(2010, Fr, 96 min) Dir Roland Sacher. Cast Jean Dujardin, Ludivine Sagnier, Niels Arestrup, Yolande Moreau, Zoé Félix.
A little bit Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis, a little bit A Good Year – either way it’s an unusual film for Roland Sacher to have ended his career with, being that he was more readily associated with taut thrillers like Dans le Mur and Operation Reptile. It seems his death – a surprise at a healthy seventy – has set this notion in stone, erasing romantic comedies like Susanne and oddities like The Pass into Heaven’s Arms from the collective memory much like obits for Sidney Lumet spotlit Serpico and forgot about The Wiz. Anyway – city traderDujardin learns of his father’s death and is left in the will a decrepid vineyard in darkest Languedoc-Roussillon run by husband and wife Arestrup and Moreau who take a dim view of this pampered dunce swanning into town with his party time sister Sagnier in tow. Of course he comes to love the place and under his attention the vineyard blossoms and of course he falls in love with feisty local girl Félix to boot. You’ve seen this film a million times already but despite that Une Année à Fitou is still a pleasure. Perhaps it’s the scenery, perhaps it’s the performances, perhaps it was my low expectations going in but it’s a perfectly fine way to spend an hour and a half on a wet Sunday afternoon.