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A GOOD YEAR @ screenplay by Marc Klein Based on the novel by Peter Mayle 4.29.05 EXT. LE GRIFFON ~ NIGHT A rustic Provencal farmhouse, surrounded by rows of well- kept vines. Up above, the sky is a sparkling jewelbox of stars. Down below, all is quiet, except for the chirrup of the cigales... EXT. FARMHOUSE - GARDEN - SAME A gorgeous trellis of jasmine and honeysuckle is lit by a pair of flickering candles. Beneath it, MAX SKINNER, age 12, sits alone, puffing a cigar while staring at a chess board, pondering his next move. An old radio broadcasts in French... FRENCH DJ La prochaine chanson est exécutée ce soir par Josphine Baker. MAX (practicing French) La pro-shane...shan-sone 6-cu-tée... est ex Josephine Baker's “Breezin’ Along With the Breeze” comes on...as Max’s eyes drift across the garden-— MAX'S POV - ENTRANCE TO THE WINE CELLAR A shaft of light spills out from the cellar. Downstairs, we can HEAR wine bottles being moved and RATTLED. BACK TO SCENE Max taps his ash. His eyes anxiously dart between the chessboard and the cellar entrance. Finally, with the ease of an experienced con artist, Max slides his bishop one square forward...just as he hears footsteps climbing the stairs. Max quickly crosses his arms, resuming his pose of deep contemplation. THE WINE CELLAR Emerging from the cellar is Max’s UNCLE HENRY, early- 50's. Uncle Henry is a sermonizing eccentric, with warm, knowing eyes, and the countenance of a man who hasn‘t worked very hard for a very long time. He wears a pair of pajamas -- shirt-top opened, revealing a round Buddha belly. He puffs on a cigar, as he crosses the lawn, swinging a bottle of red.