Release Date: November 10th, 2006 by 20th Century Fox.
The Cast: Russell Crowe, Albert Finney, Marion Cotillard, Abbie Cornish, Tom Hollander, Freddie Highmore, Didier Bourdon, Isabelle Candelier, Archie Panjabi, Richard Coyle, Rafe Spall,Valeria Bruni Tedeschi.
Directed by Ridley Scott.
Interview with Ridley Scott
BASIC PREMISE: Max Skinner (Russell Crowe), a London bonds trader, visits the wine country of Provence, France to sell a vineyard he recently inherited from his recently deceased uncle, Henry (Albert Finney).
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: A Good Year has a formulaic plot (Under the Tuscan Sun meets Sideways) yet still manages to be mildly entertaining thanks its likeable, charming characters. Russell Crowe gives a much more laid-back performance as Max Skinner, a London bonds trader who learns a lot about slow-paced life when he takes a long vacation in the French countryside while trying to sell his inherited vineyard. This vineyard in Provence, France includes a beautiful chateau. Throughout the clichéd second act, Max meets the friendly winemaker (Bourdon) with his cute dog, Tati, and his wife (Candelier). He manages to flirt with a beautiful local woman, Fanny (Cotillard), who plays hard-to-get, but not for long. In a contrived, distracting subplot, Christie, played by the sexy Abbie Cornish, visits the chateau claiming to be the daughter of Henry, her recently-deceased biological father who recently died. Because Henry spent so much of his life in the tending chateau and its vineyard, none of the locals want Max to sell it to a different family. The over-arching question is: Will Max sacrifice profit and fall in love with his inheritance? By the predictable third act, the answer to that question doesn’t allow for any suspense or surprises. At least director Ridley Scott adds a light, breezy atmosphere with plenty of eye candy by celebrating the breathtaking nature of Provence, France as if this were a beautiful travelogue.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None, other than the importance of taking a relaxing vacation away from the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Often clichéd.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
IN A NUTSHELL: Light, breezy and all-around charming although often clichéd.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (2nd Run)
The "G" Menu