`Good Year': full-bodied, yet light, with a hint of spices

review B-

November 10, 2006|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic

Ideal cold-weather entertainment - that's the best to be said about A Good Year, starring Russell Crowe as a ruthless London bond trader who inherits a chateau and vineyard in Provence from his uncle (Albert Finney) and rediscovers his soul.

In some ways, Fox has been advertising this movie the way MGM sold Ninotchka - instead of proclaiming "Garbo Laughs!" the poster shots prove that Russell Crowe can grin. I still root for Crowe; he's got untapped versatility and complexity. It's good to see him acting goofy after the toil of Cinderella Man. But the comic spirit doesn't possess him here the way it did in Rough Magic 10 years ago, the way it does Finney and young Freddie Highmore (playing Crowe as a kid) in the flashbacks.

A Good Year (Fox) Starring Russell Crowe, Albert Finney, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hollander, Abbie Cornish. Directed by Ridley Scott. Rated PG. Time 120 minutes.

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