Pierre de Villiers gives his verdict on the new Klapisch release Back to Burgundy.
Starring: Pio Marmaï, Ana Girardot, François Civil Director: Cédric Klapisch Certificate: 15 Running time: 113 minutes Release date: 1 September
Like the fine wines that fuel Back to Burgundy, Cédric Klapisch’s latest film is a tasty, intoxicating offering. Sure, this story about three siblings trying to hold on to their late father’s wine estate lacks the subtlety and depth to make it a truly great vintage, but a combination of gorgeous scenery and strong performances means it will appeal to cinephiles and oenophiles alike.
After travelling the world for a decade, Jean (Marmaï) returns to the wine estate in Burgundy where he grew up after finding out his father is ill. While sister Juliette (an impressive Girardot) welcomes him with open arms, brother Jérémie (Civil) admonishes Jean for not staying in touch more. When the siblings’ father passes away, they are made joint owners of the estate and are faced with a tough choice: sell everything and walk away as millionaires, or battle on and keep making wine.
From the opening scenes, which show how vineyards endure through the seasons, it is clear how much love Klapisch has for Burgundy. Every aspect of winemaking has been woven into the storyline, from snipping and sorting to stomping, swirling and the joy of drinking.
Three people standing in a field discussing which day of the week they should start picking grapes might not seem too exciting, but it works thanks to a trio of fine turns by the main cast members. While the character of Juliette could have been fleshed out a bit more and the flashback scenes become tedious in the last third, Back to Burgundy leaves one with a lovely wine buzz.