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Running Time:
1 hour, 58 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for language and some sexual content

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A somewhat charmless Russell Crowe stars in an innocuous and ultimately forgettable movie.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Commentary by Ridley Scott; Making of A Good Year; Theatrical Trailer; Trailers.

A Good Year
Russell Crowe ("Gladiator") plays a rude, wealthy, London bond trader Max Skinner. In flashbacks to his younger years he's played sweetly by Freddie Highmore ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"). Those days he spent all his holidays in France with his eccentric Uncle Henry (Albert Finney "Big Fish"), swimming, learning about wine and generally having a good old time. But somehow they've lost touch, and Max has grown up and become Ruseell Crowe. He is surprised when he learns that Uncle Henry has died and left him the house and vineyard. Now all that Max cares about is money, so planning to sell the place he heads off to France, where the peasants are smiling and ride bikes with their baskets brimming with local produce. He doesn't really have any friends, although his cynical best friend and lawyer, Charlie (Tom Hollander "Pride & Prejudice") is happy to drink wine with him. Then an American girl, Christie Roberts (Abbie Cornish "One Perfect Day"), turns up claiming to be Uncle Henry's illegitimate daughter. Will Max, true to his cut-throat form, rob her of her rightful inheritance or do the right thing by her?

If you liked the novel "A Year In Provence," you'll probably like this too, because its written by Peter Mayle, an old friend of director Ridley Scott ("Gladiator"). As the plot would have it, Provence works its magic on Max's money-grubbing heart, and he gives everything up to become a poor vintner, except he doesn't really, He ends up as rich and smug and self-satisfied as he begins it. And this has to be Russell Crowe's worst performance. He probably had a grand time with his drinking and working buddy Ridley Scott, but he's not made for physical comedy, his accent wavers all over the place, and he's just not convincing as the confident, supposedly charming Max. But the locations are extraordinarily lovely and the cinematography captures them beautifully. If that's enough to entertain you, you might be satisfied. Otherwise wait for the DVD.

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