Review: Family and wine mix in lush ‘Back to Burgundy’

Three French siblings must decide what to do with their family winery in this rich drama

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Family is treated like a fine wine in “Back to Burgundy,” a rich, full-bodied French drama about three siblings struggling to take care of their family winery following the death of their parents.

François Civil, left, Pio Marmaï and María Valverde star in the French drama “Back to Burgundy.”

Jean (Pio Marmaï) is returning to Burgundy, France, after spending 10 years traveling the world. He’s not sure what he learned on the road, he says, other than you can never quite see it all.

Back home, his father is sick, and has been under the care of his sister, Juliette (Ana Girardot), and brother Jérémie (François Civil). When the father dies, it’s up to the kids to decide what to do with the property and how that decision meshes with the realities and difficulties of their own personal lives. Do they sell the property or carry on the family legacy? And what does that legacy mean in the big picture?

Director and co-writer Cédric Klapisch (he penned the script with Santiago Amigorena) handles the family dynamics and character notes with such grace that “Back to Burgundy” becomes less about this one family and its winery than it is about how all families interact with each other on a human level. We’re used to family dramas being over-the-top and exaggerated to extremes, but Klapisch is able to achieve a tone of reality — mixing everyday drama with bits of humor — that feels natural, like Kenneth Lonergan’s great “You Can Count on Me.”

Fine performances abound, especially Marmaï, whose character is caught between continents as he’s balancing an on-again, off-again girlfriend and a child in Australia. There is a lot to admire here. Take your time and drink it in.

(313) 222-2284

‘Back to



Not rated: Sexual situations

Running time: 113 minutes

At the Maple Theater