Niki Caro directed this romantic drama from New Zealand, adapted from Peter Wells' story, Of Memory & Desire, about the doomed affair of a Japanese couple on their honeymoon in New Zealand.... See full summary »
Bertrand Tavernier is in top form with this gripping, superbly mounted drama set against the savage Catholic/Protestant wars that ripped France apart in the 16th century. Based on a novella... See full summary »
In 1946, a group of German POWs are mistakenly sent to a Soviet female transit prison camp and must cope with the hostility of the Soviet female inmates and guards, under the orders of cruel camp commander Pavlov.
!800s, Napoleonic era. Sobran Jodeau (Jérémie Renier) is an ambitious young peasant winemaker. He has three loves of his life - his beautiful wife Celeste (Keisha Castle-Hughes), the proudly intellectual baroness Aurora de Valday (Vera Farmiga) and Xas (Gaspard Ulliel), a male angel who strikes up one day each year but enduring friendship that borders on eroticism with him. Under Xas' guidance, Sobran is forced to fathom the nature of love and belief and in the process grapples with the sensual, the sacred and the profane - in pursuit of the perfect vintage. Written by
Having read the novel by Elizabeth Knox I had high hopes for the film. I bought the DVD and when I got round to the viewing I was impressed by Niki Caro's rendition. The movie was beautifully crafted from start to finish with the exception of the wasted screen time establishing the landscape. Too much screen time was dedicated to the albeit beautiful French/New Zealand landscape. The casting was perfect, each of the protagonists had a part to play romantically to Sobran Jodeau. Celeste (Keisha Castle Hughes) was the physical, the Baroness (Vera Farmiga) being Intelletual and Xas (Gaspard Ulliel) the spiritual. One factor I found disappointing was the relationship between Sobran and Xas in the novel played a significant role in influencing the fruition of Sobran's dreams to create a wine never tasted, yet in the film the relationship seemed downplayed. Which is a shame because it seemed like the film missed something which would have brought justice to the novel. However I definitely think that this movie is a gem which touches on a mythical theme not explored in the film Industry. The introduction of the angel Xas seemed very believable and I believe Niki managed to bring to life Elizabeth Knox's story of a vintner and his angel to life.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?