A Good Year
Russell Crowe brings to bear his now-familiar acting tics in a not-so-tender romance by director Ridley Scott. Peter Mayle’s novel is the basis for a story of self-discovery-via-vacation wherein filthy rich London stock shark Max (Crowe) travel’s to his recently deceased Uncle’s (Albert Finney) wine estate in Provence to prepare the sprawling property for sale. Max gets waylaid by fond memories of summers spent as a child on the estate with his caring uncle, by an aloof local waitress (Marion Coutillard), and by a newly discovered cousin (Abbie Cornish) with more than a little knowledge of wine. The combination of the narrative’s stagnant momentum and Crowe’s infamous obnoxious off-screen persona adds to the film’s disingenuous mood.
Rated PG-13. 118 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)