A new wine-themed feature film, starring Russell Crowe and Albert Finney, is scheduled to open in the UK on October 27.
A Good Year has been directed by Ridley Scott, of Alien, Bladerunner and Gladiator fame. Crowe plays Max Skinner, an ambitious London bond trader whose uncle (played by Albert Finney) bequeaths him an 18th century chateau and vineyard in Provence. Scenes were shot at Chateau La Canorgue in Luberon, which makes organic wine under the appellation Cotes de Luberon.
The film is based on a novel by Peter Mayle, with input from his friend Scott, who has a vacation home and vineyard in Luberon, where Mayle has lived for many years.
The plot is vintage Mayle, a best-selling pioneer of the modern ‘Englishman abroad’ genre in which an expat protagonist naively relinquishes the drudgery of a workaday existence for what he hopes will be an idyllic life on the continent.
Initially reluctant to spend time at his newly-acquired place in the sun, Skinner comes under investigation by the financial regulators. He decides Provence wouldn’t be such a bad place to lay low – especially when his best friend, a realtor (played by Tom Hollander), tells him that the winery could be worth millions.
Seeing pound signs, Skinner decides he will try to make the property’s vin de garbage into a cult vin de garage. But his plan may be foiled by Christie Roberts (played by Abbie Cornish, from the Hunter Valley wine region), who claims to be Skinner’s uncle’s illegitimate daughter – and therefore legitimate owner of the chateau.
Written by Maggie Rosen