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I gave this film a 1 out of 10 and that is for the fine technical work
in it. The film does nothing but beat you over the head with a
politically correct "open your mind" stick right from the get-go and
never lets up. There is absolutely no dealing with issues. I am not a
Christian, nor am I a big fan of Christianity, but I felt for them in
this film because they were given little to no respect. We as the
audience see the Christian characters as stupid, dull and
short-tempered. Juliette Binoche's character, however, is righteous and
the movie makes absolutely NO attempt to delve into her philosophy. We
are supposed to accept that she is simply right and the townspeople are
sleepwalking, only to be awakened by the vessel of her enlightening
Once again in a Hollywood film, Christians are characters who are single-minded and convenient foils for the open-minded and therefore correct heroes of the film. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that either side is right, but the filmmakers don't give the traditional Christians even a voice of respect and then slap them in the face by having the Christian priest speak about how he felt they should forget about the divinity of Christ and regale in his humanity. I thought the film might bring up issues for discussion, but instead it was absolutely nothing but bull-headed, incredibly repetitive and boring.
Yes, a great film to be a part of visually, but those visual gifts disguise an un-daring, bland story. Thumbs down.
Chocolat is a good film. The plot is indeed very good, and despite
being simple at a first sight it have various layers and subtle
symbolism, specifically in the 'chocolate' types. For example, for the
boy with a spicy personality, bitter chocolate she offered. And to the
woman depressed, scarred by life,with bitter personality, she then
offered spicy chocolate. The chocolat itself represented some kind of a
freedom and liberation of the repressed side of the persons. Very
interesting, and it's definitely a film to be appreciated. The way the
city reacts is also very curious. The characters which appears in the
film have special kind of personality and a subtle meaning in them as
well. And is up to the viewer to discover what these meanings are.
The art direction is also good, very suggestive and definitely is important to the film overall. The natural aura that the film exudes has much to do with the excellent work in the lightning and in the scenario,with rudimentary, but harmful stores in the small Italian city. The soundtrack is wonderful, and fits perfectly each scene. The acting is overall very good, Alfred Molina,Julliete Binoche and Judi Dench specifically are stunning in their roles.
I highly recommend this film. 8.2/10
Chocolat is about the oddball in the village, the outsider bringing new
perspective. It's presented to us as a tale told from mother to
daughter, almost like a legend.
The photography is beautiful. The sets are very immersive and realistic, with fitting wardrobe. The story is interesting and light hearted, with some hit of drama and laughters. The characters are well built and very well played.
The most annoying thing about this film is the mix of accent, real or false. I admit it's probably because French is my mother tongue, but still. You eventually get used to it though. Also, the ending is just too perfect, especially concerning the mayor. I know the whole story has a fairy- tale undertone, but he completely reverse not only his view on the stranger, but also his demeanor and his religious views on the sanctity of marriage. It's too much.
Still, I recommend to everyone, especially if you like a bit of romance and tall tales.
This film is not recommended to those who are on a low calorie diet, because it makes you want to dive into a bowl of succulent chocolate. It's amazing how a simple movie can do that, without even using the scent to lure you. Chocolate turns an ordinary village of France into a sweet world, a fairy tale among simple people. The costumes and the scenery are very believable, really capturing the era and the atmosphere, of that time. But the story is good as well, without getting boring, speaking about the love that can tie family and friends together, the stereotypes that support closed communities of the countryside and how a simple ingredient like chocolate, can turn everything upside down. Great performances from the main and supporting cast actors and a memorable soundtrack. All in all chocolate is a remarkable film.
Okay, the film has a first rate cast including the wonderful Oscar Winner Juliette Binoche who plays a single mother who comes to a small village in La Belle France where the rules are governed by a small-minded mayor. Anyway, Lena Olin plays a battered wife who is taken in by Binoche's character. Dame Judi Dench plays a 70 year old widow full of life and she earns an academy award nomination no matter what she does in the film industry. Anyway, British Alfred Molina plays the French mayor. Scandinavian Lena Olin plays a key role as well. American Johnny Dep plays a rogue pirate who he and his gang of vagabonds wash up on the riverbanks and entice Binoche's character. The film is alright and somewhat above average. OF course, some of it at times can be absurd. My favorite moment is the housewife who remarks about her husband's lack of interest in intimacy and she was played by a French actress as well. The film is done well by Lasse Hallstrom but I don't think it's Oscar worthy. American Carrie Anne Moss also has a role playing Dench's daughter who forbids her son from knowing his grandmother. You can figure what happens.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
At first, I thought chocolat would be one of those European films that we Americans don't understand because of the culture differences. After the initial introduction, the movie settled down into a pace where it quietly included past European and hence American superstitions and behaviors. Aristocracy and the hardships of labor are entwined with the love and devotion of family and friends. But not without a price. As the characters emerge you will fall for this romantic drama. This film requires no detailed knowledge of history or culture. A great film for family, dates, or just to be entertained but without the over the top explosions.
The year is 1959, but it might just as well be a century or more before, for all the intrusion of modern times and technology in this story of a mysterious woman (Binoche) and her daughter who arrive in a small French town and open a chocolate shop during Lent, which angers the mayor, a devout and intolerant count (Molina) who vows to put her out of business. In a sense, the story is a fairy tale about a good witch who turns a town upside down mainly due to the villagers' fear and ignorance, and does good for them despite themselves. Beautifully shot, wonderfully written, and delightfully acted, the film is as near perfection among romantic comedy-dramas as I have seen in a long time. Binoche is most fetching, Olin fine as a battered wife who blooms (it is magical just for a film buff to contemplate how the actresses and their roles have changed since they were together in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"), Molina a wonderful "villain," and Judi Dench as a crusty diabetic landlady somehow made me cry nearly every time she came on screen. Fine as he has been elsewhere, Johnny Depp as a sort of gypsy water-rat with a curious Irish brogue is a little out of his depth in this crowd. This is one to treasure in repeated viewings.
This movie was a wonderful surprise! A great cast and amazing directing! This movie combines wonderful bits of humor and wisdom along with romance and drama and of course...mouth watering Chocolate. The result is a very sweet mix of fairy tale and real life and it all adds up to great movie making!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I found this movie quite by accident and I was just blown away by it.
OK, I admit it: I absolutely love Johnny Depp and he's incredible in
this. But he's not alone, I mean, Juliette Binoche and Judy Dench among
others are definitely first class company. Alfred Molina has been one
of my favorite actors, ever since I watched him in "Not without my
daughter" with Sally Fields back in 1991. He shows his first class
quality in this movie and proved that he's just as versatile as the
great Johnny Depp himself.
But this movie belongs to the women of "Chocolat", they are IT! Every single one of them is a star! Juliette Binoche is incredibly charming and her chemistry with Johnny Depp is as addictive as chocolate.
The location is superb as it should, since it's a real village in the South of France, the music is beautiful and haunting at times, but not intrusive. The plot is good even if it's a bit predictable: the priest under the thumbs of the mayor and all the town's prejudice, the grandmother who is forbidden to spend time with her grandson because of the daughter's insecurity, the battered wife, etc, etc. But it all works out very nicely in the end with the town finally accepting the atheist lady and her perverse sweets, the return of the hunk, aka Johnny Depp and the wind, which is another caractor in the story... in other words, all lived happily ever after!
Even though it got five Oscar nominations and good reviews I f figured
this would be another in the long list of independent movies that
critics loved, not because it was great, but simply because it was
"un-Hollywood" and different. I was right on both accounts, it was not
standard Hollywood and it was different. But it was also great. How
refreshing to watch a movie that didn't depend on sex scenes, special
effects, or "over the top" violence to entertain. The acting was
superb, the script was well crafted and the direction offered a lot of
"eye candy" so you didn't want to look away.
I especially like the dialogue. The writer left a lot of holes for the viewer to fill in the blanks, so you felt like you were contributing to the story yourself. I was a wonderful movie.
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