Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Good Year. C

It's not what's in Ridley Scott's romantic comedy, 'A Good Year' that makes it disappointing. Rather it's what isn't in it. 'A Good Year' might have worked if there was something new added to the script . But unfortunately there's not, as this is a story we're far too familiar with. Russell Crowe, who's more known for his serious action roles, plays Max Skinner, a workaholic trader in London. When he finds out that he has inherited his late uncle's massive estate France, Max quickly travels over thinking he'll make a quick sell and then get back to work. But when he arrives, he finds that the house brings back memories of his childhood and maybe it won't be so easy to let go. Also, the estate workers (and friends of the family) are horrified at the prospects of the place being sold. After making a business bluster, Max finds out that he will be on probation for a week. So he focuses on the estate and begins to fix it up. He also has several encounters with the beautiful Fanny Chenal, played by Marion Cotillard. In the beautiful land of Province, France, Max is supposed to be getting the most out of life. But we don't really feel that, especially compared to the sort-of-similar and superior 'Vicky Christina Barcelona.' Rather it seems as if Max is continually working, either on the house or by cell phone with his employees back in London. And then in the end, Max decides to take a life of luxury, which he didn't really experience during the week off. We leave the movie thinking that Max will be on vacation for the rest of his life. So that's not really saying much about how life should be treated, is it? The acting is good. Crowe proves that he can handle romance comedies, and Cotillard almost pulls off a 'Barcelona Penelope Cruz' as Chenal. Also, there is a nice turn by Albert Finney as Max's uncle at the beginning of the movie and then when it occasionally flashes back. But overall, this movie, though entertaining, didn't offer much, and ends up as being a failure for both Crowe and Scott.

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