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Reviews & Ratings for
Chocolat More at IMDbPro »

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Relax and dream

Author: kmorar from Bratislava, Slovakia
27 November 2001

If you like the writer Gabriel Garcia Marques you will probably love this movie. This film has an aroma and there is a magic behind. May be the plot is not complex, but this is a movie, it's visual. Children actors are really good. I saw it twice and it was even better for the second time.

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Love is like swallowing hot chocolate

Author: Loay Omran from Cairo, Egypt
26 November 2001

Chocolat is a wonderful movie. As simple as that. Beautifully shot, smartly directed, and well acted, what more can you possibly ask? No wonder the Oscar nominees. This has all the fine materials for making a memorable movie. Chocolat? You will beg for more.

Set in 1960's at a small town in France, this is the story of Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her 6 year old daughter, a couple that are destined to move from one city to another through the country. As she settles in yet another new town, she opens another chocolate shop - an act not appreciated by the Mayor and his followers. However her warm personality and incredible chocolates manage to win over many people. But things change dramatically as a group of river drifters lead by Roux (Johnny Depp) settle by the town. Vianne welcomes them, and becomes friends with Roux, leading to even more anger from the Mayor. He is totally against them, he fears they will change his people. The struggle continues but how will it end?

Elements of Religion, Human Naure, Life+Death, Sympathy, brutality, and fear -- among others -- will appear as you watch, but still this will remain as sweet as ... chocolat! Great performances from Juliette Binoche & Alfred Molina, the rest of the cast are also brilliant. Director Lasse Hallström offers a poetic film that is worth all the appreciation and critical acclimation its getting.

Recommended? It surely is. You will love it. See ... Love is like swallowing hot chocolate, Before it has cooled off. It takes you by surprise at first, But keeps you warm for a long time


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I've always had a sweet-tooth

Author: stamper from The Netherlands
21 November 2001

I can honestly say that this is not my favourite movie of the year 2000, but it still ranks very high in that list of movies. Also it ranks highest among the films which I have heard little about, but which I liked anyway. I mean this film got 5 Oscar Nominations, made more then 100 Million Dollars at the Box - Office and had big (and/or quality) names attached to it (Johnny Depp, Juliette Binoche and Judi Dench). Despite all these factor's I didn't know about that film until I saw it standing on a shelf in the store I rent my movies at. To be honest, from the title, the cover and the parts I read at the backside of the film's package, I was convinced this was some touchy/feely romantic crap. (Oh boy was I wrong). This did not stop me from renting it though, first of all because of the Oscar nominations, second of all because of the big names attached and third of all because Johnny Depp rarely let's me down. Well the instinct had not forsaken me and I must admit I enjoyed this pretty much. The acting was good, there were laughs, romantic parts, sad parts, exciting parts in a few words everything that life and good film can offer. This film is really well made and acted and (contrary to most films nowadays) gives you something to think about, after you have watched the film. It is truly beautiful and poetic. Really, well done.

8 out of 10

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Not exactly an edge-of-your-seater but still great!

Author: Matt Mintz ( from San Diego, CA, USA
26 October 2001

Despite the "Exorcist III" beginning (including gusts of wind, scattering leaves, and church doors being blown open) "Chocolat" proves to be a sweet (pun intended), endearing movie. It is a delectable mixture of "The Scarlet Letter" and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." The message is a good balanced exhortation toward goodness and commitment without legalism and rigidity. "I think we can't go around measuring our goodness by what we don't do," it reminds.

The initially mysterious, fairy tale feel is Burtonesque ("Edward Scissorhands"). Even when the mysterious element is eventually unveiled and the "strange stranger" turns out to be little more than a nice lady who likes to travel, we are not let down. Juliette Binoche is delightful and her best attribute is that even she doesn't have it all figured out. Her change of heart in the movie keeps it from being sappy. Peter Stormare (Fargo, Jurassic Park 2), as Serge, is an interesting character as well. It's a shame he is disposed of and never to be seen again. Though hardly likable, he was an interesting character and I felt he deserved a little bit more attention.

Finally, though I'm a big Johnny Depp fan, I didn't think his character was particularly memorable. Even this has its benefits, however. Not only does Depp have the guts to be in some pretty quirky movies but he doesn't have to steal the show every time, either. We already know he's good.

And one last thing that must be said. I did find "Chocolat" to be agonizingly slow. Perhaps this is just me. I still enjoyed it but (as with a good but over-long church service) checked my watch a lot.

I think you will enjoy it, however. Just make sure to combine it with some real chocolate. It'll enhance your experience and the caffiene won't hurt ya, either.


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Works well as a fable in spite of flaws

Author: mbdvr1727 from Massachusetts
21 October 2001

Chocolat works as a sweet comedic fable about opening up to new perspectives and possibilities.

I am normally put off by political correctness and assaults on religion, and at times the movie became heavy-handed. But it seemed to me that Chocolat was not so much anti-religion or anti-tradition, as it was a more subtle look at when tradition works, and when it can be misused so that it no longer enriches, but stultifies.

Also, the rootlessness which is portrayed as the opposite of what the traditional French village stands for, is not shown in entirely glowing terms. And the endearing and solidifying features of the village are not overlooked. Ultimately Chocolat proposes a merger of these two tendencies for the benefit of all.

Fine performances, especially Judi Dench and the girl who plays Juliette Binoche's daughter. I did find myself occasionally distracted by the decision to use, not subtitles nor dubbing, but English with faux French accents.

The theme of the movie of course is not original -- think, Mary Poppins for grown ups.

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Author: ilove91x from San Diego, Ca.
16 October 2001

This movie is soooooo good. Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp are two big reasons to see it right there. If that doesn't do it for you, then maybe the whole chocolate thing will do it for you. You don't like chocolate, you say? Well, how about a good movie where people have faults, and learn to live with others that are different. This movie really is good, whether you are female or male. See it with friends or family...Just don't forget the chocolate!

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A quite good, but to long and predictable.

Author: Magnus Abrante from Stockholm, Sweden
9 October 2001

This was an intresting movie, the filming and pictures was very nice and the actors were excellent.

However i found it rather predictable, it was quite easy to figure out what would happen, also i found it a little bit to long, they could have cut it down and made it a bit shorter.

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Nowhere near original but is still good.

Author: Rob Deschenes ( from Toronto, Ont. Canada
3 October 2001

Not bad movie, this CHOCOLAT. A very classic theme (used again and again) is portrayed as the old society tackles the changes that come. The theme works this time around. CHOCOLAT has a very subtle attitude about itself and it shows throughout the movie when each character "grows." The movie has a sweet nature as well and we are not talking about anything overly hokey.

Lent has arrived in the small French town of Lansquenet. A mother and daughter also arrive too. They set up a chocolate store and captivate nearly everyone since trying something new is a rarity.

Predictable, CHOCOLAT demonstrates the people's desires, bringing out the best in them. Everything that was once behind closed doors is now an open book. The reason: chocolate! For that reason, it makes CHOCOLAT all the more humorous and enjoyable. Some good dialogue stretch out this overlong movie and provides some good entertainment. Things may have constantly changed Lansquenet when it arrived, but CHOCOLAT the movie is a good looking chick flick.

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A taste of something delightful

Author: Kurt Berger from Dearborn MI
2 October 2001

On paper, this film seems to have all the ingredients for a wonderful ensemble production. Add a dash of Oscar-nominated director (Lasse Holmstrom), Oscar-nominated lead actress (Juliette Binoche), Oscar-winning supporting actress (Judi Dench), and Oscar-worthy cast members Alfred Molina and Johnny Depp, splash in a small village in the French countryside, and top it off with a novel-turned-script that is pitch perfect. Add it all together, and what do you have for the final product?

An absolutely wonderful ensemble production.

Chocolat is a well-conceived tale, almost a fable, about a vibrant, free-spirited woman and her daughter who have made a life of traveling from town to town, opening their chocolate parlors and stirring the pot of very traditional townsfolks' ways of life.

The impetus for the changes and stirrings that inevitably occur are Vianne's chocolate delicacies, which represent for these God-fearing folk a sense of decadence some of them have never felt in their lives. Inspiration to follow their passions ensues, and a grand mix of comedy and romance is the ticket to a tremendously entertaining film.

Guaranteed, you will feel good after seeing Chocolat. And you'll probably find yourself heading down to the corner store, stocking your shelves with sweets of your own. Don't worry. It'll be worth it.

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Richly textured and thought provoking

Author: FlickJunkie-2 from Atlanta, GA
1 October 2001

Chocolat is a film with a story as richly textured as the confections sold by Vianne in her Chocolaterie. It is a story of many layers that appears to be one flavor on the outside, but changes as the confection dissolves in our psyche. On its face, it is a story about an endless drifter named Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter Anouk, who take up residence in a small French town in the 1950's and open a Chocolate shop right in the middle of Lent. However, once the initial layer melts away we realize that this is not a story about Vianne, but really a story about the town and its people.

Vianne is more of a catalyst to the stories around her than a story unto herself. Ironically, Binoche is a lead actor in a supporting role despite having the camera on her most of the time. If there is one consistent theme that runs through the film it is one of reconciliation. Prior to Vianne's arrival, several of the townspeople had survived in a kind of stasis, with unresolved issues never addressed or confronted. Vianne is the straw that stirs the drink and brings various issues into the open to be examined and resolved.

The film has a strong feminist subtext, which is not objectionable by itself, but too often becomes strident and preachy. Of greater value is the subtle message that provincial ignorance is well served by exposure to new and non-conforming ideas (Vianne and Roux) and that the forces that promote ignorance and conformity out of fear change (Comte de Reynaud) are no match for the power of knowledge and the freedom to exercise it. In this way, the film is very uplifting and relevant despite its folksy telling.

As he did with `The Cider House Rules', Lasse Hallstrom lets the story dominate the screen, bringing us well developed character studies without excessive directorial stylizing. Hallstrom's strength lies in character interpretation and in guiding the actors to broaden and deepen their portrayals. This is clearly evident here.

Juliette Binoche gives a wonderful performance that earned her a best actress nomination from the Academy. Judy Dench continues to make great acting a routine, garnering her third best supporting actress nomination for her role. Lena Olin gives a standout performance as the battered wife struggling to regain her self esteem. Alfred Molina is also excellent as the oppressive mayor trying to pull the strings of the townspeople in a desperate attempt to maintain the status quo.

This is a terrific film with numerous thought provoking subthemes. While it is not a powerful film, it is a substantial film. I rated it 9/10. It is a delight for the thoughtful and intelligent viewer who enjoys a well developed human drama.

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