A Good Year is a Good Movie

A Good Year
Directed by Ridley Scott, Marc Klein (screenplay), Peter Mayle (novel)
Reviewed by Paxton Allewell

A couple weekends ago my roommate and I decided we'd go check out a movie. A Good Year appealed to me since it was a love story set in France, wine was a central part of the film, and I hadn’t seen a wine movie since Sideways.

I had my roommate check out the film’s website (www.agoodyear.com), which has great trailers and features, and his interest peeked. Then we checked out some reviews and they were absolutely terrible. Critics from RottenTomatoes.com give ‘A Good Year’ a 27% rating out of a 100%. On the same website, Sideways has a 96% rating. So the critics don’t seem to have anything against wine, “but why such a bad reviews then?” I thought. I couldn’t deny the sketchy reviews, and it became obvious that my roommate wouldn’t chance it. So we watched Stranger than Fiction, starring Will Farrell.

The next day, while browsing around Chapters, I said what the heck and decided to see what all the fuss was about. I popped into Paramount Movie Theatre next door, purchased my ticked for A Good Year and with high interest and low expectations I settled into my seat. I was pleasantly surprised as a good film unfolded before my eyes.

A Good Year is about a "famously callous" stockbroker Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) whose life changes after his Uncle Henry passes away. Max hadn’t kept in touch with his uncle for years because he had been so selfish, but due to Uncle Henry's death, Max inherits his chateau and vineyard in the South of France. Soon after he's informed, Max flies from London to his childhood home to fix it up with the intention of selling it. But in the process he starts to remember his “grand” childhood memories, rediscovers what life is all about, falls in love with the French beauty Fanny Chenal (Marion Cotillard) and decides to keep the priceless chateau.

A Good Year is a good film. It’s not a groundbreaking or Oscar-bound film, but it's a heart-warming and inspiring story that lets you refresh and re-examine future plans and goals. With some beautiful cinematography, wine talk and lively characters, the film promotes enjoying the simple life, family and friends. It's a great date movie, rental movie and/or at the very least check out the trailer on the film's website.

A Good Year was a Gala Presentation at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. And before that, A Good Year was only a book. To read an excerpt from Peter Mayle's best-selling book please visit: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780375705625&view=excerpt

Until Next Vine,