Russell Crowe has many talents, but a gift for light comedy is not one of them. He's teamed here with his Gladiator director, Ridley Scott, to film Peter Mayle's souffle of a novel about a London workaholic who inherits a Provence vineyard from his uncle (Albert Finney) and finds serenity. He also takes a chance on love in the comely person of a cafe owner (Marion Cotillard). The scenery is glorious; you can almost feel the sunshine and smell the wine. But Crowe and Scott are bulls in Mayle's china shop. Like an assertive Burgundy served with a delicate fish, they're a classic wrong pairing.
From The Archives Issue 250: October 20, 1977