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GUARANTEED FRESH as of Friday March 17, 2017 at 8:16 am Times and listings are for Friday 3/17 through Thursday 3/23

The Vintner's Luck

Writer-director Niki Caro and actress Keisha Castle-Hughes from Whale Rider reunite for a lush romantic fantasy set in early 1800s France. Unfortunately, this one doesn't have the same self-assuredness as their last effort. Jérémie Renier (not to be confused with Jeremy Renner) is a poor peasant laboring away on a rural vineyard for a kindly but unsophisticated count. Our hero dreams of creating the perfect wine. He gets the opportunity when he meets a grape-loving, real-deal angel (Gaspard Ulliel from Hannibal Rising). Over the course of several decades, our protagonist gets married (to Castle-Hughes), has an affair with the count's beautiful niece (Vera Farmiga) and suffers a bunch of tragedies. The lesson being: People, like grapes, need a hard life to be interesting. There's some lovely scenery, a dash of eroticism and lots of wine-related talk. Unfortunately, the film never quite delivers on its magical-realist promise. 120 minutes

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