A story that focuses on the problematic relationship between Paul Marseul, owner of a prestigious vineyard in Saint Emilion and his son, Martin, who works with him on the family estate. ... See full summary »
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A story that focuses on the problematic relationship between Paul Marseul, owner of a prestigious vineyard in Saint Emilion and his son, Martin, who works with him on the family estate. Paul is a demanding and passionate wine-maker but is a domineering father. He is not happy that his son may one day succeed him. He dreams of a son who is more talented, more charismatic . . . and more in line with his own aspirations. Things deteriorate as Paul's trusted manager Francois is dying of cancer. When Francois' son Philip, also in the wine business, returns from California to look after his father, Paul sees Philip as his ideal son and turns away from his own flesh and blood. Written by
The lead is a distinctive actor with all the subtlety of the script in this role. The poor beleaguered son is so unsure of his place in the world that his masochism in remaining in his father's universe is barely believable...though his behavior begs for more beatings of a psychological kind. The loyal wife of the junior loves him for reasons unknown to the viewer; under the sheets, perhaps? The once (1960-70) disco scene is resurrected here to hardly any purpose. The manager of the vineyard, dying of cancer, gets the best draw of script which he fulfills with professionalism and dignity, and his practical and loyal wife plays her role beautifully. As to the prodigal would be son, an insensitive cad and gainer well played here. The logic of the script is minimal and the resolution more abrupt and fevered than what precedes it logically allows. Beautiful shots of the vineyard. All in all, this vintage is pas mal but no chapeau.
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