A Good Year (PG-13)

Drama 118 November 10th, 2006
By Nathan Lee
Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) may be out a job, but all is not lost for our haute-bourgeois hero! A letter, lately delivered from a notary in Provence, bears news of an inheritance from his departed uncle Henry: the shabby-chic chateau where Max summered as a lad, vineyard, caretakers, and clichés included. Such is the setup of Peter Mayle's novel A Good Year, the perfect diversion for misogynistic investment bankers whose personal assistants neglected to pack the new issue of Vanity Fair in their Vuitton weekenders. Soon to be ignored at a multiplex near you, the film version arrives courtesy of screenwriter Marc Klein and that unsurpassed master of the effervescent romantic comedy, Sir Ridley Scott. And so pretty people do lovely things in picturesque locales rendered weirdly oppressive by the filmmaker, as Max struggles to enjoy the simple life. Scott can do mayhem, dystopia, and the rampaging alien (extraterrestrial, android, Somali, Demi Moore) with the best of them, but the breezy touch is not his forte.
Ridley Scott Russell Crowe, Albert Finney, Abbie Cornish, Marion Cotillard, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Didier Bourdon, Tom Hollander, Freddie Highmore, Aaron Eckhart, Isabelle Candelier Marc Klein, Peter Mayle Ridley Scott 20th Century Fox