Gladiator 2 anyone? Well not quite. Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe may have teamed up again, but A Good Year is set to be a very different movie. “Sometimes Russell calls me and says, ‘What you got?’” Scott told Total Film from the movie’s Provence shoot. “So I told him about A Good Year. He goes, ‘That’s interesting... can I read it?’”
Six months later, the pair are on location in France shooting the relatively low budget (for Scott and Crowe) romantic comedy about an English banker who inherits a failing vineyard from his uncle (Albert Finney) but arrives there only to find that a long-lost relative (Marion Cotillard) is also claiming the property.
“Russell’s not an obvious choice,” smiles Scott. “But an unobvious choice sometimes makes the best results. This is a character filled with self-confidence. He’s a banker who works in the city, a trader, and he’s rather successful. He enjoys his success to the extent that he’s forgotten about the other things in life.”
If the pairing of Crowe and Albert Finney has your mouth watering, throttle your expectations back a little. The two don’t actually share any scenes together.
“They never actually act together,” admits Scott. “We see Russell’s character at about 11 years old with Uncle Henry trying to teach him about life on this small chateau where he spent a month and a half every summer when his parents used to get rid of him.”
Surely Scott was tempted to tinker with the script so they did share screen time?
“I experimented with the idea of putting Russell into the flashback, observing himself as a youngster,” he admits. “That’s something you play with, but you always make sure you can get out of it if it doesn’t work or if it’s too pretentious or a little bit arty.”