A good year

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German title A good year
Original title A good year
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2006
length 118 minutes
Age rating FSK 0
Director Ridley Scott
script Marc Klein
production Lisa Ellzey ,
Branko Lustig ,
Julie Payne ,
Ridley Scott
music Marc Streitenfeld
camera Philippe Le Sourd
cut Dody thorn

A Good Year ( A Good Year ) is an American film directed by Ridley Scott from the year 2006 . Marc Klein wrote the screenplay based on the novel A Good Year by Peter Mayle .


The London stock broker Max Skinner learns after a huge commercial success of the death of his uncle Henry, his life as a winemaker at his vineyard in Provence spent. As an orphan, Max always had happy times there during the holidays, but had not had any contact with his uncle for the past 10 years. Max has become an extremely ambitious and cold-hearted securities dealer who does not go on vacation, pushes the limits of what is legally permissible to maximize profit and does not feel bound by gentlemen's agreements . That Uncle Henry, who liked to philosophize about life and truth over wine, had also taught him how to succeed and how to deal with it.

Since his uncle did not leave a legally binding will, Max inherits the Chateau La Siroque as the closest relative . Max is not thinking of keeping the property, but wants to make quick money selling it. Reluctantly, he leaves hectic and rainy London and travels to the sunny south of France to take over the inheritance and to arrange everything for the sale. He goes to La Siroque , where great memories of the carefree summers of his youth come back to him. He meets the vigneron Francis Duflot, whom he knows from childhood and who still makes the wine . The house wine La Siroque presented to him by Duflot as a welcome evening turned out to be inedible.

The next day, Max wants to keep the appointment with the mysterious notary Nathalie Auzet, in order to then fly back to London quickly. On the way there, without noticing it, he pushes the young restaurant owner Fanny Chenal off the street. Returning briefly to La Siroque , Max plunges into the empty swimming pool while trying to quickly take photos of the property for the sale before leaving, from which he cannot get out without outside help. Fanny, who by chance recognizes the rental car parked in front of the chateau and is looking for its owner, reluctantly saves it by flooding the pool with water.

Max misses his return flight to London and thus an important business meeting with his boss Sir Nigel, who urgently wants to speak to him about a risky stock market transaction. Shortly thereafter, Max found out from his assistant Gemma by phone that he had got himself a week-long suspension because of the missed appointment and his risky securities business . On the advice of his best friend and lawyer Charlie, he wants to use this free time, which is unusual for Max, to prepare the sale of the chateau as best as possible. Max has to bring the house in need of renovation up to scratch, and despite an initial refusal, Vigneron Duflot helps him - after the promise made to "stay with the vines" even after the sale. Strangely enough, however, the vines and the wine are portrayed as a hopeless case by an oenologist called on Charlie's advice . It wasn't until later that Max found out that the expert had been paid by Duflot for the miserable evaluation, because he hoped Max would refrain from selling the property, which would save his life's work and that of Uncle Henry. In fact, Uncle Henry and Vigneron Duflot have been producing a Vin de Garage together for years , which is extremely sought-after by wine connoisseurs and which does not meet the legal requirements.

Meanwhile, the young American Christie Roberts appears out of nowhere and claims to be the illegitimate daughter of Uncle Henry. When Max's attractive wife heard the news of her death, she initially stayed at La Siroque at his invitation . She doesn't seem to be able to prove her ancestry after Max secretly stole her only photo of Uncle Henry and her mother as soon as they arrived by sleight of hand. Nevertheless, Max fears losing his inheritance, as - as his friend Charlie and the notary reveal to him - she would be entitled to it under French inheritance law.

On the way from the notary, Max accidentally sees Fanny working in her restaurant. When he approaches her about his idiosyncratic rescue from the pool, she accuses him of having bruises on her thigh as a result of the accident he caused . Max recognizes his fault, wants to make amends and without further ado steps in as a temporary help in their hopelessly overcrowded and understaffed restaurant.

Fanny refuses his invitation to dinner at first, but then agrees. Both meet for a rendezvous and spend a passionate night together. Nevertheless, Max continues to stick to his plan to sell the winery and return to London - now with Fanny, who sees her life in Provence. Moreover, despite a certain resemblance, which Madame and Monsieur Duflot repeatedly attest and which he does not deny, he still does not want to accept Christie as Henry's daughter. The American, who originally just wanted to get to know her father and made no claims to the winery, leaves La Siroque, hurt . Max - on the way to the airport - follows her and hands her a book that she left behind. In it, in addition to her previously stolen photograph and the counterpart found by Max in Uncle Henry's files, she finds a letter from his uncle Henry addressed to Max, which seems to provide evidence of his paternity. Only in the further course of the film does it become apparent that Max wrote this letter himself after signing the purchase contract, especially since he learned to imitate Uncle Henry's handwriting during the summer holidays as a boy.

After Max had signed the sales contract negotiated by his friend Charlie, one last encounter with Francis Duflot brought him to the realization, which he had already remembered again and again, that he had done exactly what his uncle was always afraid of: the loved one Chateau and so "to betray" his origins and family. With the forged letter, with which Max ultimately proves his sincerity to Christie, which shimmered through again and again during the event, he has recognized her right of inheritance and she is thus in a position to contest the sale - in the interests of all parties involved. Charlie explains this to the American buyers who arrive shortly afterwards as an “un petit dilemma” and enforces it.

Again and again Max memories come back, the conversations with his uncle, how he tasted wine with him, and then the meeting at the pool: Max is lying by the pool and reading a book when his uncle is talking to a woman and asks him anything interesting read. On the other side of the pool, Max sees a pretty girl of the same age sitting on the hammock. When the uncle disappears with the woman, the girl strips down to her underwear, jumps into the pool and dives in one breath to the other edge, where Max is lying. After surfacing, she kisses him and whispers something in his ear. Max now recognizes Fanny, his great love, in the girl from back then.

Nevertheless, he flies back to London, where his last risk deal has apparently brought him to the verge of being kicked out of the company. Surprisingly, his boss offers him a lifelong partnership that promises wealth. Max refuses, because he has already decided to live with Fanny in Provence.

When he visits Fanny in her restaurant, tells her his decision and kisses her, he then tells her the sentence he heard from her as a child. Fanny is surprised that he still remembers this incident, and it seems as if the circle has come full.

Christie came back to La Siroque because of the letter and took over the wine production with Vigneron Duflot, while Max and Fanny also live at La Siroque . On one occasion she indirectly gives Max to understand that she knows who wrote the saving letter.

On a phone call, Charlie tries to question Max's decision by predicting that Max will soon be bored with this new life. But Max is not impressed by it.


Kirk Honeycutt wrote in the September 11, 2006 Hollywood Reporter that the film was " awkward " despite the filmmakers' visible efforts . The scenes in London were filmed and cut in a " jerky " way. The character played by Russell Crowe was " confused ". Honeycutt only praised the portrayal of Archie Panjabi.

The German cinema magazine CINEMA, on the other hand, wrote: “The modern fairy tale of someone who set out to learn to love is hearty and has a gentle finish. Ideally suited against autumn depression. "

“Ridley Scott tries his hand at the romantic comedy genre. He sends Russell Crowe as a nasty stockbroker on a life-changing trip to Provence, but gets lost in clichés and cannot find the right tone. "

"[...] Lightweight comedy about the clash of two attitudes and styles of life, which owes its appeal to the consistent application of familiar clichés and stereotypes as well as a knowledgeable use of various film quotations."

“'Everyone knows that the French are moody and dirty, they wear Espandrillos and drive an R4,' says the film editor of the newspaper ' Le Parisien ' about the image of the French in 'A Good Year'. 'Fortunately, you can enjoy life and a good wine!' "

The German Film and Media Assessment (FBW) in Wiesbaden awarded the film the title valuable.


The film was shot in London and in Gordes , Bonnieux and Cucuron (all Provence ) in the immediate vicinity of Ridley Scott's place of residence.

The world premiere took place on September 9, 2006 at the Toronto Film Festival . The film has been shown in UK cinemas since October 27, 2006. It started in Germany on November 9, 2006. A little more than 100,000 visitors saw the film on the opening weekend.

The central setting of the film, Chateau La Siroque, was set up at Chateau la Canorgue , about 1.5 km from Bonnieux . The "old farmhouse", as the character Max Skinner calls it at the beginning of the film, is privately owned by the Margan family and cannot generally be visited up close. However, there is a manor building in the immediate vicinity, in which, among other things, the CP (Coin Perdu) wine, which is actually produced there in relatively small quantities , can be tasted and purchased, provided the respective vintage is still in stock. The “old farmhouse” can be seen from there, from the road passing by and from the adjacent wine fields. The scenes with Duflot's farmhouse were filmed at Chateau Les Eydins, which is about 2 km from Chateau la Canorque and which also produces award-winning wine.

There is a reference to the movie " Gladiator ", the first collaboration between Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe . It's the scene in which Max picks up a handful of sand at the vineyard, rubs it in between his hands and inhales the scent - only to find out that it's the smell of fertilizer (chicken droppings) - the deeply serious gesture of touching the ground his homeland of the protagonist Maximus from "Gladiator" has turned genre into humor.

The actress Giannina Facio , who played Maximus' wife in “Gladiator”, made a cameo appearance as a restaurant worker in “A Good Year” at the beginning of the film. Facio has appeared in cameos in every Ridley Scott film since Gladiator. The name of the protagonist can also be read as an allusion to “Gladiator”: Max (-imilian) like Max (-imus).

In allusion to the antagonism of business life / country life and the most important reference person of the character Max, the deceased uncle, references to Jacques Tati's comedy Mon Oncle accompany the film plot . The dog of the vintner Duflot is called "Tati" and the first rendezvous between Max and Fanny takes place in an open-air cinema, on whose screen scenes from the aforementioned Oscar-winning comedy can be seen.

At the end of the film, Max Skinner's London apartment, which is about to be sold, is briefly shown. This apartment is also the location of Woody Allen's 2005 film " Match Point ".

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for a good year . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , October 2006 (PDF; test number: 107 919 K).
  2. Age rating for a good year . Youth Media Commission .
  3. Review ( September 30, 2007 memento in the Internet Archive ), Hollywood Reporter , Kirk Honeycutt, September 11, 2006
  4. Review ( Memento of the original from October 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. of the magazine CINEMA @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / suche.cinema.de
  5. Locations according to the Internet Movie Database
  6. Andreas Borcholte: "Only dwarfs defy Borat" , Spiegel Online , November 13, 2006
  7. The film A GOOD YEAR In: chateaulacanorgue.com , accessed July 16, 2017.