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This is the story of the Charles Heidsieck who opened the market for Champagne sales in America just prior to the American Civil War. He is a reluctant French spy and is captured and spends time in a Union prison. There are two parallel love stories (he is French) and some battles with his uncle for control of the family vineyard (because his father married his mother who the uncle also loved). Written by
We bought this film as an inexpensive DVD here in Denmark mainly on the strength of Hugh Grant's name in the leading role.
When I looked here I saw, to my surprise, that no one has yet reviewed the film. Now that I have seen the film I know why.
This is an "Official" (that is what it says in the titles) Canadian-French co-production mini series in two parts. It is a biopic which tells the story of the Charles Heidsieck who opened the market for Champagne sales in America just prior to the American Civil War. He became known in America as Champagne Charlie. The film tells this story very slowly and in excruciating detail. Many of the actors are dubbed and/or are not very good actors or they are poorly directed by a director who has mainly some episodes of Star Trek and Stargate to his credit. Hugh Grant has a variety of accents during the film and a very narrow range of emotions to portray. He was apparently neither suited nor comfortable in this limited role. It is also a few years before Sense and Sensibility and Four Weddings and a Funeral, so he made up for this lapse with quite a vengeance later.
Alexandra Stewart, who has been in many a good film of directors like Truffaut, is seen hovering in the background in many scenes. I don't think she has a word of real dialog in the entire film. sic transit gloria mundi
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