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Chocolat
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Chocolat More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful movie to be watched on its own terms

10/10
Author: Andrew Werling (awerling)
1 April 2001

This gorgeous and moving film has been unfairly compared to "Like Water For Chocolate," which was a completely different movie with a very different story. "Chocolat," on its own terms, then: a simple folktale about a mother and daughter compelled by their family legacy to wander from town to town, sharing love (in this case, symbolized by chocolate with a special ingredient) and bringing hope to people. It's a film about freedom, about inclusiveness, about release. The sheer beauty of every aspect of the film had me in tears, and I bought the sound track immediately after leaving the theater. I had to let go of expecting the characters to have complicated motives; again, this is a simpler film than that. I could relate to it, and I'm certain I'm not the only one. The question is: how has each of us blindly followed what we called our destiny without scrutiny? How are we avoiding freedom? The answer is not always as obvious as we might expect.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Lets just be serious about the accents

10/10
Author: dohanlon_ie from Dublin, Ireland
28 March 2001

I loved this film and am sick of people dissing it because A. The accents are not authentic or B. cos it's not inn french! Who mentioned the fact that Quills was not in Frennch? Very few! It is important to note that the director of Chocolat wanted a mixture of accents to give the impression of differing identities. As for the language thinmg OK lets alol agree thast if ~Chocolat should be in French and be as authentic as possible the that other thing called Gladiator should be inn Latin and shouldn't feature an actor the sounds like he has just run in from the bush.... opppps I shouldn't even suggest that should I Gladiator was such accurate filmmaking a Crowe is such a fantastic actor.... and his rubber soled sandals.... from the Roman empire.... wher thay spoke LATIN!!!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Deliciously Funny!

10/10
Author: v2hot4u01 from USA
27 March 2001

This movie is probably the best movie I have seen in about 5 years. This movie uses alot of comedy to represent a woman and her child spreading the taste of chocolate all over France. But the Mayor of this town thinks that chocolate is the taste of the devil. Your going to have to see this outstanding movie nominated for Best Picture to see the comediac ending of this film. Give a laugh or two and come see this film!!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pleasant, though a bit obvious.

8/10
Author: ppazniokas from Northern NJ
18 March 2001

A difficult film to dislike, it strikes a nice medium between drama and comedy - the kind of thing the French would have done very well. There's not much to it, but it's put together so charmingly and the actors do such a solid job, that you end up not minding that it spends perhaps a minute too long at the end spelling out what its lesson is. If you can forgive this little flaw, then it's a pleasant enough 2 hours.

The ensemble acting is wonderful (recognize the very scary dude from "Fargo"?), and Rachel Portman's music is perfect, as usual.

Of course, this is quite an airy souffle to be getting nominated as Best Picture, but - hey - that's the Academy for you.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A breath (North wind) of fresh air!

10/10
Author: bigdgun (bigdgunferd@yahoo.com) from Central California
14 March 2001

I have two real addictions in life...women and chocolate. Juliette Binoche is glorius. She is totally believable as a nomadic mother who dreams up the most delectable chocolate creations but can't keep her legs crossed. Lena Olin transforms a skittish kleptomaniac into a raving middle-aged beauty. And Judi Dench does what she does best...ACT! The young priest, Hugh O'Conor is wonderful to watch as he comes out of his shell. And Alfred Molina is the stodgiest of mayors. Johnny Depp is the only really weak link in the entire movie. He just kind of shows up and presents us with no real emotion at all. Oh, how I wish I could say more, but almost anything else would give away this delightful little farce. I laughed and I cried the whole time, often simultaneously.

My highest recommendation for a wonderful time is just to go see it. The small screen will never do justice to Chocolat.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Sweet Fable

10/10
Author: HOLLYWOODSUCKS from California
13 March 2001

I believe many people watched this only because of its Oscar contention. I am not a huge movie fan and could not care less about Hollywood's popularity contest, formally known as the Oscars. However, I did see this movie on the big screen, right after work and really enjoyed it. It seems to me that some people were expecting too much out of a fairy tale story. There was a nice round of applause after this movie ended, so I'm sure I wasn't the only one in the audience who appreciated a bit of escapism for about 2 hours.

This is a movie about people and chocolate. It's also a fable, in other words, it is not meant to be taken so seriously. Having been raised Catholic, I could identify with the restrictions put upon the villagers, and I don't blame them for sinning!!

As for the actors, the international cast ensemble is superb. Juliette Binoche is great as Vianne. I have never come across an actor/actress that completely captivates me the way Binoche does, I've even started watching her French foreign films. She definetely has movie star presence.

Lena Olin, Dame Judi Dench, Hugh O'Conor, Carrie-Ann Moss Alfred Molina, and the child actors do just fine in the supporting roles. Johnny Depp and the chocolates look really good on a big screen.

Sure this movie has its faults, no car crashes, nudity, profanity, etc. and doesn't really require people to think deeply. If this is what you need in movies, skip this one. I walked out of this movie with a light heart, knowing people can share different point of views and that Chocolat is still tempting and very sweet.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Tasty!

9/10
Author: meeza (themeezaman@hotmail.com) from Miami, Fl
3 March 2001

The fable `Chocolat' is a delicious treat by Director Lasse Hallstrom. This tasty story is about an engaging drifter who inhabits a constrained town and opens up a chocolat. Let's just say that her pastries would have turned Willy Wonka into Willy Bonka. Juliette Binoche, who has not acted since her Oscar winning performance in `The English Patient', was delightful as the chocolat owner. Judi Dench, Lena Olin, Alfred Molina also left a good aftertaste with their supporting work. So hurry up and take a bite out of `Chocolat' before it runs out! ***** Excellent

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A fable so smooth it melts in your mouth.

Author: bergman-6 from Los Angeles, CA
19 December 2000

I thoroughly enjoyed the film, as did the other people in my group. It's a simple fable with a predictable ending, but we all got caught up in the mood and felt that we were friends with the quirky characters who live in the small French town where all the action takes place. Even the two children are enjoyable, not nauseatingly cutesy as one fears children might be in this type of film. Juliette Binoche is ravishing to look at and conveys the Mary Poppins-type quirkiness that carries the film. Alfred Molina is the reactionary, super-religious mayor of the town who tries to pressure Binoche into leaving, but his portrayal is sympathetic enough that he doesn't destroy the fable-like quality of the film. Johnny Depp is a charming river rat, and you also have two fantastic pros in Judi Dench and Leslie Caron. Go, and let the movie suck you into its sense of place and time and you'll leave the theater feeling that all is possible in life after all.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A truly delicious experience- almost like the equivalent of putting a chocolate into your mouth

9/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
27 October 2010

There were a few reasons why I wanted to see Chocolat. I am all for sweet, heart-warming stories and I love Johnny Depp and Judi Dench. Upon viewing, Chocolat doesn't disappoint. The pacing sags slightly in the middle, but Chocolat is overall delightful and quite simply for me a delicious experience. The production values are exquisite- the cinematography is lovely, the scenery is breathtaking and the costumes are gorgeous. The music is also lovingly lyrical, and the script is both funny and touching and thankfully manages not to become too mushy or treacly. And the story is very heart-warming and compelling, with crisp direction from Lasse Hallstrom. Chocolat does also have a fine cast, Juliette Binoche is typically fine and Johnny Depp looking so handsome by the way is charming. Alfred Molina is great too, and while Judi Dench was very good I personally think her performances for Notes on a Scandal, Iris and Mrs Brown were better. In conclusion, excellent film. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Charming and sweet, "Chocolat" is a typical but wise morality tale

8/10
Author: Movie_Muse_Reviews from IL, USA
14 June 2010

"Chocolat" sounds like a gooey foreign love story, but it's actually a fable with classic story archetypes and a hint of magic, all of which finishes pleasantly with a tender morsel -- err, moral.

It's about as sophisticated as chocolate, which is not very sophisticated, so "Chocolat" is as easily digested as it is open to criticism for a lack of heady drama. Nominated for five Oscars, one would think it dwells in intellectual territory, but "Chocolat" comes from the heart -- and possibly the stomach. "The Cider House Rules" director Lasse Hallstrom sees these charms and wisely makes them the focal point of this likable film.

Juliette Binoche stars as a mysterious but likable woman name Vianne who comes to a small, bland and morally rigid French town run by the Catholic church and opens a chocolate shop with her imaginative young daughter. We know only that "the wind brought her" to this town -- her past remains a mystery, which creates that slightly magical tall tale effect. Within the first fifteen minutes her shop is open for business and she's successfully predicting what each customer's favorite treat will be. Binoche exudes the charm the role requires but never sacrifices sophistication despite not having a clearly established back story.

On the opposite end of the spectrum sits Alfred Molina as Comte de Reynaud, the moral authority figure who immediately sees Vianne's shop as an affront to his town and its Catholic principles. Cold on the outside but clearly soft on the inside, of all the Oscar nominations, somehow Molina's performance -- in my opinion the film's best -- was overlooked.

Vianne's chocolate creates quite the stir, improving one couple's love life, inspiring a wife (Lena Olin) to leave her abusive husband and reuniting a old woman (Judi Dench) with her grandson. In a more serious film, this would all seem quite convenient and unlikely, but few viewers will fail to notice that chocolate is a metaphor here for something bigger. It embodies that blurred line between what is temptation and what is healthy possibility.

That metaphor provides a strong moral fiber for "Chocolat" which turns out to be what makes it a fine film. It has a tendency to dull a bit in the middle and the entrance of Johnny Depp late into the run time despite his high billing confuses more than helps the story, but overall "Chocolat" is rich in its simplicity. When the young priest, Pere Henri (Hugh O'Conor) delivers the closing words of the film at Easter Mass after appearing as a peculiar and weak character throughout, the story's message becomes abundantly clear and the intention and wisdom of the film shine through.

"Chocolat" could easily be construed as critical of organized religion, Catholicism in particular, but Pere Henri's speech beautifully connects the film's call for embracing life with Christian philosophy. It's a timeless message with timeless components, but the unique premise and setting make "Chcolat" a fresh tale of great wisdom.

~Steven C

Visit my site http://moviemusereviews.com

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