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Movie,Wine

A Good Year ~ A Great Movie

When a Wine Country Movie is Needed

IMAGE: LuxInteriorDesigns.com Website.

Failed London banker Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) inherits his uncle’s (Albert Finney) vineyard.

LOCATION: Uncle Henry’s Chateau La Siroque is actually Chateau La Canorgue, which is set in the Provence region, Luberon, France.

I loved this movie, because it’s written about our wine lifestyle, A Good Year (written by Peter Mayle and directed by Ridley Scott) has really struck me. It’s worth sharing, in case you’ve not seen it yet.

Maybe because it was set in Europe (London and Provence), and pulled on my European British and French DNA, that it’s swept me away. I cannot tell you why I’ve been just watching it over and over again, but I’m presently hung up on it. I love the bustle of London, I love the lessons in the vines.

IMAGE: © 20th Century Fox

I adore the lessons taught by Uncle Henry to master Max; a precocious child who tries to out-fox the fox, but that’s impossible. Lessons in humanity are taught through interactive sports between the Uncle and Max, very important ones that every young man should learn from an involved senior; the critical ones that can – and mostly do – cause paradigm shifts at some turning point in life.

Displacing a magical childhood, Maximilian is brought back to Uncle Henry’s old chateau. Losing his Uncle in this life, he finds him again in his heart. He also returns to the family that lovingly shared in the caring for Max through Uncle Henry’s vines… The vigneron and his French country wife.

I’ve seen so many people in wine country that could have played the part of vigneron in real life. The vineyards I’ve been in… mountains sides, valley floors, knolls in a hillside, caves filled with glorious wine… I’ve walked that every day for the last 19 years, and this movie just speaks to all of it.

I can only imagine having been there to see shadows cast on the chateau’s walls in last afternoon, because I’ve been there so many times. It was all just so familiar and even comforting.

Seeing guys who think they know a lot about wine, but they just know the right things to say… sorta… I love the comedic side of that. Knowing the underside of stones in a vineyard, understanding each jewel, laughing at M. Duflot, as he subtly underscores the importance of his rocky vineyard, like my grandfather used to guard his fishing hole and blueberry patch.

IMAGE: LuxInteriorDesigns.com Website.

And the love affair that was set into motion before these two characters even came into life… Their DNA united and reunited them.

If you haven’t yet seen this movie, you can join me in just discovering it. I was under a rock for a while about it, because it came out in 2006. My daughter Melanie did tell me about it, but even that escaped me.

It’s not a blockbuster. It hasn’t made a billion dollars yet. It doesn’t have enough violence, lewd sex, and all that Hollywood razzle dazzle, thankfully. It’s just a delightful movie that’s got lots of heart and soul, set in wine county… My cup of tea these days.

A few characters:

  • Albert Finney as Uncle Henry
  • Freddie Highmore as Young Max Skinner
  • Russell Crowe as Max Skinner
  • Marion Cotillard as Fanny Chenal
  • Abbie Cornish as Christie Roberts
  • Didier Bourdon as Francis Duflot
  • Isabelle Candelier as Ludivine Duflot

This link is soundtrack music that will transports you into the movie, which I listened to while writing this.

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6 Responses to “A Good Year ~ A Great Movie”

  1. Ray Krause says:

    I liked the movie but made the mistake of reading the book first. Great detail in the book.
    Thanks for reminding me to watch the movie again.

  2. Ray Krause says:

    I made the mistake of reading the book first,

  3. Jo Diaz says:

    That’s funny, not funny, Ray. An hour and a half for a film is never going to do justice to the eloquence of the original, written story, huh?

  4. Jo Diaz says:

    I think I’ve watched this movie for 20 times. It has more to do with the environment, lighting, filtered light, etc. And then, there are the bicyclists, tongue in cheek…

  5. Kurt Burris says:

    I loved the movie, but I think a subplot about the quality of the wine was left on the cutting room floor. If I remember correctly, it seems there were some brilliant bottles in that cellar, but most of the production was plonk. Minor detail, but this IS a wine blog. Cheers

  6. Jo Diaz says:

    Yes, Kurt, I did manage to work that out, after the first 12 views… (Exaggeration)

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