Niki Caro directed this romantic drama from New Zealand, adapted from Peter Wells' story, Of Memory & Desire, about the doomed affair of a Japanese couple on their honeymoon in New Zealand.... See full summary »
!800s, Napoleonic era. Sobran Jodeau (Jérémie Renier) is an ambitious young peasant winemaker. He has three loves of his life - his beautiful wife Celeste (Keisha Castle-Hughes), the proudly intellectual baroness Aurora de Valday (Vera Farmiga) and Xas (Gaspard Ulliel), a male angel who strikes up one day each year but enduring friendship that borders on eroticism with him. Under Xas' guidance, Sobran is forced to fathom the nature of love and belief and in the process grapples with the sensual, the sacred and the profane - in pursuit of the perfect vintage. Written by
It's 19th century France. Sobran Jodeau is a peasant working for a château winemaker. He wants to make more than peasant wine. During one drunken night, he is rescued by angel Xas who offers him special seeds in exchange for meeting him one night every year for the rest of his life. Sobran marries Celeste (Keisha Castle-Hughes) and starts a family. The Chateau's Baroness Aurora de Valday (Vera Farmiga) returns from Paris. It's a fable of love, passion, and wine.
Niki Caro, who wrote and directed 'Whale Rider', has created a melodrama about French vine during the Napoleanic age. It's a bit of a grind. It's long and melodramatic like an old romance novel. It does go off in unexpected directions. The passion for the vines do come through the screen. Jérémie Renier has a shiftiness that is unappealing and distracts from the assumed passion from Sobran. His European accent don't match either Vera or Keisha. Keisha is underused and is no more than a face. Another lead could tie the whole movie together. This movie struggles to find solid ground but I do like the wine making.
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