Review of “A Good Year” (2006) PG-13 114min
December 7th, 2007 by Maxim · No Comments · 3,459 Views
Oscar-winning director Ridley Scott (American Gangster, Numb3rs, Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Company, Tristan and Isolde, Orpheus, Kingdom of Heaven, Matchstick Men, Hostage, Black Hawk Down, Hannibal, Gladiator and many many more) directs this adaptation of Peter Mayle’s best-selling novel (screenplay by Marc Klein), following the romantic misadventures of an Englishman in Provence, France. After inheriting a French vineyard from his uncle Henry (Albert Finney), failed banker Maximilian Skinner (Russel Crowe) moves abroad, where he meats a pretty American woman (Abbie Cornish) who claims to be his long-lost cousin – and his uncle’s true hair. This presents a problem, since Max is trying to sell the house. And it’s not the only problem.
There’s plenty of pretty French women in this movie too, including Marion Cotillard. France is beautiful. Hey, I am saying that just after watching “Mr. Bean’s Holiday“, which was also full of nice landscapes of French riviera.
Very sentimental movie with frequent flashbacks into Max’s childhood in his uncle’s house. The more time Max spends in it, the more he becomes attached to the house. In the beginning he’s trying to resist this feeling and stay his former self: the win-at-all-cost soulless banker. But he falls in love again – with the place and the girl. The film is not particularly dramatic: all performances are very relaxed – and that’s how life is in a village – slow. Freddie Highmore plays Max as a boy. It’s a short role, but he had done a very good job. Freddie is a very talented young man who at his tender age has slready made a lot of movies: The Golden Compass, August Rush, Arthur and the Invisibles, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Finding Neverland and more. The flashbacks to the past to young Max are important for the plot: they show how Max was groomed for what he is in modern days and also adds something special to his relationship with the waitress.
It’s a movie about finding yourself, and about some places that can change your life.
This movie is very similar to “Under the Tuscan Sun”.
Seeing Max and the waitress on a date watch an old movie in an open-air theatre in the park brought a lot of good memories from the childhood.
DVD includes special full-length film commentary by Ridley Scott and screenwriter Marc Klein.
- “Well, make sure the buyers [of the property] don’t know anything about wine. We’ll concentrate on Americans”.
- Max passing a group of French bicyclists: “Lance Armstrong!”
- American tourists: “Do you speak American? We’d like to have the salad with French dressing… non-fat French dressing”.
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American | banker | based on novel | bicycle accident | chateau | cousin | deceit | eligitimate child | English | France | lawyer | love | Provence France | sunburn | swimming pool | wine | wine tasting