Friday, September 26, 2008

So what is it to be: Money? Or your life?

I've more or less fallen in love with this movie "A Good Year" which has been around for two years but has only just been noticed by me. It's a rather smart-ass, hard-nosed romantic comedy mostly about wine.

The story commutes between two geographical locations, Provence's laid back life style, and the London’s main financial district with its shark ethics and heartless money-making demi-gods.

The movie's greatest appeal is in its succinct depiction of some very memorable minor characters. For example, here is Gemma, the embodiment of the efficient secretary:

Gemma: Max Skinner's phone?
Kimberly: Hi, it's Kimberly. Is Max there?
Gemma: Just one moment. [to Max]
Gemma: It's Kimberly? [Max does the "cut off" sign]
Gemma: Sorry Kimberly, Max isn't here right now.
Kimberly: Where is he?
Gemma: Max and his fiancée are at their wedding rehearsal today. [Max gives Gemma the thumbs up]
Kimberly: Their what?
Gemma: Would you like to leave a message?
Kimberly: No I wouldn't!

Or Uncle Henry:

You'll come to see that a man learns nothing from winning. The act of losing, however, can elicit great wisdom. Not least of which is, uh... how much more enjoyable it is to win. It's inevitable to lose now and again. The trick is not to make a habit of it.

The repartee is often wry and hard-nosed, charming, as in the following examples:

Max Skinner: [points to his shirt] Fred Perry.
Francis Duflot: [points to his cap] René Lacoste.


Max Skinner: Joan of Arc?
Fanny Chenal: Oh. Jacques Cousteau.


Francis Duflot: Francis Duflot, vigneron.
Christie Roberts: Christie Roberts, illegitimate daughter.

The music is so integral to the Provencal ethos that it gets lodged in your head, woos you completely. Samba and sentimental waltz pace the rhythm.

And that is my musical break for this Friday.

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