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211 user 147 critic

A Good Year (2006)

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A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.

Director:

Ridley Scott

Writers:

Marc Klein (screenplay), Peter Mayle (novel)
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Popularity
2,233 ( 20)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Freddie Highmore ... Young Max
Albert Finney ... Uncle Henry
Russell Crowe ... Max Skinner
Rafe Spall ... Kenny
Archie Panjabi ... Gemma
Richard Coyle ... Amis
Ben Righton Ben Righton ... Trader #1
Patrick Kennedy ... Trader #2
Ali Rhodes Ali Rhodes ... 20-Something Beauty
Daniel Mays ... Bert the Doorman
Nila Aalia Nila Aalia ... Newscaster #1
Stephen Hudson Stephen Hudson ... Newscaster #2
Giannina Facio ... Maitre D'
Tom Hollander ... Charlie Willis
Lionel Briand Lionel Briand ... Rental Car Employee
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Storyline

After years of no contact with his Uncle Henry, London banker and bond trader Max Skinner learns that Henry has died intestate, so Max inherits a château and vineyard in Provence. Max spent part of his childhood there, learning maxims and how to win and lose, and honing his killer instinct (at chess, which serves him well in finance). Max goes to France intent on selling the property. He spends a few days there, getting the property ready to show. Memories, a beautiful woman, and a young American who says she's Henry's illegitimate daughter interrupt his plans. Did Max the boy know things that Max the man has forgotten? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes it takes a change of scenery to have a change of heart. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | French | Russian

Release Date:

10 November 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un buen año See more »

Filming Locations:

Cucuron, Vaucluse, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£376,962 (United Kingdom), 29 October 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,721,526, 12 November 2006, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$7,458,269, 21 January 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The line that Max says while floating in the pool (as it is filling), "What is it, Major Lawrence that attracts you personally to the desert?....It's clean." This is from the classic film, Lawrence of Arabia. Ridley Scott has another Lawrence of Arabia reference in his film, Prometheus, in which Michael Fassbender's character, David, seems to have an affinity for. See more »

Goofs

When Christie Roberts finds the scorpions in her window in the morning, Madame Duflot races to her aid with a whisk broom. When she gets there, she starts hitting the scorpions with a fly swatter. See more »

Quotes

Max Skinner: [points to his shirt] Fred Perry.
Francis Duflot: [points to his cap] René Lacoste.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Honest Trailers: Gladiator (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Itsy Bitsy Petit Bikini
Written by Lee Pockriss and Paul Vance
Performed by Richard Anthony
Courtesy of EMI Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Very enjoyable - ignore the reviews!
5 November 2006 | by sarum100See all my reviews

This is definitely the first time I have gone to see an Russell Crowe and/or Ridley Scott film at the cinema, fully bracing myself to be disappointed and...

I am very pleased to be able to say that I enjoyed it thoroughly. It has a very warming glow to it - beautifully played; gorgeously shot. Anyone who isn't just a little bit seduced by Provence after seeing it needs their head (or more likely their heart) examining. The lessons may well have been taught in a hundred films before, but that doesn't make them any less relevant or resonant for the commercial era in which many of us now live...

So, why the terrible reviews? I really don't know. The comedy was not overplayed in the way implied by the critics at all. To be blunt, it was not really necessary, as the warmth and effectiveness of the film and story lies in the romantic drama. The comedy is fine, but doesn't really add anything to the film. However, it does give it a very upbeat, cheerful and likable feel and maybe that is reason enough.

Max's character and Russell Crowe's performance? It's in the quieter moments where Crowe really excels and shows just why someone would want to cast him, as opposed to say Hugh Grant, in a film like this. His reactions to memories and the things that other characters do and say are just so much deeper and more real than Grant is capable of: which is why Grant always comes off as the same character in these films (a variation on the Grant formula) and Max comes off as real.

It almost seems as though the critics have a film with this plot pegged into a box: because they can only see (and can only expect to see) a Hugh Grant characterisation, they cannot accept anything other than a Hugh Grant characterisation. Whereas the actual reason that Crowe doesn't come off as Hugh Grant is because he isn't channelling that kind of characterisation at all. This is a very different kind of film.

Also, the critics seem to be completely off the mark in assessing the character, when they say that he starts off a bastard and ends a bastard too. Actually, this is far more about unearthing other qualities - not completely rejecting those 'bastard' qualities that he begins the film with, but refining and diluting them, as he becomes more and more adjusted to his past. He doesn't change, he opens his heart and mind to qualities that he has been ignoring within himself. You can see that other Max from the moment he opens the letter telling him Henry is dead - but he tries to resist the feelings that are clearly there, in large part because he doesn't want to face the fact that he has let his Uncle down - and all of the guilt that is allied with that.

The film is not the best film I have ever seen. The questions it asks are fairly fundamental, but they aren't startling or especially thought provoking.

But the film is highly enjoyable, from start to finish; and it's warm, something that is pretty rare in films these days.

So, to end, clearly I am not in tune with the critics - but then, increasingly that seems to be the case nowadays. I just think that I see completely different films to them...


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