29 October 2006 | bopdog
Pleasant and likable. Gorgeous views. But does not quite live up to its pedigree.
You can't not like this movie. the scenery is absolutely jaw-dropping, drop-dead gorgeous. It's worth a trip to the cinema just to bask in the lush French countryside. With such stellar talent as Ridley Scott, Albert Finney, and Russel Crowe, however, one expected a tad bit more.
Not to say this wasn't enjoyable. I'm glad I went. But it was a '7', even though those involved were all of the '10' calibre. The script was a bit 'jerky'--- i.e., it went in fits and starts. The frustration humor was definitely annoying--- it's not ever my thing, and wasn't here, either. But the cast was immensely likable, and again, the scenery. Oh my gawd!!! What a visual treat, and a pleasant enough rom-com.
This Ridley Scott directorial effort reminded me a lot of director John Boorman, and his 1989 (-ish) under-rated movie, 'Where the Heart Is'. Boorman was 'getting on' in his successful career, and he made that movie with one of his daughters as producer, and maybe writer, too (?). As an aside, she sadly died from brain cancer, so this movie is a kind of memorial, too, I would guess.
Its initial concept was as a British comedy of eccentricities, and fitted the English context and culture perfectly. It was translated and transported, for some unknown reason, to a New York locale, with a stellar cast--- Dabney Coleman, Uma Thurmon, Maury Chaykin, Suzi Amis, Christopher Plummer, etc. The art work and some of the scenes were amazing and heart-opening and stupendous! The movie, however, had some fundamental flaws as well. I suspect something went horribly wrong with some scenes or characters or something, and an important chunk or chunks were cut out of some key portions. Whatever happened--- it was somehow 'broken', and thus will never gain the wide-spread acclaim and fame it could have had, and maybe deserves in spite of the mistakes. Nonetheless, I own TWO copies of the video (they are impossible to get anymore, so they're in my 'vault'), and have watched it 2 dozen times over the years. Despite its frustrating limitations, I LOVE that movie!
Sorry, I rambled. the point is, it was a largely beautiful and mostly entertaining 'stumble' by a GREAT auteur who was seeking a new way to express himself. 'A Good Year' may be the same: Star talent all around, a thing of beauty to admire and enjoy, but, alas, some quirky and rather important flaws, too.
Oh well. At least Ridley Scott took an artistic chance. At least he showed up! He deserves our praise for that, and you might want to go see this flick anyway--- you'll like it! It's a great 'tone' and 'mood piece'--- uplifting and a bit soppy, in the best possible way!