With DeNiro, is the medium the message?

Was Robert DeNiro sending a message, albeit a mixed one, in “Everybody’s Fine”?

The film — the story of a man trying to build connections to his grown children whose only connection with him had been through his late wife — includes a scene (shown above) in which DeNiro’s character is shopping at a local supermarket for wine.

The problem with that? His character lives in Elmira, NY, where, as we all know, it would not be legal to sell wine in markets because the state currently prohibits it.

Perhaps the actor, who also has/had interests in several New York City restaurants (Nobu, Tribeca Grille, Locanda Verdi), was making a point about what he thought the availability of wine should be.

Then again, when he asks a supermarket employee if he was knowledgeable about wine, the actor E.J. Carroll replies, "I stock the shelves." He goes on to explain "We have English wine from France ... and Italian wines from all over Europe."

That could be read as a message about the lack of knowledge we might have to confront if wine sales were expanded beyond their current venues -- wine and spirits shops only.

Was art imitating life, or what the moviemakers think life should be?

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