Vintner's Luck THE VINTNER'S LUCK
STRIKES A BALANCE

 

DALAI LAMA TRUST MEDIA RELEASE
Thursday 3 December, 2009

 

The latest film from acclaimed New Zealand director Niki Caro (Whale Rider, North Country), The Vintner's Luck is a story about balance, questions, struggles, ambition and life. A story that has hit a chord with the Dalai Lama Visit Trust New Zealand.

This is a powerful, meditative tale of Sobran Jodeau, an ambitious young peasant winemaker and the three loves of his life – his earthy wife Celeste, the proudly intellectual baroness Aurora de Valday and Xas, a plain spoken angel who strikes up an unlikely but enduring friendship. Under his guidance Sobran must wrestle with the constant duality of life; from success to failure, love to hate, betrayal to belief – all in pursuit of the perfect vintage.

Following the public talk by his Holiness the Dalai Lama on Saturday at Vector Arena, a special event will be taking place at 6pm at the Rialto Newmarket. A screening of the film will be followed by a panel discussion: Unity and Duality, When Angel and Demon are One with with Niki Caro (Director), Joan Scheckel (Screenwriter) and Za Choeje Rinpoche, an emminent Buddhist scholar recognised by the Dalai Lama as the sixth reincarnation of one of the highest Buddhist Lamas of Eastern Tibet. The panel will be exploring theme skilfully woven through Niki Caro's adaptation of Elizabeth Knox's acclaimed book. After seeing the initial screening of The Vintner's Luck the Dalai Lama Visit Trust New Zealand invited director Niki Caro to be a part of the public event with His Holiness and have worked with her and Za Choeje Rinpoche to create this post-screening dialogue. Za Choeje Rinpoche stated;

"I loved it very much. I think the story in the film is a great metaphor about life. It teaches some lessons on life about the hope, acceptance and balance." This is a provocative film that has inspired polarized responses. This is an opportunity for a deeper discussion about the themes of the film and how they are received. It is for a broad audience who would like to contribute to the conversation. It is for anybody who would like to speak truthfully from their hearts, but fear attack.

- Dalai Lama Trust

The discussion will appear on various online media to enable a wider conversation about the topics the film is representing. http://thevintnersluckmovie.com/blog and http://www.facebook.com/thevintnersluck

DARK HORIZONS

TORONTO REVIEW: "THE VINTNER'S LUCK"
Monday September 14th, 2009
By Paul Fischer

..."this lush, erotic and passionate film is more European with its frank exploration of sexuality and eroticism, yet the film's lyrical beauty and intelligence makes it something quite unexpected. A film about humanity and spirituality, Caro directs this film with an exquisite sense of detail. Gorgeous in all facets of visual detail, "The Vintner's Luck" is also a fascinating romantic melodrama, and at its core, comprises a cast that is spot on. "...

..."Jérémie Renier is the perfect peasant who transforms into a self-educated winemaker. It's a beautiful, complex and richly layered performance. The women in his life are spectacularly good, from the wonderful all grown up Castle Hughes, who embodies the earthy sexuality of her character and the luminous Vera Farmiga, who is clearly a versatile and complex actress and is magnificent, beautiful and passionate as the Baroness. "...

..."The Vintner's Luck" is a spellbinding, sexy and hypnotic tale, thematically dense and original in its tale of God, angels and sexuality."...

VARIETY

THE VINTNER'S LUCK
Sunday September 13th, 2009
By Justin Chang

..."lyrical widescreen cinematography"...

TVNZ

THE VINTNER'S LUCK: MOVIE REVIEW
Friday November 6th, 2009
By Darren Bevan

..."The Vintner's Luck is a sweeping sumptuous tale of lust, ambition, desire, wine and majestic countryside - but it's also an ode to the earth around us. Director Niki Caro peppers the film throughout with shots of the nature all around - as workers cull the grapes from the vine, we're shown shots of bugs, creepy crawlies and worms permeating the earth."...

..."There's a very pagan feel to this celebration of the land - and it manages to convey the majesty of nature's bounty."...

..."Keisha Castle-Hughes... puts in a wonderfully understated performance"...

3 NEWS

THE VINTNER'S LUCK REVIEW
Saturday November 7th, 2009
By Kate Rodger

..."Farmiga, familiar to many for her recent roles in The Departed and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, is excellent as Aurora"..

..."For me, The Vintner's Luck was a gorgeous collection of imagery, sound and movement, with moments of intoxicating beauty."...

 

EMBRYONS BLOG

Saturday April 21st, 2012
By Artimus I

"Every so often (but not too often), a film comes along that makes one wonder whether the director has some special key to the doorway of one’s very imagination; as if the images one sees in one’s head have been transposed onto a film strip and projected for the world to see. It is gloriously and frighteningly intimate, and that is precisely the film Niki Caro has made. ... read more

SCOOP INDEPENDENT NEWS

A REVIEW OF NIKI CARO'S THE VINTNER'S LUCK
Thursday November 5th, 2009
By Carolyn Meers

..."Keisha Castle-Hughes (reunited with Caro for the first time since Whalerider) delivers a stirring performance as Celeste, Jodeau's long suffering wife"...

MORIA

THE VINTNER'S LUCK
By Richard Scheib

..."The film does a superb job of establishing the detail and richness of the life of the period. Denis Lenoir's photography drinks in the French countryside with a rapturous lushness. Niki Caro plants the camera down to Earth level, focusing on the abundance of life – worms crawling through the soil, plants sprouting, bugs emerging."...

SCREENDAILY

THE VINTNER'S LUCK Monday September 14th, 2009 By Mike Goodridge

..."Playing the drama straight and working with gritty, sometimes handheld camerawork by Denis Lenoir, Caro convincingly captures the harshness of working the land while creating a sensual mythology around the wine-making. Renier and Farmiga are both strong"...

THE NATIONAL BUSINESS REVIEW

THE VINTNER'S LUCK IS NO CLASSIC VINTAGE, BUT WORTH A TASTE
Friday November 13th, 2009
By Robert Smith

..."a beautifully shot love letter to wine and the making of it"...

VIEWER COMMENTS

NEIL WARREN
Facebook

..."This is an incredibly beautiful film. My favourite film of the TIFF 09 festival. Niki Caro is an amazing talent and has created a visual treat for the eyes and the heart. The cast is pitch perfect and the pace and direction dreamlike in structure. The experience is like watching a magical fable...a story of love, life, and the strugg...les of achieving ones ambitions. (and it doesn't hurt to have the help of an angel) I was totally lost in the film and went a second time -again it having the same effect on me. I really hope this hits North American screens soon. I have alot of friends looking forward to it. Thanks Ms. Caro for making such and exceptional film."...

JANET LACKO FAGAN
Facebook

..."Saw the movie at the Sedona Film Festival. Visually stunning, great cinematography and a mysterious woven web of a story."...

LARIA ALLEN JACKSON
Facebook

..."I saw this film in Sedona last night and loved it so much! The pacing for me was exquisite allowing me to be immersed in the feel of 1800's France. And to be lost in the richness of the earth and a life close to the earth. Each character exposed themselves to me and I felt moved by their journeys. The relationship between man and angel/spirit was portrayed in a beautiful way unseen on the screen before. Truly at the end of the movie I felt as if I had just tasted a great wine! Thanks to everyone who has brought this movie to the screen.."...

CLAYBOY44
imdB

..."I saw The Vintner's Luck a few days ago at TIFF 2009 I have not been familiar with Niki Caro's work, had not read the book and really did not know what to expect.I came out of that film exhilarated. For me this was a passionate look at life, love, labour with a glimpse of spirituality. I thought the cast was exceptional in a film with beautiful photography and pace. The introduction of the angel was completely believable and added such a wonderful mystical element to this lyrical, romantic film.- Fallen but not evil. Ulliel was really perfect casting!"...

... "I think the audience potential for this film will be huge"... "At the second screening I attended, the audience was very appreciative in applause.I was blown away by what I had just seen. Caro should be proud of her accomplishment, as should the cast for bringing to life such amazing characters in such a beautifully realized story. And I'll look for the book now after this screening"...

RIE KATAGIRI
Facebook

..."wow. i don't know what to say other than thank you. thank you for sharing this tender, raw, heartbreaking and heart validating story"...