Saturday, February 5, 2011

Liev Lets My Sun Shine In

Like a TOTAL DOPE I forgot to turn my alarm off last night. So I was awakened at the crack this morning by the grand swelling of this:

You could just say I woke up with Hair in my face! Or we could call it what it is: waking up not knowing when you are. Did that involve a little too much Pinot Grigio last night? YES. Do I feel badly about this? Nopers. (Husband was pouring). 

The only problem with today is, as of yet, it has not lived up to what my early morning harkening promised me. It's grey and gloomy and cold as a witch's tit out there. So, fingering my DVD library in search of some sunshine and warmth led me to what I think would have been a MOST fantastic role for Liev.

The film is called A Good Year and it stars Russell Crowe. Now, he did a very fine job but I was not (and truth be told I am very rarely, if ever) looking for Russel Crowe in my mind's eye. So, onwards and upwards and Liev it is.

This is one of those simple, quiet, charming little stories that creeps up on you when you have one eye on the TV and the other on your issue of this week's New Yorker. (Which BTW, can someone please explain to me what Woody Allen's incredibly facile analogy of Americans' real financial woes and the game of Monopoly was supposed to do for me? Is it really just about Mo' Money Mo' Problems?" Or am I missing something quintessentially New York here? I do not know any of the names and assumed they were fictional but maybe those are real people?) <insert light shedding here, please>

Okay, yes... back to the topic at hand. This is the story of a British man who learns that he's just inherited his old uncle's vineyard in Provence. In a series of sweet, whimsical, telling and decidedly non-cheesy flashbacks that are dotted throughout the film, we discover that in fact our hero, Max, spent much of his childhood there. At first he approaches this situation with the same hyperfocus as all his other concerns: business. But as he spends time there and aborbs the sun of the place, layers of his banal existance back in London start to peel away and his true self is revealed.  

This subtle and lovely transformation is so not forced that the introduction of a possible romance is sweet, but not at all crucial to the central narrative of the story (as the trailer would have us believe) - which is why it creeps up on us so sirrupticiously and why it makes so much sense. He's going there to pull up stakes, not build a foundation. The love story here is really between a man and his past. But you always find someone when you're not looking, so...

The beautiful Marion Cotillard did a very capable job as his petite-amie, but I think a slightly more damaged Sophie Marceau (my chou-chou and the poster child of my youth's tome, La Boum) would have been an intoxicating choice.    

I realize this is a classic Reluctant Hero role and that movies are full of them. But have we seen enough of Liev in this situation? I think not. Watch the trailer below and see what I mean. Liev would be PERFECT.

Soaking up the ebullient, French sunshine this morning was just what Monsieur le Docteur ordered. So, picturing Liev in the middle of this pleasing journey is the gift I give myself today.

Liev and the sun. La vie est belle. 

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