FILM RE­VIEW

Pierre de Vil­liers gives his ver­dict on the new Klapisch re­lease Back to Bur­gundy.

France - - Bienvenue - Pierre de Vil­liers

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.

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