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A Good Year [DVD] [2006]

Price: £4.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Russell Crowe, Albert Finney, Marion Cotillard, Abbie Cornish, Tom Hollander
  • Directors: Ridley Scott
  • Format: PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 7 May 2007
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (292 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NOKLT8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,400 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Comedy based on Peter Mayle's best-selling novel about a London-based investment banker who relocates to Provence in hopes of selling a small vineyard he has inherited from his recently-deceased uncle. As a child, Max Skinner (Freddie Highmore) was taught to appreciate the finer things in life while wandering the vineyard estate of his uncle Henry (Albert Finney). 25 years later Max (Russell Crowe) is now a successful businessman and when he learns that Henry has recently passed away and he has been named the sole beneficiary of his late uncle's estate, Max hastily arranges a flight to France in order to assess the value of the old property and get it prepped for sale. However, Max arrives in Provence to discover the vineyard in a crumbling state of disrepair, and his troubles are further compounded by the stubbornness of a gruff estate winemaker M. Duflot (Didier Bourdon) and the unexpected arrival of a determined Californian woman named Christie (Abbie Cornish) who presents herself as a long-lost cousin while making a dubious claim to Henry's estate.


A feel-good movie that highlights the beauty of France as much as it does its stars, A Good Year provides a languid, gorgeous viewing experience. Director Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe--who first worked together on the Academy Award-winning Gladiator--are reunited in this romantic film, which is based on Peter Mayle's book A Year in Provence. Crowe plays Max, a workaholic London bonds trader who doesn't know the meaning of vacation. When his uncle dies, leaving him a picturesque estate in the south of France, Max views it as an opportunity to cash in the vinery and pocket the profits. The film is reminiscent of Diane Lane's Under the Tuscan Sun in the way the scenery plays as much of a role in the film as its characters. The lush village and streaming sunlight portray Provence as an idyllic, magical place. Even Max falls under its spell. While not a particularly likeable character, especially in the early part of the film, Max also isn't a bad guy. When he gets the chance to live life at a less manic pace than which he is used to, he finds that a good year isn't dependant on a financial windfall. Though Scott tries to drum up some suspense in the film (Is the beautiful visitor really Max's illegitimate cousin? Will Max fall in love with the feisty local woman he trades quips with?) nothing that happens comes as much of a surprise. Still, while the film doesn't fully utilise Crowe's range of skills, the actor is charming in his role and A Good Year provides fine viewing. --Jae-Ha Kim

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 85 people found the following review helpful By K. Moss on 2 Sep 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Thank goodness we're all different. Unlike one of the reviewers, who appears to be unable to find any merit in this offering of Ridley Scott's, "A Good Year" did, quite precisely, hit the spot. It's got a simple and predictable plot. It's about the perennial theme of the real values in life - something that get's more important as we get older. It's got wine, wonderful French scenery, beautiful women, a Harley Davidson, and creative uses of the word 'bollocks'. What more could you want? The cinematography was quite simply lovely. I cannot comment particularly expertly on the acting, but Albert Finney seemed perfect, and young Freddie, playing the central character as a boy appeared quite brilliant. And the music - far from seeming like an afterthought, as one reviewer intimated, fitted the overall mood of the film extremely well.

If a strength of a film is its ability to make one want to "be there", then this one scores very highly indeed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kate 23 on 19 Jan 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the best films of all time in my opinion. Theres no shooting in it, no drugs and no fast car chases so if that's your usual taste it won't be for you. The scenery, dialogue and actors are fabulous. Ridley Scott did a stella job with this little gem leaving the viewer with a warm glow at the end. If this film doesn't make you want to leave the rat race and move to France then nothing will!
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155 of 164 people found the following review helpful By Martin Turner HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Mar 2007
Format: DVD
Isn't Ridley Scott amazing?

The man who directed 'Blade Runner', 'Alien', 'Thelma and Louise' and 'Gladiator', to name but a few, has brought us a tender romantic-comedy which is utterly, utterly different from anything he has done before.

In a character completely different from 'Gladiator', Russell Crowe is a sardonic and cut-throat London financial trader who apparently is to inherit his uncle's wine-growing estate in France where he grew up. Visiting it with no purpose other than to sell it, he gradually falls in love once again with the place, with the people, and with a young cafe-owner called Fanny Chenal.

'A Good Year' has some charming bits of fun -- driving a Smart car in France, trying to get out of an empty swimming pool, scorpions causing the foreigners to panic -- but it is ultimately a character comedy about a man rediscovering himself. Some of the underlying Ridley Scott trademarks are there -- immaculately staged visuals, confident use of time which enables him to explore details as the plot gradually builds -- but they are used for a completely different purpose. There are no grand concepts of honour, revenge, the fight to survive, or saving the human race, nor are there the stark contrasts between character and situation. Equally, while many of Scott's worlds are utterly remote from our own (war-torn Africa, Columbus's Spain, the far-future in space), this one is so close to home that you can almost imagine getting into a car and driving into the script. And, while many of his films are directed on a gigantic scale, 'A Good Year' is intimate and reflects the two tiny worlds of Provence and London's Square Mile.

'A Good Year' did not immediately impress the critics. But neither did 'Blade Runner', nor a number of other Ridley Scott films now considered to be classics. I've watched it twice, in the space of a few days, and I fully expect to watch it three or four times more.

Warmly recommended.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Mark Williams on 18 July 2007
Format: DVD
Rich London money boy inherits house in France. Discovers money isn't everything. Happy ever after is just around the corner.
What takes it beyond that, is that it's a Ridley Scott film, so naturally it looks excellent. Russell Crowe is affable but doesn't really have to stretch himself. You'd think the whole thing was carried along by the chance of spending a summer working in the sunny south of France. So: relaxing for them and relaxing for us. A good year, a good flic, just don't expect to be stretched.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stephen Kennedy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Aug 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The story of a callous and irredeemably nasty market trader, who has to go to Provence to take care of his late Uncle's Estate and finds the change of pace gradually melts his exterior.
Although the storyline seems somewhat slight, the screenplay has a lightness to the script which brings at the very least a smile, if not outright laughter in places - this may not be an out and out comedy, but it is certainly lighthearted enough to be entertaining. The characters all have a touch of reality in an exaggerated form, which grounds the movie, albeit through a rosy lens filtered romantic haze. If you are willing to just go with the flow, enjoy the scenery, the gorgeous cast and the languid pace, then you will be well enough rewarded with a lingering smile at the end.
If there is a down side, it is that it's not the most original of storylines, and in unlikely hands in the form of Ridley `Epic' Scott and Russell `Imposing' Crowe. Ridley Scott doing comedy has a slightly forced feel to it, none more so than when he has Crowe doing slapstick. The scene with Crowe trying to get out of the pool goes on for just a bit too long to be comfortable, and watching Crowe falling about in the mud is somehow just not funny.
All things considered, this is actually a good movie, elevated to 4 stars by a combination of Scott's lushly photographed scenery, and the charming flashbacks with Albert Finney as the uncle and Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the chocolate factory, Finding Neverland) as the young Max Skinner.
A Good Year won't be bothering Oscar any time soon and won't remain on anyone's top ten list - but it's a surprisingly effective and charming change of pace for Scott and Crowe.
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