Good Year

Good Year

4.0 21
Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe, Albert Finney, Marion Cotillard


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Gladiator duo Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe re-team for this adaptation of author Peter Mayle's best-selling novel about a London-based investment banker who relocates to Provence in hopes of selling a small vineyard he has inherited from his recently deceased uncle. As a…  See more details below


Gladiator duo Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe re-team for this adaptation of author Peter Mayle's best-selling novel about a London-based investment banker who relocates to Provence in hopes of selling a small vineyard he has inherited from his recently deceased uncle. As a child, Max Skinner (Freddie Highmore) was taught to appreciate the finer things in life while wandering the vineyard estate of his sophisticated uncle Henry (Albert Finney). Life has a strange way or turning out how you least expect it to though, and 25 years later, Max (Russell Crowe) is now a prosperous moneyman wheeling and dealing in the cutthroat world of London business. When Max learns that Henry has recently passed away and that he has been named the sole beneficiary of his late uncle's modest estate, the keen businessman hastily arranges a flight to France in order to assess the value of the old property and get it prepped for sale. After Max arrives to find the vineyard in a crumbling state of disrepair, his troubles are further compounded by the stubbornness of gruff estate winemaker M. Duflot (Didier Bourdon) and the unexpected arrival of a determined California beauty named Christie (Abbie Cornish), who presents herself as a long-lost cousin while making a dubious claim to Henry's estate. Meanwhile, the overstressed Max reluctantly finds himself falling for local café owner and town siren Fanny (Marion Cotillard), whose formidable guard is quickly worn down by the smitten beneficiary.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A rapacious bond trader veers out of the fast lane and collides with love in this glossy dramatic comedy directed by Ridley Scott. Thematically and stylistically, A Good Year represents a departure for the acclaimed filmmaker, and even more so for leading man Russell Crowe. The Gladiator star plays the self-satisfied Max, a wealthy but not terribly well-liked Englishman who inherits a château in southern France when his uncle Henry (Albert Finney) dies. Intending to sell the property for a quick profit -- despite the objections of the uncle's longtime winemaker, Francis (Didier Bourdon), and the latter's wife, Ludivine (Isabelle Candelier) -- Max remains in Provence just long enough for the area to cast its spell upon him. Somewhat less bewitching is Maggie (Abbie Cornish), Henry's illegitimate daughter, whose arrival throws Max's inheritance into question under French law. The seriocomic complications pile up rapidly, and before long the self-satisfied Max gets rattled. Crowe plays him in a manner somewhat reminiscent of Cary Grant; with his smoothed, straightened hair and dorky glasses, he seems to be emulating the Grant of Bringing Up Baby. Comedy doesn't come easily to this famously intense actor, but for this film he's softened his persona considerably, and his romance with the enchanting Fanny (Marion Cotillard) perfectly befits the movie's beautiful location and generally lighthearted tone. While unmistakably airy and inconsequential for a Ridley Scott picture, A Good Year provides breezy entertainment and offers Crowe a welcome change of pace.
All Movie Guide
It's not entirely clear what director Ridley Scott and star Russell Crowe were trying to accomplish with A Good Year. If the frequent collaborators wanted to prove they were capable of making a sentimental comedy, they've done that well enough. But A Good Year is so different from their typical interests that it begs the question: what drew them to the project in the first place? Crowe plays a merciless British trader discovering his humanity among the vineyards and local color of Southern France, and he does so with his usual competence -- even showing a knack for physical comedy. But such a frivolous diversion, from two such serious heavyweights, feels even less substantial than it would in other hands, almost like they're slumming. As Crowe drives through the countryside in a comically small Smart car, needling French bicyclists by shouting out "Lance Armstrong!" and flipping them the bird, it seems like he and Scott are stealing pages from the playbooks of other broad culture-clash comedies, which audiences might have assumed were beneath them. They've made a perfectly decent addition to a genre in which "perfectly decent" is usually good enough. One good reason to see A Good Year is the charming performance by future Oscar winner Marion Cotillard as Crowe's love interest -- even though, it should be said, he doesn't do enough to deserve her, and her long disappearances from the narrative call into question screenwriter Marc Klein's structural instincts. While viewers will undoubtedly find themselves seduced by the marvelous French countryside, they shouldn't use that as a reason to over-praise this particular film's vintage.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Postcards From Provence behind-the-scenes experience; A feature-length hybrid of video featurettes and audio commentary by director/producer Ridley Scott and screenwriter Marc Klein; 3 Russell Crose music videos and more!

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Russell Crowe Max Skinner
Albert Finney Uncle Henry
Marion Cotillard Fanny Chenal
Abbie Cornish Christie Roberts
Didier Bourdon Francis Duflot
Tom Hollander Charlie Willis
Freddie Highmore Young Max
Isabelle Candelier Ludivine Duflot
Kenneth Cranham Sir Nigel
Archie Panjabi Gemma
Rafe Spall Kenny
Richard Coyle Amis
Ben Righton Trader #1
Patrick Kennedy Trader #2
Ali Rhodes 20-Something Beauty
Daniel Mays Bert the Doorman
Nila Aalia Newscaster #1
Stephen Hudson Newscaster #2
Giannina Facio Maitre D'
Lionel Briand Rental Car Employee
Maria Papas Gemma's Friend
Igor Panich Russian Couple #1
Oleg Sosnovikov Russian Couple #2
Magalie Woch Secretary
Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi Nathalie Auzet
Jacques Herlin Papa Duflot
Catriona MacColl English Couple #1
Patrick Payet English Couple #2
Felicite du Jeu Hostess
Mitchell Mullen American Customer #1
Judi Dickerson American Customer #2
Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus Oenologue
Philippe Mery Chateau Buyers
Dominique Laurent Chateau Buyers
Stewart Wright Broker #1
Tom Stuart Broker #2
Catherine Vinatier Fanny's Mother
Marine Casto Young Fanny
Gregg Chillin Hip Hopper #1
Toney Tutini Hip Hopper #2
Philippe Bergeron Voice Actor
Edita Brychta Voice Actor
Helene Cardona Voice Actor
Jean-Louis Darville Voice Actor
Neil Dickson Voice Actor
Jean Gilpin Voice Actor
Nicholas Guest Voice Actor
Patrick Hillan Voice Actor
Frank Isles Voice Actor
Peter Lavin Voice Actor
Caitlin McKenna-Wilkinson Voice Actor
Paula Jane Newman Voice Actor
Moira Quirk Voice Actor
Valeria Milenka Repnau Voice Actor
Darren Richardson Voice Actor
Jean-Michael Richaud Voice Actor
Samantha Jane Robson Voice Actor
Ian Ruskin Voice Actor
Linda Sans Voice Actor
Bruno Stephane Voice Actor
Karen Strassman Voice Actor
Jean-Paul Vignon Voice Actor
Craig Young Voice Actor
Nick Ingman Conductor

Technical Credits
Ridley Scott Director,Producer
Caroline Bouffard Stunts
Pascale Bouguiere Makeup
Antoinette Boulat Casting
Alexis Boutiere Stunts
Michael Castellano Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Cowper Art Director
Dody Dorn Editor
Lisa Ellzey Executive Producer
Frederick Evard Art Director
David Forax Stunts
Bruce Fowler Score Composer
Alain Gaudiard Stunts
Doug Hemphill Sound Mixer
Raffaella Iorio Makeup
Jina Jay Casting
Sonja Klaus Production Designer
Marc Klein Screenwriter
Melissa Lackersteen Makeup
Philippe Lesourd Cinematographer
Catherine Leterrier Costumes/Costume Designer
Branko Lustig Executive Producer
Jules Madi Stunts
Paul Massey Sound Mixer
Jean-Paul Mugel Sound/Sound Designer
David Oliver Stunts
David Oliver Stunts
Julie Payne Executive Producer
Darin John Rivetti Asst. Director
Alessandra Sampaolo Makeup
Marc Streitenfeld Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Robb Sullivan Editor
Erin Upson Co-producer
Carla Vicenzino Makeup
Steven Warner Special Effects Supervisor
Joerg Widmer Camera Operator
Kzenia Zarouba Stunts

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- A Good Year
1. Main Titles [2:50]
2. Timing [3:24]
3. Toast of the Town [5:10]
4. France and a Little Car [2:56]
5. Uncle Henry's Estate [7:04]
6. Meeting the Notaire [2:46]
7. Stuck in the Pool [5:37]
8. A Forced Holiday [2:31]
9. 72 Hours [4:01]
10. Christie Roberts [5:11]
11. Enjoying Himself [2:33]
12. Memories [4:11]
13. Fanny Chenal [5:32]
14. Henry's Spirit [2:11]
15. Dinner With the Duflots [3:54]
16. Testing the Vines [2:45]
17. Charlie Arrives [5:41]
18. Two Untrusting Souls [2:27]
19. To Sell or Not to Sell [1:46]
20. Saying Goodbye [2:03]
21. A Fabricated Truth [3:11]
22. The Offer [2:55]
23. Choosing Love [4:12]
24. End Titles [6:04]


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A Good Year 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Peter Mayle's popular novel 'A Year in Provence' has been transferred to the screen by screenwriter Marc Klein under the odd direction of Ridley Scott, best known for such films as 'Hannibal', 'Gladiator', 'Matchstick Men', 'Thelma and Louise', 'Black Hawk Down', 'Blade Runner' etc. and the result may surprise many viewers. No, this is not a shocker of a film but rather a too familiar tale of a man obsessed with making money who inherits a vineyard and chateau in Provence from the uncle that served as his family as a child and in returning to the old estate, finds the earth and his memories too long buried about how he loved the space of arrested time of his childhood. The man is British financial wizard Max Skinner (Russell Crowe in a very subdued performance) who as a young bright lad (Freddie Highmore) lived with Uncle Henry Skinner (Albert Finney), learning the ins and outs of growing grapes and making wine. Max returns to the chateau after Uncle Henry's death with all intentions of polishing up the neglected place to place on the market to make yet more money. The live-in couple who maintain the place (Francis Duflot - Didier Bourdon - and his wife Ludivine - Isabelle Candelier) challenge Max's decision to sell the place, hiding some secrets about the vintages that will eventually alter the course of the story. Max slowly falls in love with his memories of his childhood, reconnecting with his love for his uncle, discovering a young beauty Fanny (Marion Cotillard) who owns a bistro and was actually a childhood 'friend' to Max, and also discovering that the philandering uncle had an illegitimate daughter Christie (Abbie Cornish) who visits the chateau to get to know who her father was (bringing along a deep knowledge of winemaking from California's Napa Valley!). The film is then a struggle between Max's obsession with money as abetted by his home coworkers Gemma (Archie Panjabi) and Charlie (Tom Hollander) and his changing need and love for the life and memories bound tightly to his Provence chateau. How it all works out is the relaxing if predictable finale of the story. The cast is attractive (including even a bit part for the beautiful and talented Valeria Bruni Tedeschi!) and seem to meld with Ridley Scott's concept of offering a little fluff of French dessert. It is light in vein but beautiful to look at and it is interesting to see Scott and Crowe together in a non-violent venture! Grady Harp
Guest More than 1 year ago
Where Mayle's writing is simply fun and entertaining to read, the film version is beautiful to watch. The humor is still where it should be with just as much gravity and depth to make you really care about the fate of the characters in Max's world. I read the book before going to France and saw the film after I returned. Both are a thrill if you love Europe and especially France.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I did like this movie very much, however, I wouldn't say it was great. The acting was good, the story was cute. It didn't drag like some movies do. But, there wasn't really anything that stood out about it. If you are looking for a cute, sweet movie to watch then I recommend A Good Year. If you're looking for a fantastic movie to always remember, I don't recommend A Good Year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love everything that Russell Crowe does, and this film is no different. O.K. it's not the big blockbuster that everyone is used to seeing him in. But it's still good. I enjoyed the first time almost as much as the fifth. :"
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the first watching to the fifth, this movie has given me the desire to travel to Provence. I thought it was an excellant movie. None of the violance and bad language that most film makers seem to think it takes to make a good movie. I plan on watching the movie many more times. It's a great addition to my collection as well as the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An uneven, perhaps predictable, yet likeable movie. Russell Crowe doesn't command the ship that slays the gladiators and gets shot in the jaw saving the good guy in LA. Instead, there's a vineyard. A lovely French landscape. A pretty French woman "okay, so pretty is an understatement". And a lot of conventional Hollywood romance. So, relax. Enjoy. Smile. "A Good Year" is kinda charming, and it has nice rhythms.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband and I loved this movie! The scenery, the music, the cast, the romance...pooh pooh on the naysayers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who doesn't enjoy watching the evolution of a character. Province is a beautiful backdrop to a charming story. Russell Crowe did a good job, better then I expected. I would compare it to &amp quot Under the Tuscan Sun&amp quot or the more recent &amp quot Mama Mia&amp quot where the location is a co-star, and provides a mini vacation for the mind.
Obscure More than 1 year ago
A beautiful film, full of passion. The movie soundtrack is also very fun, and upbeat. Russel Crowe shows a very silly part of himself. He is perfect for the role!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who knew Russell Crowe had such great comedic timing? This movie is smart, witty, very romantic, with luscious French scenery. Gorgeous cinematography. Great chick flick. (In fact, every woman I've ever lent or given this movie to has ended up watching it multiple times and buying it for herself or a friend.) Marion Cotillard is delicious and all the supporting cast members create full, endearing characters. Big treat. Big smiles.
Gumbosmom More than 1 year ago
There is a sub-plot in this movie that many miss. Max Skinner's entire life is controlled by strong-willed women. From his admin assistant, Gemma, to his uncle's lawyer, the chateau's housekeeper, his cousin, and then finally, Fanny - his love-interest - all are confident accomplished women who greatly influence Max's decisions and life. Great movie. Lovely scenery. Grat casting.
BlufftonJD More than 1 year ago
Nice for the travelogue.
JennyPenny1 More than 1 year ago
I was most disappointed in the movie because it rarely followed the book. The missed opportunity is when the screenwriters chose to manipulate the story and make Max an arrogant, greedy, self-centered jackass. His character isn't supposed to be running from his mistakes, he's supposed to be solving the mystery of who makes and controls the beautiful boutique wine from his vineyard, not the swill that it supposedly produces.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great cast, storyline and setting in beautiful Provence. It makes me want to retire there. I have watched this movie over and over. Freddie highmore who plays the young Max Skinner is a real favorite of mine with great acting ability for one so young. If you liked this movie then take a look at August Rush.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good the first time watched. Gets better with each viewing. Is now one of our favorites. A warming love story of Provence and a man's salvation by re-discovering his roots (and a beautiful girl) in the South of France.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm genuinely surprised to read so many positive reviews of this movie. The plot is flat and predictable, the acting dull and lifeless. It was everything I could do to finish this one, and I only managed that because I figured I had paid for it, so I may as well see if it was going to get better...but it doesn't. Definitely glad I rented this and didn't spend more money to see it in a theater.