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"A GOOD YEAR"
(2006) (Russell Crowe, Marion Cotillard) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Moderate None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None *Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Moderate Moderate Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: A ruthless London bond trader finds his life upended when he inherits his uncle's French vineyard and then falls for a local restaurateur.
PLOT:
Max Skinner (RUSSELL CROWE) is a ruthless, London based bond trader who's very good at what he does, manipulating the market -- with the aide of his assistant Gemma (ARCHIE PANJABI) -- in order to make himself and his firm lots of money. But with his latest success comes the sad news that his Uncle Henry (ALBERT FINNEY) has passed away. As a boy (FREDDIE HIGHMORE), Max spent plenty of time with Henry at his chateau and vineyard in Provence, but they grew apart once Max got busy with his adult life. Being his uncle's closest blood relative, Max learns he's inherited the place, a point his best friend and savvy realtor Charlie Willis (TOM HOLLANDER) informs him could result in a tidy profit.

When Max travels there, however, he finds the place rundown despite Henry's longtime vigneron, Francis Duflot (DIDIER BOURDON), still tending to the grapes, while his wife, Ludivine (ISABELLE CANDELIER), still cares for the manor. Francis doesn't want him to sell the place, but Max thinks that with enough time -- which he now has since his trading methods have resulted in a suspension for him - and a little elbow grease, they might be able to spiffy it up enough to impress potential buyers.

Yet, two developments threaten to undermine his plans. One is the arrival of young Christie Roberts (ABBIE CORNISH) from California who claims to be Henry's illegitimate daughter and wants to learn about her dad. Since French law allows such illegitimate offspring to inherit property, Max tries to figure out whether she's telling the truth or simply trying to swindle him. Then there's alluring local restaurateur Fanny Chenal (MARION COTILLARD) who Max accidentally and unknowingly runs off the road, thus getting them off on the wrong foot. Having sworn off men and not particularly enamored with this Londoner, Fanny initially wants little to do with him.

Nevertheless, with him pouring on the charm and having plenty of time to kill where he once spent many of his childhood summers, Max does what he can to impress Fanny, all while trying to figure out what to do with the vineyard, chateau, and his life.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens and those who are fans of anyone in the cast might be interested, but probably few others.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language and some sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RUSSELL CROWE plays a ruthless London bond trader who finds his life upended when he inherits his uncle's French vineyard and then falls for Fanny (with whom he eventually has sex). He's initially self-centered, cusses, drinks and smokes some, but eventually has a change of heart about his lifestyle after spending time in Provence and interacting with the locals.
  • ALBERT FINNEY plays Max's vintner uncle with whom he used to spend his childhood summers during which he would teach the boy all about making wine. Seen in flashback, he drinks, uses some profanity, and briefly smokes.
  • MARION COTILLARD plays a local restaurateur who initially doesn't like Max -- for a number of reasons including having sworn off men -- but eventually falls for and beds him.
  • ABBIE CORNISH plays a young woman from California who shows up, claiming to be Henry's illegitimate daughter, thus causing Max some concern about her likely inheriting the place instead of him.
  • DIDIER BOURDON plays the vigneron who worked for decades for Henry and doesn't want Max to sell the place since he and his wife still work there.
  • TOM HOLLANDER plays Max's best fried and realtor who enjoys acting like a cad, just like Max.
  • FREDDIE HIGHMORE plays young Max who tries to absorb all of the information coming from his uncle back in the boy's childhood summers.
  • ISABELLE CANDELIER plays Francis' wife who takes care of the manor and Max when he starts living there.
  • ARCHIE PANJABI plays Max's efficient assistant who tries to keep him abreast of what's occurring during his absence.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this dramedy that's been rated PG-13. At our screening, we heard at least 6 "f" words (confirmed by another reviewer, but a third at a later screening didn't note any, a pointed reflected by the PG-13 rating, so we don't know if we saw an earlier, unfinished print, or what), while other expletives and colorful phrases are used.

    Sexually related dialogue is present, as are varying amounts of female skin (brief bare breasts in a photo, cleavage, lots of leg, partial bare butt views, etc.), while an unmarried couple is seen fooling around before off-screen sex occurs.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, many drink (mostly wine, including by a boy in France) and some smoke. Some slapstick style material is present, as is the killing of several scorpions (played for light comedy). Brief scatological material occurs, as does some tense family material regarding the death of a man's uncle (the latter's adult illegitimate daughter also learns of his demise). Finally, some behavior may be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some handheld camera movement from time to time in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • In a flashback, Uncle Henry brings out a bottle of wine and tells young Max it will pickle even the toughest of men, telling the story of one such man, although he adds that his knee to the man's testicles might have added to his condition. Uncle Henry and the boy then have wine, with Uncle Henry appearing to water down some of the boy's.
  • Max and others celebrate a day of making money with champagne.
  • Max drinks at home.
  • Miscellaneous people drink.
  • Max and Charlie drink.
  • Max drinks some wine, but then spits it out due to the bad taste.
  • We see a flashback to Uncle Henry holding and checking a glass of wine, while young Max talks about the fermentation process.
  • Max tells Christie that if he's going to get drunk, he's going to spend all night doing it. He and Christie then have wine with dinner.
  • Miscellaneous people drink at a restaurant.
  • Max has some wine, and then more with an empty glass waiting for Fanny, but she doesn't have any.
  • Francis has a drink, there's a comment that they must have something (presumably a drink) and Max chimes in about that, "A big one." Christie also drinks, and then everyone drinks at dinner, with no one but Francis wanting the wine. His old father brings out some liquor and Max asks for some. Christie then finishes whatever she's having and, feeling insulted by Max questioning her claims of Uncle Henry being her father (while also drinking more), stumbles off while intoxicated. Max later finds her in the vineyard, saying she lost her shoe (he carries her back).
  • Max comments on Uncle Henry drinking and "shagging" his way to a low end.
  • Charlie has wine.
  • Charlie tries some wine but then spits it out.
  • When Max brings along an expensive bottle of wine on their date, Fanny playfully asks if he's trying to seduce her. We then see them having wine.
  • We see a flashback to young Max doing some wine taste testing.
  • Charlie tries to tell Max (over the phone) that after the latter's new lifestyle of eating, drinking, and "shagging," boredom will set in.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see Max step out from behind a tree, presumably after urinating behind it.
  • Max puts his hands down into the soil and then smells them (thinking it will be fresh Earth), but then recoils, with Francis stating that it's "chickensh*t" (fertilizer).
  • Francis' dog urinates on Max's shoe.
  • Fanny hikes up her skirt to show the bruise on her upper leg caused by Max previously running her off the road.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • In a flashback, young Max cheats at chess by moving a piece when Uncle Henry isn't looking.
  • Max sarcastically tells a subordinate to go abuse some animals: "Find a poodle and punt it off the balcony."
  • Max apparently breaks the rules in his trading methods (which leads to his suspension from work).
  • Max yells out "Viva Lance Armstrong" while driving past French bicyclists and giving them "the finger." They do the same (along with other obscene gestures) back at him.
  • Attracted to Christie, Max jokingly asks Charlie over the phone if it's illegal to "shag" your own cousin. Charlie then says only if she's ugly, with Max then briefly upset since she isn't.
  • There's a demanding and culturally obscene American couple at a French restaurant, upset that the menu is in French and then ordering American food.
  • Questioning American Christie being Uncle Henry's daughter, Max says that the last person Henry would breed with is an American.
  • We hear that Max didn't speak to Uncle Henry for the past ten years.
  • A letter from Uncle Henry confirms that Christie is his daughter (we hear his voice "reading" it), but we then see that Max has forged the letter (so that Christie gets the vineyard - the forgery is the bad attitude although it hurts no one).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Please note there is some slang that we couldn't fully hear and/or understand, so the following should be considered a minimum:
  • Phrases (see the note under "Profanity" regarding the use of "F" words noted here): "Oh f*ck," "What the f*ck?" "F*ck-you money," "You little sh*t," "Sh*tty," "Chickensh*t," "Little sh*t," "He was sh*t," "Sh*t-storm," "Bullsh*t," "Because I didn't shag you at the Christmas party?" "English pr*ck," "In France, is it illegal to shag your cousin?" (followed by, "Only if she's ugly"), "Double frontage with a view" (cleavage), "Greedy bastard," "Lab rats" (workers), "Alf," "Get off your asses," "Filthy bugger," "Bloody hell," "Burn in hell," "Rot in hell," "You git," "We're obviously in the F-U department," "Your scrawny little backside," "Bollocks," "Bugger," "Wanker," what sounded like "Pisser," "Cover our asses," "Idiot," "Are you mad, Max?" "In case the little minx screws up the deal," "Bloody (awful)," "What sort of bollocks is that?" "Your head so far up your ass," "You little runt," "Skeezer," "Punter," "Plunker," what sounded like "You fat prat," "What the hell do you think you're doing?" "Shove it up my ass" (nonsexual), "Turd," "Risky as hell," "Pissed," "You miserable sod," "You wanker," "Nuts," "You bastard," "Ballsiest," "A kick in the ass," "Cajones" and "She's like Henry with a nice ass."
  • We see a miscellaneous woman's bare midriff.
  • Max yells out "Viva Lance Armstrong" while driving past French bicyclists and giving them "the finger." They do the same (along with other obscene gestures) back at him.
  • A woman has small tattoos around both ankles.
  • Francis and Max spit into their own hands and then do a handshake.
  • We see a flashback to young Max and Uncle Henry playing cricket in a hallway in the house. Adult Max then relives that and throws the ball down the same hallway, with it bouncing off a wall.
  • Back at work, Max gives someone the "kiss my butt" hand gesture (thumb at nose, wiggling the other fingers).
  • Fanny wears a midriff-revealing halter-top.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • With some strong accents and slang that was hard to hear and/or understand, the following should be considered a minimum.
  • In addition, at our screening, we heard the following "f" words (confirmed by another reviewer, but a third at a later screening didn't note any, a pointed reflected by the PG-13 rating, so we don't know if we saw an earlier, unfinished print, or what).
  • At least 6 "f" words, 15 "s" words, 3 slang terms for sex ("shag"), 1 using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 6 asses (1 used with "hole"), 6 bollocks, 5 hells, 4 buggers, 2 plunkers, 2 wankers, 1 damn, 1 sod, 3 uses of "Oh my God," 2 of "My God" and 1 use each of "Christ" and "Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A woman in Max's workplace shows a lot of leg while seated on a desk, and Max runs his hand along her bare leg in passing.
  • Noting that Charlie is fixated on a waitress' abundant cleavage, Max jokes about the "double frontage with a view," but then becomes transfixed himself by the same view as the woman bends over and thus shows more cleavage.
  • About being given a tiny rental car, Max jokingly asks Gemma if that's payback since he didn't "shag" her at the Christmas party.
  • Ludivine pats Max on the clothed butt in passing, stating that his "bum" isn't as firm as it once was. She later does that (the patting) again in a later scene.
  • Gemma shows a lot of cleavage.
  • Fanny shows some cleavage.
  • Going through his uncle's stuff, Max appears to hold up some black lingerie (for a woman) and then a porn magazine that briefly shows a topless woman.
  • We see Christy bent over (from behind) in a small pair of shorts.
  • Fanny shows some cleavage, and then hikes up her skirt to show the bruise on her upper leg caused by Max previously running her off the road. During that, we (and others at the restaurant) see part of her bare butt.
  • We see Christie in just a towel looking out the window.
  • Attracted to Christie, Max jokingly asks Charlie over the phone if it's illegal to "shag" your own cousin. Charlie then says only if she's ugly, with Max then briefly upset since she isn't.
  • Christie shows a little cleavage.
  • Francis comments on something being relegated to one group and sodomites, Christie wonders what the latter is, and Francis jokingly says he'll explain that tonight (but never is heard doing so).
  • Questioning American Christie being Uncle Henry's daughter, Max says that the last person Henry would breed with is an American.
  • We see Christie lying face down in a small bikini while sunbathing (that shows a lot of skin, including cleavage). Later, she calls Charlie (a stranger she's never met) to come up to her room and look at her back. We then see his POV looking down her body while lifting a sheet: She's lying face down, but we see her bare back as well as the top of her bare butt. We then see him applying an ice cube to her sunburned, bare back. She then says she loves his accent, and as he walks away, he replies, "Love your bum."
  • Max comments on Uncle Henry drinking and "shagging" his way to a low end.
  • Fanny shows some cleavage.
  • When Max brings along an expensive bottle of wine on their date, Fanny playfully asks if he's trying to seduce her. We then see them having wine.
  • Fanny and Max passionately kiss back at his place, standing and starting to undress (he lifts her skirt during this and we partially see her bare butt). They then end up on a bed with him on top of her, shirtless, as they continue kissing (seen in a head and shoulders shot). The scene ends, but sex is implied (we see her trying to sneak out the next morning while he's in bed shirtless), and she's okay with their fling since she figures it won't last as he'll soon be gone.
  • A classic statue shows a presumably entirely nude man and woman in an embrace, kissing (we see the female figure's bare breast).
  • We see a girl strip down to her shirt and underwear to go swimming (nothing explicit seen).
  • Max and Fanny passionately kiss.
  • About Christie as his new boss, Francis says she's like Uncle Henry "with a nice ass."
  • Charlie tries to tell Max (over the phone) that after the latter's new lifestyle of eating, drinking, and "shagging," boredom will set in.
  • SMOKING
  • Max smokes at least twice (pipe and cigar, while we see young Max with an unlit cigar), Uncle Henry smokes a cigar and is seen in a photo with one, Ludivine, Gemma, and Francis' father each smoke once, and a few miscellaneous people are seen smoking.
  • We see an old cigar in an ashtray (and Max picks it up, remembering his uncle).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Max receives notice that his Uncle Henry died, and later hears that he inherited everything, including his vineyard and chateau.
  • Christy shows up, claiming to be Henry's long lost daughter, and Max must tell her that her father is dead.
  • There's brief talk of Max's parents dying when he was young.
  • We hear that Max didn't speak to Uncle Henry for the past ten years.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Midlife crisis.
  • The comment that the secret to riches and comedy is timing.
  • Making wine.
  • Choosing how one leads one's life.
  • Max receives notice that his Uncle Henry died, and later hears that he inherited everything, including his vineyard and chateau.
  • The comment that a man learns more from losing than winning, including that losing is inevitable, but not to make a habit of it.
  • We hear that Christie is Uncle Henry's illegitimate daughter.
  • Francis comments on something being relegated to one group and sodomites, Christie wonders what the latter is, and Francis jokingly says he'll explain that tonight (but never is heard doing so).
  • Kids drinking at a younger age in Europe.
  • VIOLENCE
  • When he reaches down to retrieve his phone while driving, Max unknowingly but nearly runs into Fanny on her bike, causing her to go off and road and then fall from the bike (we later see the bruise on her upper leg). This is all played lightly, as is the following.
  • While taking photos of the estate, Max stands on the empty pool's diving board that breaks under his weight. He falls into the dirt at the bottom, but is unhurt (although he's trapped down there). Later, when Fanny arrives, she turns on the water to fill the pool, with jets of it repeatedly knocking him down.
  • Max is frightened by a scorpion in his room, with Ludivine then coming in and killing it.
  • During a tennis montage, we see quick shots of Max running into a stone wall and fence around the court (including falling through a wooden fence), while Francis also runs into the wall.
  • Christie adversely reacts to seeing a scorpion and Ludivine kills it.



  • Reviewed October 18, 2006 / Posted November 10, 2006

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