A Good Year Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

The meaning of the film A good year: explanation of the plot. In September 2006, the premiere of the film “A Good Year” by English film director Ridley Scott took place. For a viewer who knows Scott as a specialist in fantasy, epic and other active genres, it was a complete surprise to see a calm, romantic comedy. Despite the rather simple plot, the picture touches the most delicate strings of the soul. To understand what the author wanted to say and what is the meaning of the film a good year, you need to dwell in more detail on the analysis of the plot of the picture.


The film is set in France and London. Getting to know the main characters of the picture will help to understand the meaning of the film A Good Year.

The beginning of the story

Main characters:

  • Max Skinner is a financial trader on the London Stock Exchange, an ambitious, self-confident, unprincipled young man;
  • Fanny Chenal – a young Frenchwoman, the owner of a restaurant in Provence;
  • Christy Roberts is a young American, the illegitimate daughter of Henry Skinner, Uncle Max.

Note! Ridley Scott’s idea was the basis for Peter Mail’s novel A Year in Provence. But the writer largely distorted the author’s intention, so the plot of the picture differs from the story described in the book.

The film begins with a young Max Skinner, sent by his parents for the summer holidays to Uncle Henry in Provence. Henry Skinner, the owner of the winery, not only shows the boy how the process of making wine goes, but also gives the young man life lessons, teaching him to be content with simple joys.

Then the authors take the viewer 25 years ahead. The matured Max successfully works on the stock exchange, selling and buying securities. Many moral principles are alien to Skinner, he does not disdain to carry out scams that bring him fabulous profits.

After one of these deals, which ended in a scandal, Max receives news of the death of his uncle, who left him his winery. The hero is given a convenient opportunity to leave London for a while, until the hype subsides. He goes to Provence to enter into an inheritance and prepare the estate for sale.

But, having arrived in Provence, Skinner is faced with a number of problems. First, he knocks down a local resident, Fanny Chenal, on the road and, instead of apologizing, accuses her of clumsiness. Then Christy appears at the estate, calling herself the daughter of the deceased. Max, who judged people by himself, suspects the girl of claiming an inheritance. But sweet, naive Christy just wants to know more about her father.

Only trouble

After a couple of days, Fanny manages to take revenge on Max by preventing the young man who fell into the pool from quickly getting out of the tank. Because of this, the hero, urgently called to London, is late for the plane.

The troubles don’t end there. According to an oenologist expert, the quality of the uncle’s grapes leaves much to be desired, and the wine is undrinkable.

Max is forced to sell the vineyards at a fairly low price. Before leaving, he accidentally discovers bottles of high-quality wine in the cellar. Fanny, with whom Max begins a romantic relationship, tells the young man that this unique and very expensive wine was produced at the late Henry’s winery. The bribed oenologist deliberately gave the wrong conclusion in order to lower the price of the estate.

Fanny and Max break up – he must return to London, and she is not going to leave her native places. Christy leaves too. But a week spent at the manor dramatically changes Max’s outlook on the future.

The hero, forging his uncle’s handwriting, draws up a new will, according to which the winery goes to Christie. This makes the deal illegal, allowing it to be cancelled. Having sold his London apartment and retired from the stock exchange, Max returns to Provence, where he marries Fanny and, together with Christy, is engaged in winemaking.

Plot Explanation

The first few shots of A Good Year may at first disappoint a sophisticated viewer accustomed to twisted plots. Contrary to expectations, after the appearance of the illegitimate daughter of the deceased, there is no struggle for inheritance in the film, there is no love triangle and insidious intrigues.

But after 15-20 minutes, an understanding of the director’s idea comes. The author deliberately simplified the plot so that nothing would prevent the viewer from concentrating on the main thing and understanding the meaning of the film A Good Year.

The main character is given the opportunity to compare the two worlds. One is a greedy, greedy world where cold calculation is preferred. And the second is a quiet, reserved corner with old vines, romantic young ladies, the sun, clear air. There is no place for deceit and no need to hide your feelings.

Interesting! Ridley Scott’s estate is near where most of the scenes in Provence were filmed.

Finding himself in an old house, Max has to re-learn himself. There is a complete reassessment of values, which led to the fact that the prudent Skinner abandons his stock exchange and settles on a plantation.

The hidden meaning of the film A good year is that you need to live where you are comfortable. Each person is responsible for his own choice. You need to live without looking back at the opinions of other people. Otherwise, you can be left alone with unfulfilled dreams and lost hopes by the end of your life.

What is the essence of the ending

The ending of many films often remains a mystery to the viewer, causing heated debate. It is not always possible to correctly interpret the message of the author, spoiling the whole impression received from viewing the picture.

But the ending of the film “Good Year” is very simple and understandable. Christie turned out to be Skinner’s true daughter, vines have unique qualities suitable for the production of expensive wines, and the main characters – a courageous man and a beautiful, feminine girl unite their destinies.

Such a happy happy ending. Perhaps this simplicity and predictability is the hidden meaning of the film A Good Year. The viewer does not have to guess – Fanny and Max will remain together, whether the expert’s deception will be revealed. The ending is just as satisfying as the rest of the movie.

The picture makes you think about the important things that money cannot buy, what you can lose while chasing life’s blessings. The meaning of the film A good year is to encourage the viewer to listen to his heart and make the right choice.

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