November 3, 2006

A Good Year .. . and boules.

Talking about Peter Mayle:
the movie A Good Year, based on his 2004 novel, will be out in theaters on November 10.

The plot:
London-based investment expert Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) travels to Provence to tend a small vineyard he inherited from his late uncle (Albert Finney). When he gets suspended from his job under suspicion of fraud, he settles in to life at the chateau, remembering the time he spent there as a child and falling for a beautiful waitress (Marion Cottilard).
Then a determined young California girl (Abbie Cornish) arrives claiming to be the illegitimate daughter of Max's uncle and rightful owner of the vineyard.

A Good Year (20th Century Fox)

Trivia about the shooting of the movie:

A Good Year (Nov. 10): Russell Crowe closed each week's filming of this romantic comedy with a party for the cast and crew that included good food, good French wine, good music (often from Crowe's own band) and enthusiastic games of boules, similar to lawn bowling.
( from USA )

A pity they didn't play boules in the movie!


Jeppy said...

That's a shame that Crowe wasn't shown playing petanque - can you imagine what a boost it'd be for petanque all over the world? There are plenty of folks who only look to the trends of the celebrities before taking them up themselves...

Jeppy said...

During the filming of the new Russell Crowe film: "A Good Year" in the Luberon region in the South of France, it was learned that the actors and film crew would relax each Friday with competitive games of boule.

I found this excerpt of a journal entry witness to the festivities:

We made plans to go to the Friday night wrap party held every week, and hosted by Mr Crowe. At 5 PM we returned to the chateau set and the party. They wrapped shooting early so preparations were beginning when we arrived. I was so pleased to meet Jocelyn and Alex Crowe. Jocelyn and I had some lovely quiet time chatting and getting to know one another. Two chefs were busy preparing an amazing feast including couscous, hamburgers and steak sandwiches. The hamburgers were made by Alex Crowe. There were other crew members there. It was an exciting group of people from all over the globe. If you sat and listened, you could hear French, Italian, Australian, Irish, British and American voices all around you!

Russell was there already, and Ridley arrived with Branko Lustig, the film’s producer. We got to speak to Ridley briefly - a very funny and warm man. He told us he is local. He's been living on the other side of the mountain for 14 years. Food was eaten, drinks were drunk, and then we moved over to the next area where a court had been set up for this film’s game, petanque, the French version of bocce. Russell has a different game for the cast and crew for each of his films, In Master & Commander, it was rugby, in Cinderella Man, the Ugly T Shirt contest. We also got a chance at the court to meet Dani, who had arrived with her Dad, Don Spencer, and her brother. She was so lovely and warm, and thanked us for Charlie's books.

Russell’s team, “Le Porte Rouge”, and Ridley's, “The Insiders”, were the first to play. Russell's team won a close contest. After he had finished his game, he joined us on the benches set up for spectators. He and I had time for a quiet chat, and that was much enjoyed. He even talked me into trying some red wine, a fine Chateau Neuf du Pape (a 1995 Vieux Telegraph), and showed me how to taste and drink it properly.

Since we had to be ready at 5 AM the next morning to begin our long trek back to the USA, Mary Beth and I left at 10 PM, in the middle of Keith’s game. He and his teammates, Mickey and David Oliver, “The Three Didilos”, make a great entrance in costume, waving and bowing to the crowd. I heard later they lost a close game. The whole contest/game was such fun, for us to see, and for the cast and crew to bond in the competition.