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.