"London-based investment expert Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) travels to Provence to tend a small vineyard he inherited from his late uncle. When he gets suspended from his job under suspicion of fraud, he settles into life at the chateau, remembering the time he spent there as a child. Then a determined young California girl (Abbie Cornish) arrives claiming to be the illegitimate daughter of the deceased uncle and rightful owner of the vineyard."
|Albert Finney and Freddie Highmore|
Max decides early on that if he fixes the place up a bit, he might just be able to make a nice profit off selling the chateau and vineyards and spends most of the movie working to that end. But, as you've probably already surmised, he begins to grow fond of the chateau's quirky staff, the beauty of the land, and the ease of the lifestyle. Every where Max looks, he is reminded of the time he spent with his uncle, the lessons he learned, and the joy that he found there. Despite a rocky start, Max is also smitten with the gorgeous Fanny (Marion Cotillard), which just might make it even harder to sell the place.
Oh sure, it's fairly predictable and Crowe makes no attempt whatsoever to trade in his Australian accent for a British accent. But both of us (The Big Guy and I) found the movie charming, although he would have liked to see a bit more of Finney. It's the kind of movie that, if I were flipping channels and came across it, I would watch again and enjoy. We would both recommend "A Good Year."
That young boy pictured above? Is he looking familiar? For some strange reason, I immediately remembered him as Pete Llewellyn from "Finding Neverland" (another movie we would both recommend, starring Johnny Depp as J.M. Barrie and Kate Winslet as the mother of the boys who ostensibly inspired Peter Pan). You'll probably remember him best, as did The Big Guy, as Charlie Bucket from 2005's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (also, of course, starring Depp).