Back to Burgundy
Runtime 110 minutes
Highlighted by beautiful cinematography (Alexis Kavyrchine) shot on location in real Burgundy vineyards, this is a compelling view of winemaking as it really exists in France. Adding to the verisimilitude is the presence of actor Jean-Marc Roulot who is, in fact, an experienced winemaker in Burgundy.
Jean (Pio Marmaï), who has returned after a 10-year hiatus after a rift with his father, his sister Juliette (Ana Girardot) and younger brother Jérémie (François Civil) are presented with the problem of taking over the relatively small vineyard (“domaine”), which is managed by Marcel (Roulot), left by the death of their father.
Directed with a deft touch with obvious deep personal affection for the subject matter by Cédric Klapisch, the film shows the conflicts among the three and the relationship with a neighboring, much larger, vineyard owned by Jérémie’s father-in-law.
The film was shot over the space of a year so that all four seasons come into view and all phases of making the wine are covered. There are many, many eye-boggling shots of the vistas covered entirely by fields of grapes that are, in themselves, worth the price of admission.
But the story is good enough that it need not depend on the cinematography for validation. The acting is superb, as is the script (Klapisch and Santiago Amigorena).
There is even an end-of-harvest party that is particularly effective. All the filmmakers went to a real end-of-harvest party and then duplicated it for the film. So what might seem like fiction, isn’t.
Lots of people might eschew this because it’s in French with subtitles. If so, they will be missing a terrific film, whether you are a wine connoisseur or not.
In French, English and Spanish.