Saturday, October 19, 2013

More Scenes of Russell Crowe's "A Good Year" Movie

I told you in my last post that "A Good Year" starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard is my favorite movie set in the South of France.

It's based on a Peter Mayle novel and tells the story of Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) who inherits a rundown château and vineyard in the Luberon from Uncle Henry. I would have been thrilled, but Max just wants to sell the château fast and return to his life in London being a securities trader and miserable loner.

Instead, stuff happens and he stays around the old château and soon forgets how to be lonely and falls for a beautiful café owner by the name of Fanny Chenal played by the very pretty Marion Cotillard. I know it's not an Oscar winning movie but I love the setting in the Luberon.

Château la Canorgue, the château and vineyard that Max inherits is the main location for the movie. The winery is really owned by Jean-Pierre Margan, the winemaker, his wife, Martine, and their daughter, Nathalie and is located about 1 mile outside of the village of Bonnieux.

As I told you before, Château la Canorgue makes one of our favorite rosé wines and we had come to Bonnieux for lunch and buy wine at the Château. The view below from Château la Canorgue to Bonnieux and the Petit Luberon mountains is shown several times in the movie.

View toward Bonnieux from Château la Canorgue

Several scenes were filmed in front of the house at Château la Canorgue including a final scene with Max and Fanny on the terrace. If you look closely, you can see a small table and two chairs where you can imagine Max and Fanny enjoying wine from the Château and looking out over the vineyards.

The house at Château la Canorgue

You can see how this beautiful old house set among huge shade trees with a manicured garden and well tended vineyards could seduce a busy London banker like Max Skinner with dreams of life with Fanny.

Garden and vineyards at Château la Canorgue

After buying wine, we went to Cucuron, an 11th century walled village on the plains of the Durance River in Luberon Natural Park. Just beyond the village walls is an étang, a rectangular pool, whose origin dates from the beginning of the 14th century. The pool is lined along one side with café-restaurant terraces.

L'étang of Cucuron where Max and Fanny have their first date

We had come to l'étang where Max brought Fanny for an outdoor movie accompanied by live band music on their first date. It would have been almost impossible for Max and Fanny to not have a romantic evening with candle lights and lanterns flickering and the water of l'étang shimmering below the plane trees that stand like sentries around the pond.

L'étang of Cucuron

There is more to see in Cucuron than l'étang but that will have to wait for a future visit. If you are planning a trip to Provence, you should download the movie. The movie was largely shot on locations around the Luberon and the cinematography is wonderful. If you are on the fence about a trip to Provence, see the movie and you will be convinced. See you soon.


  1. This is also my favorite movie and I can watch it again and again. We have been to both places, Cucuron and Chateau la Canorgue and I loved it. In our appartment in Provence I have saved a bottle of their Rosé and also of "Coin Perdu" which we will enjoy during our winter stay.
    Thanks a lot for these beautiful pictures and good memories.
    Monika from Germany

  2. What a fun post, Michel. This is a favorite movie of mine, as well, and I have enjoyed visited the locations where it was filmed. Thank you for sharing. The movie did not do as well as could be expected when it came out. I wonder why. Was it Russel Crowe? I thought he was perfect as ruthless Max Skinner. His uncle was even better though. And his assistant, Jemma. So many talented actors, and so many funny scenes. Remember the tacky American couple he sends to McDonald's while acting as a waiter at Fanny's restaurant? Ha! ha! ha! A bientôt, Michel. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  3. A Good Year is such a fun movie! I love your 'behind the scenes' posts of it :)

  4. I have been following your blog for quite some time. It helped prepare me for a visit to Provence a couple of years ago. We hope to be returning soon and I wanted to inquire about the Michelin guide you use for "bib gourmand" restaurants. Is it only available in French? Is it available here in the states? I've loved reading about your visits to the many charming villages of the Luberon.

  5. Simply gorgeous photos! I haven't seen this movie yet ... but will be running out to find it this weekend :) thanks for another beautiful & informative post.

  6. Monica - Thank you for stopping in to visit my blog and for leaving a comment. I appreciate this very much. I am very happy you enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

    Veronique - There were a lot of very good actors in this movie. I liked the assistant more as Jemma than I do as Kalinda in "The Good Wife."

    Sara - I am happy to hear you like the movie too!

    Melissa - Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment. I appreciate this very much. I believe the little book "Bonne Petites Tables du Guide Michelin" which has just these special restaurants is only available in France. The big red Michelin Guide has the same restaurants designated as Bib Gourmand in that addition too which is available for purchase here in the US.

    Tuula - You have got to see the movie! Well worth renting just for the scenery as far as I am concerned. But I am a romantic at heart and I like the story too.

  7. I agree it's a wonderful film. Now watch 100 foot journey for a greater love of France.

  8. Would anyone happen to know the origins of the love scene clips shown in A Good Year behind Max and Fanny's table?

  9. Hi everybody! October 2016 will be my second visit to Gordes and Chateau de la Canorgue!! I couldn't find Fanny's Café the first time. I hope this year I could. I could watch this film one, and once end once..... :)

  10. I love this movie too ! I'm a hopeless romantic and would to love to move to France

  11. I am smitten with France as well & hope to move there in next couple years. This movie is fantastic and surprised it didn’t do better at box office!

    1. I love the movie as you know from my blog posts. I hope you are able to make your dream to move to France a reality. We will probably spend the majority of our time at our home in Provence when we retire.