy. I enjoy a Cabernet from Yellow Tail Reserve wine. Black Swan was one of my favorite movies of last year, I think that’s why they’re a nice pairing together. I think Natalie Portman gave the performance of the year. I remember when I walked out of seeing it at Toronto in September, I said to myself, “My God, I’m so lucky to be able to do what I do by seeing these kind of movies so early.” And it’s that she physically transforms herself. She creates this intense psychological profile. And you know, Cabernet is a complex wine. It’s got a lot of things going on. I think it’s a great pairing with Black Swan and it happens to also be one of my favorite wines, so it all just worked out.
STELLA: Since we’re on the subject of the Oscars, I have to ask what film do you think will walk away with the big win this year?
BEN: Well, The King’s Speech is nominated twelve times. It’s already won at the Producers Guild Awards- Tom Hooper for Best Director. I think Colin Firth is a shoe-in for Best Actor and I think the film will win Best Picture. Earlier on in the award’s season, and that’s what it’s become- a whole season, The Social Network was the toast of the town. It won the Globes, it won some of the early critic’s association awards, but recently with the win at the Producers Guild Awards, which is often an indicator of who goes on to win at the Oscars, The King’s Speech has come on strong. Harvey Weinstein produced the film and has a great track record of Oscar campaigns. I think it’s peaked at the right time, audiences are starting to find it. The film is appealing to not just older audiences, but young people are starting to see the film too. I think it’s The King’s Speech this year.
STELLA: Well, I have to ask, will you be celebrating the Oscars with wine this Sunday, if so what kind? Perhaps Cabernet?
BEN: I will be, you know, I have to work all day, but once the work is over I will be popping some bottles of Yellow Tail Reserve. I enjoy at dinner, as I’m getting older now, a three hour dinner is much more enjoyable to me than a night at a night club, so I will definitely be celebrating with Yellow Tail on Sunday.
STELLA: Well thank you again, so much for taking time to chat with me, and I am definitely going to take some of your suggestions into account as I cram for this Sunday’s Oscar ceremony!
BEN: I appreciate it, I hope you’ll enjoy the Oscars and try some of the [Yellow Tail] Reserve wine and Oscar pairings.
So, head on over to Reserveyournight.com and take a look at Ben’s film and wine pairings; try some out for yourself and let us know what you think! And look for The King’s Speech to walk away with the Best Picture win at tomorrow night’s Academy Awards!