A Good Year
A ruthless London stockbroker (Russell Crowe) inherits a French vineyard from an uncle he hasn’t seen in years (Albert Finney). At first he’s determined to sell the place off, but in time he begins to question his whole lifestyle. Written by Marc Klein (from Peter Mayle’s book) the movie starts out as pleasantly predictable, with nice Provençal scenery, but it bogs down in Ridley Scott’s sluggish direction, colorless performances from the supporting cast, and its own missed opportunities (e.g., wasting Crowe’s gift for comedy and giving him no scenes with Finney). The soundtrack songs are a constant irritant, mixing atrocious Europop with inappropriate U.S. oldies; what musical genius thought “Gotta Get Up” by Harry Nilsson or “Old Cape Cod” by Patti Page was the way to evoke the sunny south of France?