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A GOOD YEAR – Marc Streitenfeld

November 10, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

If a lead character in a mainstream movie declares “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing!” at the beginning (and his name isn’t Vince Lombardi), is there any doubt that he will change his mind by the film’s end? No, and I don’t suppose that’s a huge problem. “A Good Year” is a predictable message film, and in this case, I’m okay with that. However, I’m not okay with the fact that the film doesn’t even buy into it’s own message.

The theoretical character from the beginning of my review is indeed the leading character of the film. His name is Max (Russell Crowe), and he is a stock market go-getter with a large staff and a mean streak. He is a perfect “in need of redemption” candidate for the film’s purposes… greedy, selfish, uncaring, with a surprisingly gentle piece of his past buried away under piles of money. When Max learns of the death of the man who raised him, his Uncle Henry (played by Albert Finney in flashbacks), his reaction is basically a shrug. Well, until he learns that he’s inherited Henry’s estate (which includes a wine vineyard), which could bring in a pretty penny. Read more…