Max Skinner is a British investment broker who takes no prisoners and is generally not the nicest of men, when he inherits his uncle’s chateau and vineyard in Provence where he spent most of his childhood the memories return when he travels across with the renovate the estate in order to sell it.
In life as we get older we often forget the childhood memories that we once had and those things that are dear to us, we change as different situations shape our new personality and negative experiences can often destroy and break you down. I felt that A Good Year was a great example of that type of thing happening, Max was a rather nice child and adored his Uncle Henry, but they had not spoken for many years and upon his death the will had never been changed and because Max was his closest living relative he inherited everything.
The last thing he wanted to do was travel to France as some big deals had just gone down within his firm, but he has to travel to sort everything out. With Gemma constantly on the phone to him helping him in all aspects of his life as well as work. On arrival to the estate we are shown flashbacks to happier memories and times. Something Max was not expecting was Christie Roberts arriving from the USA and declaring that Henry was in fact her father, something that could complicate the sale! He is also drawn towards Fanny Chenal who works as a waitress in a restaurant.
I enjoyed the film but I was expecting to totally love it given the genre of romance, drama and comedy all mashed together. It works very well though and has a good balance of all three aspects, the comedy was done in the best possible manner and that is always such a good thing. Even though Max was not the nicest of people I actually liked him because he never hid that from anyone and was just basically himself. The changes he then feels after the short amount of time in France is something quite amazing really, it makes you wonder how different trips really shape you and change you even in the smallest of ways. That is certainly a reason to travel to as many different places as possible.
I wasn’t expecting the ending and that was in the best and nicest possible way, showing how much Max had changed and that letter was very unexpected!
Russell Crowe is just fantastic in the leading role and something I truly love about his career is how varied his choices are and that you can find him acting in any genre. Such a good actor who I really do like more and more with each film that I watch him in. He is very charming in this one despite the rocky start were quite frankly he is a bit of an arsehole! Abbie Cornish is decent in her smaller role and is not given a massive amount of screen time. Marion Cotillard should have had more screen time as I felt her character was a little bit under developed and we should have been told more of her story. Obviously Albert Finney stole the scene in the flashbacks!