The Vintner's Luck

The Vintner's Luck

(2009)

Kiwi director Niki Caro (Whale Rider) follows up her well-received Hollwood debut, North Country, with this adaptation of Elizabeth Knox's novel about a peasant winemaker in Napoleon-era, 19th Century France. Stars the great Vera Farmiga (The Departed) and Keisha Castle-Hughes as a foxy salt-of-the-earth peasant girl.... More

Sobran Jodeau (Jérémie Renier) is an ambitious young peasant winemaker with three loves – his beautiful and passionate wife Celeste (Keisha Castle-Hughes), the proudly intellectual baroness Aurora de Valday (Vera Farmiga) and Xas (Gaspard Ulliel), a fallen angel who strikes up an unlikely but enduring friendship. Under the angel's guidance, Sobran is forced to fathom the nature of love, belief and immortality – in pursuit of the perfect vintage.Hide

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Flicks Review

If it wasn’t for the white-winged, waxed-chested angel, The Vintner’s Luck might not have endured such a hellish reception following its debut at the Toronto Film Festival. Kiwi director Niki Caro took a massive risk adapting Elizabeth Knox’s complex, erotic novel, particularly when she decided to shift the focus from theology and the relationship with the angel to Sobran’s wine-making skills.... More

Then again, the angel who befriends the protagonist in this ambitious epic of passion, toil and mortality is not the only distraction in this otherwise impressive-looking feature. Although the script mostly avoids sentimentality, so much of Sobran’s life is packed into the 127 minutes it’s difficult to get a sense of time passing, just as it’s hard to know if Caro meant for the gaps in narrative to be filled by intelligent guess work. Each time the angel arrives for his yearly visit, the context and setting are lost. That’s a shame because everything else – the cinematography, scenery and tone, is a work of beauty.

Although Keisha Castle-Hughes as the vintner’s wife seems a little young to be spawning so many little angels of her own, French actor Jeremie Renier gives a hearty performance as Sobran and Vera Farmiga as the vulnerable yet strong-willed Baroness balances elegance with vulnerability. If you’ve been craving a heartfelt cinematic explanation of the wine-making process, you’ll find it in the grape-squelching, dirt-eating, bug-crawling earthiness of The Vintner’s Luck. Just ignore that heavenly creature.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 13 ratings, 15 reviews
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BY Rodp nobody

As bad as! The story does not make any sense! There is nothing to say about the actor's performance were OK, but lacking of emotion with no intense interpretation. The sexualised relationship with the angel was just to crown the rubish. The director perhaps tried to make a combo between City of Angels, Brokeback Montain and Made in Heaven, The best performance is no doubt from the vines and winemakers!


BY JohnQ80 nobody

Found awesome stuff about the movie!!!! YAY! Can't wait to see it... So psyched!

Author: TragedyAmber
..."The casting is almost perfect. Jeremy Renier, Gaspard Ulliel and Vera Farmiga are dead-on as far as appearance and mannerisms, and all do a wonderful job with the parts they play."....

...Author: Adam001
...."I was thrilled to hear Niki Caro was going to make this movie, no one else would have been able to portray the 'basic' elements of the novel better than she could and... More very well did. From start to finish the movie consisted of a real feeling of love and life. More so that she exactly put just that into making this film. The importance of simple things which when given love, sweat and time grow into something special, which if you haven't read the novel is the basic idea.

There is a heavy pagan love of the earth atmosphere in the movie ensuring an uplifting feeling. Leading me onto the visuals which where spot on, the sweeping French vineyards and valleys where just as I imagined them.

The casting was perfect, Sobran who is played by Jeremie Renier provided us with a inspiring and moving look at the trials and tribulations experienced by a 19th century wine maker. "....

Author: Clayboy44
..."I saw The Vintner's Luck a few days ago at TIFF 2009 I have not been familiar with Niki Caro's work, had not read the book and really did not know what to expect.I came out of that film exhilarated. For me this was a passionate look at life, love, labour with a glimpse of spirituality. I thought the cast was exceptional in a film with beautiful photography and pace. The introduction of the angel was completely believable and added such a wonderful mystical element to this lyrical, romantic film.- Fallen but not evil. Ulliel was really perfect casting!"...Hide



painful. The acting was terrible, story was slow, and it seemed to just go on and on. Hughes and Caro are quite possibly the worst to come out of New Zealand since David Bain and John Hawkebury. Honestly do not see this film it is complete crap, god its so boring! And the fact Hughes is pumping out kids and is married is a little bit silly as she appears far too young.

And while in real life she may have a child, there is a name for that. If I could give no stars I would.


BY keeshy superstar

I haven't read the book, but from seeing this film I would say its dying for a gay relationship to make sense of much of the drama, or lack of it. It feels curiously empty of tasty ideas, trying hard to be profound and ending up watery. The physical encumbrance and pantomime feel of the angel wings are a major mistake, and a completely implausible first meeting taints the angel/Sobran relationship for the rest of the film. And the camera work is irritating and distracting. And I was bored. But... More I did like the overall look and feel, its earthy sensuousness, and the exploration of wine making, so a pity its flawed.Hide


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The Press Reviews

  • It was an ambitious project to adapt this tale, and while it’s in no way a failure, it’s certainly not a triumph. Full Review

  • New Zealand writer-director Niki Caro delivers her least impressive vintage with this drearily literal-minded adaptation of "The Vintner's Luck," Elizabeth Knox's novel about a 19th-century French peasant who receives celestial guidance in matters of love and winemaking. It's one of those ambitious grand-summation works -- rooted in the bittersweet truism that life, like wine, grows richer with age -- but not even Caro's earthy, sensuous filmmaking can overcome the tale's glib supernatural conceit, overstated moral lessons and overall dramatic torpor. Full Review

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