Before the release of A GOOD YEAR in 2006, Hollywood’s noted filmmaker Ridley Scott was mostly known for his action flicks including Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Gladiator (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001), Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and some other. However, A Good Year was totally a surprise as it was of a different genre, a soft romantic comedy film.
Nevertheless, it was also easy for him as he had none other than the gladiator Russell Crowe in the lead. It is all the more a feel-good movie that rests on the life of leisure in the countryside over the fast-paced metropolitan way of life.
A Good Year starts with a London-based investment expert and stock trader Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) who arrives in the countryside Provence (in France) with an interest to sell a small, yet rich, vineyard he has inherited from his recently deceased uncle.
Taking time off from his busy professional schedule when he arrives at the place, he somehow gets reminded about his past and his uncle’s deep interest in making the finest French wine.
Although he had planned to meet a couple of buyers and sell the property the earliest before going back to his usual work, he somehow missed his flight and was forced to stay at his uncle’s old house re-living his fond childhood memories and getting in touch with the very smallest things that certainly matters in a happier life.
A Good Year, which is based on Peter Mayle’s 2004 novel with the same name, has no such surprising elements of charm and is highly predictable, yet pretty much pleasing. While we must feel the blandness in the script that has not much humor or engaging narration, the plot and performance make it easy to watch.
Moreover, director Scott very nicely brings in the romantic and family angle to the story without making any such conflict. The film somehow tempts us to think and realize the value of simple things in our lives. The story is simple yet the message is clear on the very essence of life and the need to move away from selfishness and greed.
A Good Year – Movie Trailer
Cast: Russell Crowe, Freddie Highmore, Albert Finney, Marion Cotillard, Didier Bourdon, Abbie Cornish, Tom Hollander
Directed by Ridley Scott
Screenplay by Marc Klein
Based on A Good Year by Peter Mayle
Music by Marc Streitenfeld
Release Date/Year: 27 October 2006 (UK); 10 November 2006 (US)