Back to Burgundy

ce_qui_nous_lie_ver2_xlgDirected by acclaimed first filmmaker Cédric Klapisch who is best known for 2002’s L’Auberge Espagnole, Back to Burgundy is a sentimental French film about a winemaking family in the French countryside of Burgundy. The plot follows three siblings who are reunited at their family-owned winery after the return of the prodigal son Jean, played by Pio Marmaï, when the father becomes gravely ill. From the beginning, there is tension between all of the siblings, especially Jean who has been away for many years working at a winery in Australia after having a falling out with the father. Juliette, played by Ana Girardot, is running the day-to-day operations of the family’s fledgling winery and remembers having a much better relationship with the father who taught her the winemaking business. She is occasionally helped out by the younger brother Jeremie, played by François Civil, who has problems of his own dealing with his strict father-in-law who owns one of the more well-known wineries in Burgundy. After the father finally dies, the three siblings must figure how to successfully run the family business at the same time that they are facing an insurmountable inheritance tax. The emotional maturation of the family is eloquently emphasized by showing time-lapse footage of the vineyards over the course of four seasons and the winemaking process that requires time and patience. Eventually, they all become closer to one another and come to appreciate the land that they are so dependent on as equal owners of a winery. Overall, I found it to be a sweet film filled with serious feelings and occasional comedic flair that makes for an enjoyable cinematic experience that leaves you appreciating family even through the inevitably difficult times.

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