Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Good Year (2006)

Gladiator duo Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe re-team for this adaptation of author Peter Mayle's best-selling novel about a London-based investment banker who relocates to Provence in hopes of selling a small vineyard he has inherited from his recently-deceased uncle. As a child, Max Skinner (Freddie Highmore) was taught to appreciate the finer things in life while wandering the vineyard estate of his sophisticated uncle Henry (Albert Finney). Life has a strange way or turning out how you least expect it to though, and twenty-five years later Max (Russell Crowe) is now a prosperous money man wheeling and dealing in the cutthroat world of London business. When Max learns that Henry has recently passed away and that he has been named the sole beneficiary of his late uncle's modest estate, the keen businessman hastily arranges a flight to France in order to assess the value of the old property and get it prepped for sale. After Max arrives to find the vineyard in a crumbling state of disrepair, his troubles are further compounded by the stubbornness of gruff estate winemaker M. Duflot (Didier Bourdon) and the unexpected arrival of a determined California beauty named Christie (Abbie Cornish) who presents herself as a long-lost cousin while making a dubious claim to Henry's estate. Meanwhile, the overstressed Max reluctantly finds himself falling for local café owner and town siren Fanny (Marion Cotillard), whose formidable guard is quickly worn down by the smitten beneficiary. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

An excellent film all around. Enjoyed it twice and hope my wife will watch it with me also. It presents 5 "strong women" that shows depth of characters while plenty of romance within a sexy environment.

The feel of the film shows the stark contrast between life in London and a rural part of France without being too gimmicky. We all know how it should end but does keep us in suspense enough to make the small plot twist exciting when they happen.


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