Movie Review ~ "Chocolat" (2000)

Ken Painter By Ken Painter, 11th Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Drama

This film for chocoholics is not to be missed! A dramady set in a French village in 1959 showing the struggle between traditional values and loosening up a bit with flawless acting from Judi Dench, Juliette Binoche, & Alfred Molina plus guitar licks from Johnny Depp! Chocolate to make you drool!!!

Movie Review ~ "Chocolat" (2000)

Are you a chocolate lover like I am? If you are, then just watching this film may be more than you can bear. To be absolutely truthful about it, when my date and I first saw it at the theater on the big screen way back at the end of 2000 the sheer sight of watching all the chocolate being mixed and molded was so delectable that at the film’s conclusion we wandered out in the mall to Fanny May and picked up a couple boxes of our favorites to go. Something told me we weren’t the only ones to do so.

Chocolat (pronounced in the French shaw-coe-LAHT) takes place in a 1959 French village that adheres to tradition when a wandering gypsy-like woman, Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her 6 year old daughter happen into town and open up a chocolate shop during Lent much to the chagrin of the town’s mayor (Alfred Molina). What ensues becomes a struggle in this town between the traditionalists as the mayor leads a campaign to have Vianne and her shop close up, and the few who dare to defy him led by Armande (Judi Dench) the owner of the shop who is renting to Vianne and who is also the mother of the woman who is the mayor’s secretary.

And then Roux (Johnny Depp) and his River Rat’s (otherwise known as undesirables) float into town to complicate matters. While this is not one of Johnny Depp’s finest roles, he is one of my favorite actors, and though his part is confined to the last half of the film, what I enjoyed most from his part was watching him play his guitar, because he seemed to be enjoying himself so much. One could get the sense that rather than acting, this was meant to be his true destiny in life, musician extraordinaire. He’s damned good.

Chocolat is a movie about the abstinence of pleasures versus the balance of them, and over the years this has become one of my very favorite films. At the time it was nominated for five Academy Awards, two for acting (Binoche for Best Actress and Dench for Supporting Actress), Best Screenplay, Best Original Music, and Best Picture. I was also surprised that director Lasse Hallstrom was passed over for a Best Director nomination. However, at ceremony time it won nothing, but I still adore the film. And all these years later I find that it’s lost nothing.

There is a scene late in the film where the mayor (Alfred Molina) ends up in Vianne’s shop window covered in chocolate. This scene is as hilarious as it is sad, and one not to be missed (or ever forgotten).

Please, do yourself a huge favor. If you’ve never seen Chocolat, get it soon! If you’ve seen it, I know you want to see it again. And probably with your favorite chocolate bar.


Chocolate, Chocolates, Film, Films, Movie, Movie Review, Reviews

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author avatar Ken Painter
Retired Chicago public school teacher. Singer, songwriter, musician, author, & opinionated old curmudgeon. Married to my husband & living in Colorado, USA. Also a father & grandfather.

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author avatar drrajeevddn
12th Sep 2013 (#)

Nice Post, hehe i want watch that movie. because i love chocolate.

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author avatar Ken Painter
12th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks for the comment. If you love chocolate, then you're gonna love this movie . . . guaranteed! I swear it's one of my top ten all-time favorites, and I always have to watch it with a Hershey bar nearby. LOL

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