Last night I had the pleasantness of enjoying Russel Crowe in another superb performance. Granted, my level of criticism tends to be diminished when Crowe plays in most movies. Perhaps I expect too much out of Hollywood, so when “Cinderella Man” comes out, one cannot but cherish family values and the strength of a man to see that his family is provided for in every way.
“A Good Year” has a different focus altogether. It blends well the French and English cultures, fine wine (and not so fine) and cigars. The beautiful and the horrendous (the vineyard keeper). Russel Crowe is a savvy stock market investor who lives for the glory of fame. One day he receives a letter informing that his uncle has died. His uncle Henry was all that he ever considered dear in his young years. Due to selfishness and greed, Max (Russel Crowe) has not spoken to his uncle in a decade. He now returns to Provence to sell the old house where so many memories were made. Nevertheless, his primary intention is to sell the house (which includes the vineyard) his uncle left him (or so he thinks) and make a decent profit from it. But something extraordinary happens when he encounters the beat-up land. It is remarkable how much the director emphasizes taste, smell, and beauty. The character’s virtu (not virtue) is revealed little by little and adds comical scenes in their wine tasting adventures. There is something redeemable in every character though the eye may not see in the beginning.
What to look for in this movie? Look for the art, wine, flowers, trees, the city of Provence, French culture as contrasted to London’s culture, look for a man finding meaning.
How does this movie portray a Biblical worldview? Crowe’s character comes to a stark realization that all that he has worked for has been in vain. The question arises: “What shall I do if I gain London, but lose love?” There are distinctly and implicitly Christian motifs throughout the movie. The Artistic element itself ought to arouse wonder.
What is Unbiblical about this movie? Be aware of some subtle and some explicit sexual language. Some of that did not enhance the movie’s goal, others revealed the characters a bit more.