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A Good Year


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#1 Ignacio Aguilar

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 06:50 AM

I wasn't expecting too much from a romantic film directed by Ridley Scott, and certaintly he won't he get any new fan with this picture. It's predictable and adds nothing to his filmography, but it doesn't hurt either as it's quite light and charming, with beautiful women and locations.

On the other hand, Philippe Le Sourd's cinematography is stunning and surprisingly goes back to that style that people like Ridley and Tony Scott, Alan Parker, Russell Mulcahy or Adrian Lyne brought to movies almost thirty years ago in a purity I hadn't seen since "Revenge" (1990) or "1492" (1992): everything here is backlit, every shot is warm and beautiful and every shot looks really natural, thanks to the absence of fill light on the characters or shadow areas. And the interiors look quite dark all the time and Le Sourd just lits them with a large, single soft source from outside the windows to create a nice contrast. The sets are even smoked and Ridley uses his trademark telephoto lenses. It could have been the same if done, let's say, in 1985.

Those who dislike this (now) classic approach won't like Le Sourd's cinematography, but I feel people (like myself) who still love the early Michael Seresin, Frank Tidy, Stephen Goldblatt or (the Storaro influenced) Jeffrey Kimball will enjoy his work inmensely. Don't miss it.
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#2 John Holland

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 07:02 AM

Hi, saw this film last week, not very impressed by story, acting [ Russell Crowe is wrong for the role] or direction ,but it looks beautiful , at first i thought David Waktin had come out of retirement to shoot it. John Holland ,London.
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#3 Ken Cangi

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 10:53 AM

I just saw this film on DVD. I agree that Crowe was not the best candidate for this particular role, although he started to pull it together in the second half of the film.

I thought the lighting, overall, was very attractive, although the desaturation to cool tones in all of the London scenes didn't work for me. I imagine they were trying to create a feeling of contrast between London as cold and inharmonious and Provence as a warm and inviting, although the effect seemed overused to me.
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#4 blake williams

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:37 AM

Never mind the movie, it was as terrible as I expected it to be, but I guess its important for directors to try new things.
But I also didnt care for the cinematography. I do not agree that this was what Ridley/Tony/Mulcahy/Hyams did 30 years ago. The general problem I have with "new" cinematography is that there is too much contrast and the colors are too bright. The best example of the difference between then and now is the tweak thad Ridley did on "Blade runner the final cut". It used to be one of the most beautiful movies ever filmed, but in the final cut the shadows are jet black and the highlights burn out. Also it was toned more towards that trendy cyan. Terrible. That overall bright yellow of "a good year" was a visual nightmare for me. He did the same on "Body of lies".....And where is the anamorphic bokeh!! Never mind, thats my personal obsession.
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