102 minutes, France, 2011, Subtitled, Colour, D-Cinema

A traditional Bordeaux winery makes a fascinating context for a dynastic drama as conflict rages between fearsome father Niels Arestrup and his hard-working but wimpy son Lorànt Deutsch. When their experienced estate manager (favourite crinkly character type Patrick Chesnais) is struck low by cancer, it’s an opportunity for Junior to show that he’s perfectly capable of bringing in a stunning new vintage, but Arestrup instead turns to the sick man’s jet-setting winemaker son (newcomer Nicolas Bridet), who’s flown home from Francis Coppola’s estate in California to be with his ailing dad. Soon the newly-picked grapes are fermenting, and filial resentment is bubbling up too, as the keenly observed milieu blends with equally expert performances to compelling effect.

As he showed in The Beat that my Heart Skipped and A Prophet, Arestrup is in his element playing the grizzled martinet, but he still finds a telling note of humanity in this passionate patriarch dedicated to the art of fine living and finer drinking. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

A free glass of Château Méaume will be offered with every ticket during the opening weekend, in association with Findlater Wines & Spirits.

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