Ridley Scott toasts life in France in 'A Good Year'

11th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

TORONTO, Sept 9, 2006 (AFP) - Director Sir Ridley Scott's 'A Good Year', about a London stock broker who finds himself in the picturesque Provence region of France, made its world premiere Saturday at the Toronto film festival.

TORONTO, Sept 9, 2006 (AFP) - Director Sir Ridley Scott's 'A Good Year', about a London stock broker who finds himself in the picturesque Provence region of France, made its world premiere Saturday at the Toronto film festival.

The movie, a sentimental comedy adapted from Briton Peter Mayle's best-selling novel of the same title about French life, is a departure from Scott's previous historical or political epics 'Gladiator' and 'Black Hawk Down'.

The idea came to him "after a few drinks, a lot of drinks actually" over lunch with his friend Mayle, whom he asked to write the book, Scott told reporters in Toronto.

Nine months later, Mayle published his book, and Scott soon followed with a screenplay, enlisting Australian actor Russell Crowe and French actress Marion Cotillard for roles in the movie.

As a child, Max Skinner (Crowe) spent his summers learning the art of life and wine-tasting with his uncle Henry, a colourful Brit, a womanizer and a Provence vineyard owner.

But 20 years later, Skinner is preoccupied with quick stock gains as a broker with a lofty London firm.

He makes a fortune quickly and forgets about his youth, until after he inherits the dilapidated vineyard following his uncle's death and is forced to return to his old stomping ground.

There, his fond childhood memories return and he suddenly finds himself in a haven from stress and his own fierce broker identity, charmed by the locals and the warm sun in southern France.

"I love the idea of exploring the Anglo-Franco dynamic because I have a lot of English friends and French friends," Crowe said on Saturday at his first Toronto film festival appearance.

According to the clichés, "they think of us as 'roast beef' and we (think of them) as 'frogs,'" Scott quipped.

"In France, it is illegal to sleep with your own cousin, only if she's ugly," a character in the film says. "If there is a complaint in France, the customer is always wrong," adds another.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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