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Chocolat
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Chocolat More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Warning - This Film Will Make You Hungry

9/10
Author: trix_n_min from Australia
16 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is just fantastic. Great cast, beautiful scenery, fantastic storyline. The setting of the town is just lovely, and the food scenes just make your mouth water. Everything in this film is just glittering with beauty. The accents, the actors, the chocolate of course, the town, the relationships... it is just lovely, a truly beautiful, peaceful movie. This film has a lovely tone and message to it, which it delivers beautifully, and Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp make the most gorgeous couple I've ever seen. The only downside? What with the chocolate and the enormous feast that is cooked up in the film, it always makes me hungry when I watch it, and dying to cook. A real delicacy.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A strange but endearing little film

8/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
1 June 2007

This interesting little film is set in a small town in France in 1960. Into a very conservative and self-satisfied town comes a strange Bohemian lady and her young daughter to open a chocolate shop. The fact that the child has no father and the shop opens during Lent sends some of the townspeople into a tizzy--particularly the Mayor who is like a human version of Sam the Eagle from the "Muppet Show"--both in looks and attitude. Despite the concerted efforts of many to drive her out of business, the lady's business survives--thanks to candy that seems to work magic on those who consume it. Later, a group of Gypsies arrive and for once, they are the most hated residents of the town--not the Chocolatier. How all this anger and animosity is worked out is something you'll just need to see for yourself.

Now some might watch this film and assume it is an attack on religion--it sure looks that way through much of the film. On one hand, you have the Chocatier who is good and never goes to church and on the other you have church goers who are all hypocrites. However, please DON'T give up on the film, as you later see that the lady does NOT have all the answers and the film is not an attack on religion, per se, but an attack on those who have a dogmatic devotion to rules and thereby ignore the spirit of Christianity. In many ways the film reminds me of ANTONIA (Best Foreign Picture Winner, 1995) except that unlike ANTONIA, this film is NOT meant as an angry attack on religion and seems less rabidly feminist. Both films actually have a very similar message, but CHOCOLAT is much more subtle and less angry--meaning it's a film that can be appreciated by most anyone regardless of their political or religious persuasion--especially since the film seems to call for religious reform not the elimination of religion altogether.

Also, oddly, the film reminded me quite a bit of another Dutch film, JA ZUSTER, NEE ZUSTER (Yes Sister, No Sister). Both feature a nice leading lady and her small group of friends who are constantly attacked by a very conservative and fun-hating neighbor who eventually comes to accept them in the end.

About the only serious negative in the film is Johnny Depp's character. He looks scruffy--just like Depp looks in real life. Considering this film was set in 1960, he really is an anachronism--being a 21st century hippie-like character plopped down in the early 1960s. His character just didn't make a lot of sense.

Regardless, this is a fun and highly entertaining film. Aside from a couple tiny scenes that make the film inappropriate for young kids, this is a film you can let your kids see (making it quite unlike ANTONIA).

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Good film.

Author: caltechwomanalways from United States
4 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After just having seen it I understand why this is called one of the best films ever. This is neorealism and a big masterpiece. Everything are so simply put together and still so very touching( I actually started to cry in the end, I think it's the only film that have ever made me cry). The acting by the mother and child are more then perfect and so is the cinematography and the direction. This woman's character really shows the awfulness it is to be as poor as the family in the film.

I had expected this film to be a masterpiece but might not as touching and powerful as it really was. It's the simple story about a woman opening a chocalate store and the town's oppostion to her. How true and how sad. In this world, people's hearts grow colder by the second.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I loved it

10/10
Author: manyblackbears from United States
25 June 2006

This is an excellent movie. Juliette's character is wonderful and of Course Johnny Depp makes a great Gyspy vagabond. I have watched this movie over 6 times already and never get sick of it,There is something mysterious that keeps drawing me to watch it again and again. It is funny, warm, and very interesting from start to finish. The Chocolate makes you drool with hunger. Everyone will enjoy this movie.Even my husband, who normally likes action and thrillers sat through the entire movie and said he enjoyed it. I would have to say that this movie was Juliettes best performance and definitely deserved and Oscar for it. Take a chance and watch it as you will be pleasantly pleased.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A very tasty piece of cinema.

8/10
Author: theshadow908 from London, Ontario
19 February 2006

In 1959, a single mother opens a small chocolate shop in a small town in France. People enjoy the chocolate, but the shop comes under fire when it stays open during lent, causing temptation among the townspeople.

Chocolat has an awesome story that is kept in balance with everything going on in the town it takes place in. The movie doesn't solely focus on the problems the woman (well played by Juliette Binoche) is having with her chocolate shop, but also with the town's mayor, an abusive husband, a woman's relationship with her mother, and a band of gypsies that come passing through. All of these unconnected events are inextricably linked through the chocolate shop that opens in the town. I like how well the movie flows with a nice blend of comedy and drama. Surprisingly, one of the most engaging things in the film is the woman's daughter's relationship with her imaginary friend, an injured kangaroo. My favourite character though is Roux, the gypsy that befriends the woman.

Everyone in the movie does a really good job in their roles. I could watch Johnny Depp sleeping and still enjoy his performance, so I naturally liked him in this movie. I found Alfred Molina pretty funny as the mayor of the town. All in all, this is a really good film worth checking out. If nothing else, it will make you hungry.

8/10

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Cute but deep romantic film

9/10
Author: Frank Oosterom (f.oosterom@yahoo.com) from Netherlands
6 January 2006

Ever since The English patient hit the screens, the charmingly Juliette Binoche is to be enjoyed thoroughly in whatever film she appears in, but in Chocolat, where she roams around as a nomadic one child-mother in her home country France, she gets more out of here performance than just cuteness.

Of course, the purpose of the film is a romantic one, with Johnny Depp easily fulfilling his character as a notable gypsy and romantic interest of Binoche, and Alfred Molina as the classic malefactor in this story of the powers of chocolate. But the well casted Binoche steals the show with her French savoir-faire on the subtleties of yearning and seduction.

Not seduction in a Sharon Stone way, A Kim Basinger or even a Jennifer Lopez way, but one that makes her a true believable girl next door, while still keeping that enigmatic secret, that every nomad seems to have.

While we must not forget the nice performance of the supporting actors (of which Alfred Molina and Judi Dench stand out), it is Binoche that shows how to incorporate a romantic story with a deeper layer, without getting corny or boring, although we all know where it's gonna end.

And that's where romantic films need to score: on a niche in the thematic material, or the characters of the romance, who want to be followed through their hurdles-taking.

Chocolat succeeds handsomely with this, which makes it recommended not only for enamored couples of any age, but of everyone who wants a taste of what gives people their energy in struggling for a place of their own.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

If chocolate is considered to be evil... then... oh, boy

8/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
29 May 2004

I need some churching. "Chocolat" is a cute little town film. All about a woman who newly arrives into town and makes chocolate. When she turns down an invitation to church, everyone thinks bad things about her. They even consider her chocolate to be evil because it tastes so good. She befriends most of the townspeople. Excluding a few who don't like her at all. She even befriends the "rats" who sail in once a year. She happens to fall for one of them. But she is still pressured to leave due to her delicious chocolate.

The film is well done. The story is alright. But the acting takes it all. I would recommend especially for Johnny lovers.

8/10

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Dumbed-down Disney Drivel

6/10
Author: sdl-2 from Waltham, Mass.
3 September 2001

Boring, paint-by-numbers Miramax attempt at a French movie about a "feisty" young woman with a troubled past and a heart of gold who blows into town and shows everyone how uptight they are. Every scene suffused with warm Hallmark-card hues, every character completely predictable -- the crotchety old woman with a saucy past, the timid wife whose husband beats her, the sweet old bachelor too shy to court the war widow. All the actors in this awful travesty -- Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, even the cute little dogs -- have done far better work, which "Chocolat" is obviously trying to cash in on.

In short, a good date movie -- if your date just happened to have had a lobotomy. Do yourself a favor and rent a real French film, where, e.g., people actually have sex instead of just talking about it.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Emotionally phony

Author: dexter-12 from Hamilton Canada
22 March 2001

Have you seen Like Water For Chocolate? That movie did this story so much better. Chocolat was manipulative and clichéd and no one deserves an Oscar nomination for this phony movie. It's like everyone involved said let's make a French-kind of movie but Binoche is the only French person in it and it shows because the whole thing rings so hollow.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Did no one else notice the stereotyping?

Author: badger-37 (badger2@prodigy.net.mx) from Guadalajara, Mexico
21 March 2001

I enjoyed the movie but the stereotyping bothered me. All the conservative church going villagers are bigoted "bad-os". While all the bohemian types are fun loving rovers, complete with hearts of gold and halos! Come now, life is not that simple. I saw this with Spanish subtitles and the translation was a bit "loose" to say the least

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