A quite perfect way to end the year, this was. A person less interested in vineyards than I one cannot find, but that's not the entire point of the admittedly worryingly-titled Back to Burgundy. (Why couldn't they stick to the much better original title Ce Qui Nous Lie?)
Jean is the oldest of three siblings in a vintner family, who comes back to Burgundy after an abrupt departure ten years before. Turns out he had issues with the old man, who now lies near death in hospital. Meanwhile the younger two, Juliette and Jeremie, have been running the show.
Essentially, that is the crux. From here on out I frequently got the feeling that we were floating by in a boat on a sunny little stream, watching the three fight, work, make up, make decisions, mess up, confess, retreat. There was a good bit of wine-making what-nottery, but this was so engaging that even I wanted to get in on it. (Why should one spit when tasting, as Jeremie correctly points out in a hysterically funny outburst to his domineering father in law. Spitting is for ninnies.)
Then Juliette reams out her two brothers and the vineyard manager in a short but scorching burst toward the end. "Why can't I have some fucking elegance in my wine!" she thunders to the stunned trio, and this also was so effective that I burst out giggling.
There are many such small but sparkling vignettes. Some found the movie lacking in any great impact, one even called it 'pedestrian'. But for me the reality and the beauty of wine-making in the dreamy countryside came alive with the three siblings. (I can be quite easy to please while watching movies, evidently, much more so than when reading a book.) So, Vive la France! Never mind that your wine gives me a headache, vintners of the world, I hope more movies like this are made because clearly y'all are pretty fun to watch.
Director: Cedric Klapisch
Overall rating: 7/10