Chocolat (2000) Poster

(2000)

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10/10
What a wise and beautiful movie!
mir-te16 February 2004
I saw Chocolat again last night. I had forgotten how lovely a movie it is! People need stories like this these days.

Some other viewers have complained about the predictability of the plot. I don't think it's any more predictable than an average Hollywood film; I find most action films much more predictable and shallow.

The most beautiful thing about the movie (as about Hallström movies generally) is the wise, warm-hearted story about things that matter: love, sincerity, tolerance, standing up for the things you believe are righteous and good, and enjoying the simple pleasures in life, like a good dinner with friends, or like chocolate :) And Hallström tells his stories so delicately, in his very own style, with fine nuances and a twinkle of humour in his eye. Binoche, Dench, Depp, Molina, Thivisol etc. are fantastic.

I'm so glad I saw the movie. It always makes me think and feel a lot.
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wonderful movie :)
Stardreamer200830 July 2007
First I borrowed this movie from videostore And loved it so much that soon I bought the DVD so I could watch it again. That's how much i love it. I truly regret not watching it, while it was in the cinemas, it would have been great to see it on the big screen. This movie has everything: humanity, love, magic (and gorgeous cinematography), comedy, sadness, great acting. There is depth and strength to the characters in the movie. The costumes and special effects are great too. I loved the acting and how all these story lines were woven into a beautiful, delightful fable. This movie has got the heart. The music is beautiful too, it is so enchanting. It is so wonderful and bittersweet, like chocolate for the soul :) I strongly recommend it
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Taste-teasing Mouthmelting Movie Magic
findkeep4 March 2001
Chocolat

**** out of ****

Chocolat gives new meaning to one of my favorite film phrases… eye candy. As the title would suggest it is a very sweet film, and not only for the gobs and gobs of luscious, mouthwatering, little morsels. There are parts of the film that look like they could belong to a particularly delectable episode of `Martha Stewart Living', but if you can get past the pangs of hunger it will certainly inflict, you will find there is a lot more to this seemingly charming and simple story.

The film plays in the style of all whimsical children's fairy tales, while at the same time blending in a series of very serious adult themes. It chronicles the exploits of single mother Vianne Rocher, played as usual to a wonderful effect by Juliette Binoche, and her sugary but confused 6-year-old daughter Anouk (Victoire Thivisol), who blow in on a forceful winter wind to the small rural French town of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes. There they open a small chocolate shop. Now this seems innocent enough but the people of the town have different views. For one the shop has been opened at the very unwelcomed time of Lent (a religious fast), during which new temptations certainly aren't invited. Secondly the town's new residents refuse to attend the Sunday morning worship service. Vianne soon finds herself to be the center of the town gossip and distaste, led by the mayor (Alfred Molina). The battle heats up between allegedly pagan Vianne, and the highly conservative, stuffed-shirt townspeople. At start it seems the Rochers are losing, but the fight soon turns as the townsfolk begin to discover the mouth-melting effects of Vianne's wonderful taste-teasing treats.

Misadventure after misadventure occur as the couple come in contact with a wide array of colorful characters (just when you think he must be an extra in comes Johnny Depp), solving their problems while at the same time selling their chocolates. The moral is left fairly open, and can be interpreted in many ways. My personal views are these: That to be good and righteous, doesn't mean you can't be different, you should accept everyone, not necessarily for who they are, but for what they are, human beings. Everyone deserves a proper chance. In the end all characters realize the error of their ways and live together happily and harmoniously.

Chocolat has opened to mixed reviews. Some critics find it to be overly simple, but I think that it is the movie's simplicity that drives it to become so charmingly enthralling. Granted at times it does become at bit silly, but it all ends to a good warm effect. Apparently the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences share my views as the film was nominated for five academy awards, Best Picture, Best Actress (Binoche), Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score.

Chocolat is a mouthwatering piece of movie magic. Definitely worth a look! It has it's flaws but they are easily covered up by it's great performances (particularly by Binoche), beautiful scenery, giddy musical score, and delightful story. Oh,… and those wonderful chocolates.
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8/10
Mmmm, Mmmm, Good!
FigNewton18 August 2001
I had heard all the rave reviews, saw the number of Oscar nominations this flick received but still wasn't convinced it was a movie I'd like. I want to kick myself now for waiting this long to see it! Yes, I forsook the big screen for the video but I wasn't disappointed a bit.

Chocolat is a wonderful movie. It deals with real issues that people face. The characters are believable because they have flaws. They've got inward struggles which makes this film even better. It's a story of the human condition and how even deep prejudices can be overcome by the simple act of kindness and the willingness to strive for individuality.

I have to admit the only reason I wanted to watch this movie at first was because of Johnny Depp. I have to say I loved his performance as Roux. I wished the writers would've done more with his character but what we did get to feast on was incredible. Juliette Binoche was also incredible as Vianne and the chemistry between all the actors was great.

I would recommend Chocolat. If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for? It's great to see there are still film makers out there that have a sense of humanity. Chocolat is all of that and more.

Chocolat was indeed Mmmm, Mmmm, good!!
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10/10
A Sweet Delight!
jhclues1 February 2001
A film to awaken the senses and stimulate the sweet tooth, `Chocolat,' directed by Lasse Hallstrom and starring Juliette Binoche. is both a sensuous and sensational delight. In the mid ‘50s, as if borne on the winds of fate, a somewhat mysterious woman arrives in a small town in France, with a young daughter, Anouk (Victoire Thivisol) in tow and a special talent that soon has the townsfolk in quite a stir. Binoche is Vianne Rocher, a woman who uses her exotic recipe for chocolate to unlock the repressed sensibilities of the predominately Catholic citizenry, heretofore kept under the rigid and righteous thumb of the Mayor, Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina), with no respite or help, even from the town's young and inexperienced priest, Pere Henri (Hugh O'Conor). And because Vianne has the audacity to open her chocolate shop during Lent, when of course her sumptuous treats are forbidden, she quickly runs afoul of the Mayor and a battle of wills between the two ensues. Her chocolates are irresistible, but the Mayor has tradition and religion on his side, and it puts the free-spirited Vianne-- who has something of the gypsy in her-- to the test. As a director, Hallstrom has just the right touch that brings out the best this story has to offer, which is to say, quite a bit. It's an affecting and funny movie that will touch you emotionally as it involves you with the characters; Hallstrom knows what buttons to push and when, and it works splendidly. There's a touch of mystery surrounding Vianne that underscores the sensitivity of the story, and Hallstrom never allows it to become maudlin, which successfully maintains the integrity of the drama. And there are moments throughout the film that evoke an almost dream-like sense of pacification that draw you in as you indulge in the mouth watering visual pleasures of the chocolate. Be forewarned, though, it's a tough one for diabetics to watch. What Hallstrom also has going for him in this one is an absolutely exquisite cast, many of whom give Oscar worthy, memorable performances, beginning with the superb Juliette Binoche. There's an earthy, enigmatic and classic sense of beauty about her that make her presence on screen captivating; she's simply a joy to behold. Judi Dench (Amande), meanwhile, does a terrific character turn as a mother whose daughter, Caroline (Carrie-Anne Moss), deems her an embarrassment and a bad influence on her son, Luc (Aurelien Parent-Koening), and Lena Olin (Josephine) is outstanding as well, as an unhappy woman who finds hope in Vianne's undaunted spirit. Three extraordinary performances from gifted actresses that should be recognized with Oscar nominations. And Molina, too, as the narrow minded Comte, gives possibly the best performance of his career, while Johnny Depp (Roux) lends some charm as the leader of a roving community of river people. Rounding out the supporting cast are John Wood (Guillaume), Peter Stormare (Serge) and Leslie Caron (Madame Audel). Possibly the `sweetest' film of the year, as well as one of the best, `Chocolat' is a visual and emotional triumph that will warm your heart and make your taste buds salivate, with a story and characters as rich and satisfying as the candy they embrace. It's a film with a human touch whose images and sensitivity will remain with you long after the screen has gone dark; an uplifting, entertaining movie that proves that the answers to the mysteries of life just may be found in that box of chocolates, after all. I rate this one 10/10.
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8/10
Enjoyable comedy-drama directed by Lasse Hallström
Travis_Bickle016 May 2005
Beautiful movie from master-director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, The Shipping News, What's Eating Gilbert Grape) with wonderful performances by Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, and Hallström's wife Lena Olin. "Chocolat" is a very beautiful and touching movie about a single mother with a daughter who decides to open a "chocolaterie" in a very conservative village during Lent. What follows almost looks like a fairytale: the characters, the story, the music, the whole idea of an old conservative French village…

I liked the movie a lot. It has everything: a laugh, a cry, a wonderful story and some amazing acting performances. Juliette Binoche is made to play this kind of caring and sensitive women. Although Johnny Depp had a very small part in this movie, he was excellent as always. I personally think that Judi Dench gave one of her best performances in "Chocolat", truly great acting! Maybe not Hallström's best; I liked "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and "The Cider House Rules" more; but certainly worth watching.

8/10
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10/10
Thought provoking story
lida_mila26 September 2005
I have only seen this movie for the first time today. I have to admit that I hesitated somewhat as I did not believe I would like it because it was described to me as a 'chick flick', a genre I do not subscribe to even though I am a girl. How wrong was that description. I loved the film, the story, the scenery. Such genuine & diverse characters. The actors chosen were perfect for their roles, I cannot imagine anyone else playing the parts. The DVD I had was borrowed, but I intend to buy a copy for myself as it would fit into my small library of movies. I have to see it again & this time I will share the experience with my partner as I know he will appreciate the story. Lida
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10/10
Do not deny yourself this pleasure
hemmingsn14 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
-This film transports through the art of story telling.

-It takes you out of your situation and introduces you to a group of fascinating people.

-Each character either is beautiful or becomes beautiful.

Chocalat can be loved on the surface or somewhere more profound. The audience can choose the depth in which they wish to receive it. Little children may be entranced with the way chocolate looks when melted and stirred, whereas adults are entranced by the emotional impact of learning how to not deny one's self of the little pleasures in life (and also be captivated by melted chocolate!) Chocalat is grounded in emotional reality, but possess magical qualities breaching into the realms of a fairy tale.

An entire family can enjoy this one or you could simply watch it on your own.

I sometimes like to have the film on in the background while doing homework. Eventually I am immersed without fail.

DO NOT DENY YOURSELF THIS PLEASURE
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Cast of Chocolat Satisfies Sweet tooth
cdsouter19 December 2000
We all have our vices. Vices make us complete human beings. We can surpress them and deny them, but we can't quite run away from them. Does it not strike you as a little humorous when someone looks at a menu, knows exactly what they want, but then decides not to get it for fear they will not only offend their God, but offend their own nature? Lasse Hollstrom's latest film, Chocolat, knows all about that person.

Juliette Binoche stars as Vianne Rosher, a chocolate shop owner who not only gets people to talk about their forbidden fruits, but also has the ability to make people happily indulge in them. She, along with her daughter, Anouk (Victoire Thivisol), moves into a quiet French village during Lent and opens her chocolate shop. The townspeople look in the window, admire the confections for a moment, then walk on by.

One diabetic woman, Amande (Judi Dench), decides to stay for a little while. Vianne puts a colorful ceramic plate on the table and spins it around. She asks what Amande sees in the image. Amande tells her and Vianne presumes to know exactly what kind of confection Amande would like the best. We could only dream of such customer service this time of year.

Amande's young grandson, Luc, an aspiring artist, also can't seem to stay away from the chocolate store, in spite of the wishes of his churchgoing mother (Carrie-Anne Moss). Actually, the whole town goes to the same church and it doesn't take long before the Mayor (Alfred Molena) has his say against the shop, since many of the chocolates have been carved into the shapes of naked women and have names such as Nipples of Venus. The chocolates also seem to be changing people's behavior. A sexless, joyless married couple all of a sudden can't keep their Butterfingers off each other.

The non-churchgoing Vianne eventually becomes the center of the town's controversy, but she soon has company after the arrival of the river rats, a group of Irish merchants who travel by boat to pawn off whatever they can, much to the dismay of the townspeople. Here, Vianne meets Roux (Johnny Depp), and they become fast friends and, well, you know the rest.

The story of Chocolat could be described in one sentence-Footloose, only instead of dancing, it's chocolates. However, in this film we have some magic realism to deal with. Unfortunately, the film does not quite develop its own `magical' ideas. It gets bogged down by the usual story elements an d sub-plots we often see with this kind of story. We get the battered wife who finds solace in Vianne's shop and we get the burning of a particular place (here, a boat) to further drive home the point that outsiders will not be tolerated. I would have liked a little more `magic.'

On the other hand, we do get some magic in the form of the performances. Juliette Binoche actually smiles and acts charming, as opposed to the sorrowful and pensive roles in which we usually see her. What a relief to finally see her carrying a picture with warmth, confidence and wit, as well as beauty. The guitar-twanging Johnny Depp (reuniting with his Gilbert Grape director), with a ponytail and an Irish accent, compliments her with a rugged look and easygoing charm that makes his fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants character a perfect soulmate for Binoche.

I recommend stopping by the candy counter or sneaking in some Fannie May confections before the movie starts. This film does for chocolate what Big Night did for Italian food. In spite of its flaws, Chocolat makes for a far more rewarding and satisfying film experience than Hollstrom's last feel-gooder, the over-rated Cider House Rules. In the end, something about this film won me over. It could have been the irrisistable theme of great food being as close to Godliness as one could get. It could have been the sights of chocolates being created and turned into glorious, statuesque works of art. It could have been the enjoyable cast, each member dealing with their hidden anguish and repression. Or it could have been all of the above, combined with the captivating and alluring grace of Juliette Binoche.

We all have our vices.
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10/10
A Perfect Film !
sarah page20 January 2007
What a pure delight Chocolat is. Gentle, Beautiful and heart warming. That could describe many films but unlike others it displays no clichés or tired ideas. It is refreshing and pure. The cast is superb, Binoche is a wonder who glides effortlessly through the part of the mysterious and beautiful Vianne. Molina is excellent as the repressed yet lustful Comte Renauld. Depp is as eccentric and wonderful as always.In fact the whole cast is fantastic. The story has all the elements of a wonderful fairy tale yet the perfect direction and the delightfully authentic french setting makes it serious movie. You really care about the characters and the many inter-twinned story lines keep you watching with joy.It also has a wonderful score and excellent costumes and sets, in fact in writing this review I cannot think of any criticism I could make. It is that rare thing : a truly perfect movie.
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9/10
Magical Movie
sbmicks14 June 2010
The movie Chocolat is a magical tale of a small village with many rules on how villagers are to live and act and behave. Then along comes a woman who enters their world and turns it upside down by allowing them to experience life to the fullest after opening a chocolaterie. As the villagers become more and more tempted to visit her shop, she is able to open their eyes through her chocolate to a world completely different from what they know and trust. At the same time, Vianne, the owner of the chocolaterie, struggles with her own desires as she is forced to follow the North wind as her mother did. Only when she decides to allow her mother's spirit alone to move on, does she begin to experience her own happiness. The theme of the story is about love and the experiences of life even if we must go against the ways of tradition and the past. It's about finding out what makes us happy and working towards it while respecting others. The major characters include the mayor (Alfred Molina) of the village who is always trying to do what is right even though his own private world is that of despair. The conflict between him and Vianne (Juliette Binoche) is very evident. Then the character Roux (Johnny Depp) is considered a "river rat" by the villagers but ends up as Vianne's own personal piece of chocolate that opens her eyes to happiness. Josephine (Lena Olin) is another woman in the village whose husband, Serge (Peter Stormare), is very abusive and when given the opportunity to leave and begin working with Vianne, she jumps on it. Armande (Judi Dench) is the landlord of Chocolatery and is faced with a broken relationship with her daughter. Armande does what she wants and says what she wants and her witty comments immediately draw you in. This movie is much more than romance, it's magic through the guilty pleasures of chocolate. The actors and actresses make you feel like you are right there wanting to experience life as they wish to. The costumes and setting throughout the movie is beautiful and make a remarkable contribution to the movie. The setting is important to this movie because it helps you become drawn in like you are truly there in this small village. The village buildings are beautiful as well as many other locations throughout the movie. The costumes are important as everyone wears very dull colors while Vianne (the outsider) wears red heals and bright colors. The movie is a must see and is very entertaining. The way the chocolate scene's become magical makes you want to be right there with her and become a part of it.
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10/10
Chocolate lovers,go for it!
hedieh_ghb17 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I was not sure if I was gonna like this movie or not but I end up liking it very much from the first five minutes till the end,I smiled all along watching it and in the middle of it I felt the urge of stopping it and went to eat some chocolate!I was literally craving chocolate!I do not agree with the reviews that say it was predictable,it was not a bit predictable for me and I really loved the ending.After such a great story it was really nice to see that all's well that ends well. Julliet Binoch is really gorgeous and is perfect for the part,all along the movie you feel like she is hiding something from the mystery of her eyes and the way she smiles. Johney Depp's performance and also all the other cast are good too. It's really worth watching,it's just that you are gonna end up craving chocolate just as I did!
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10/10
Excellent
zizzbell29 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Having seen the movie and then read the book i'll admit i was a little shocked at how many changes were made but i suppose it would have been quite difficult to stay true to the story and so some of the changes were acceptable. but i think that two of the changes should not have been made. Firstly i was rather confused by the way they changed the setting of the film from the early 1990s to 1959 a rather pointless change i thought. And secondly in the film Viannes mother is portrayed as a tribal wanderer type of person supposedly spreading chocolate around France whereas in the book she is a rather more complex superstitious character who is more interested in Tarot cards than chocolate and it is Vianne who is interested in chocolate. But there you go. Obviously the film was intended to be a little more happy and "do gooder" than the rather dark book. Nevertheless i thoroughly enjoyed the film and it remains one of my favourites.
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10/10
Your mouth will water.
Lee Eisenberg14 August 2005
I actually was rooting for "Chocolat" to win Best Picture for 2000. If you're the type who easily gives in to temptation, then this is the movie for you. Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French town where the mayor has suppressed all forms of happiness. But once Vianne and her daughter start selling their chocolates, things start to change for the better. And some people in town don't like that.

"Chocolat" reminded me of "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar"...in a good way. The idea of an outsider coming in and upsetting the status quo always makes a good movie. This is a movie that neither your eyes, mouth or stomach can afford to miss.
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9/10
I had never craved chocolate so much in my life!
Dragoneyed36314 September 2009
When I borrowed Chocolat from my friend, I really didn't know anything about it, or really what my expectations should be (other than that it's name made me hungry and there was something that was going to be happening about chocolate somewhere in the movie, hahaha). Well, when the movie started up, I got the main concept right away and was immediately interested, which they were very satisfactory at material like that, by that I mean, they weren't trying so hard to get the point through of what they wanted you to understand, they just followed the expression, "go with the flow" and that definitely worked out for the unquestionable better for this movie!

I immediately fell in love with Juliette Binoche's character Vianne, because they do an excellent job at establishing her character to where you really care for her and admire her, same for many of the other main and supporting characters like Josephine, Armande and Roux. This movie had amazing character structure which in the end benefited it greatly, because that is one of the things I look for in every movie, that they are able to introduce their characters with strong, effective personalities and dispositions, you understand what they are basically like right away, and magnificently all the actors and actresses were able to do that with their characters, as I have already stated and praised a couple of times; Juliette Binoche deserved an Oscar, and Carrie-Ann Moss, Johnny Depp, Lena Olin, Judi Dench, Alfed Molina etc. etc. all gave astoundingly award-worthy performances as well!

Second of all, the plot is absolutely miraculous. I couldn't help but be so mesmerized and entranced by how wonderfully they were able to create this strange, but lovable atmosphere of these people, not wanting to accept change to their quiet and "cardboard" little town, but then something so simple as chocolate is able to turn all their perspectives on life around all at once, which is a great and true message: The simplest things sometimes can make the biggest impact, and this movie definitely showed that and handled the idea incredibly well.

I love this movie, and the whole time I was watching, I had never wanted to consume chocolate so much in my life! I truly think it is really something special when a movie can just make the audience want to go out and do something or want to cooperate and or feel what the characters are feeling, and I mean that in a good sense of course, because the whole time I was watching this movie, I just wanted to experience these amazing experiences that the characters were experiencing and I even felt jealousy come over me as they obtained these opportunities!

This film certainly is nowhere near bad and or mediocre in any way! It is a masterpiece! One of the best films I have ever seen, actually, no lie there! I didn't find one flaw, but it's just I do think it's one of those films where I believe there are overall a few better movies than it, and by that I mean, while this movie is breathtakingly stunning in it's whole trial, there are movies that I, surprisingly, do enjoy more. Regardless, Chocolat is a fun, beautifully crafted, completely alluring work of art from start to finish, and by the end I was astonished at how fantastic this movie really turned out to be. I recommend to anyone who loves an enthralling plot that commingles with unforgettable performances behind unforgettable characters, non-stop entertainment and a little bit of a chocolaty sweet touch here and there...
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10/10
Excelente
rafika15 April 2006
This is simply one of the best movies I have ever seen, and I have seen quite a few. Juliet Binoche is magnificent as Vianne--perfectly cast. Her daughter is a true gem. The story line is completely engaging. I loved this movie from beginning to end. It made me hungry, happy and utterly at home in the mysterious and yet somehow familiar landscapes and plot lines that the author creates for the audience to enter. The writing is almost poetic and the characters are all completely believable and true to type. The chocolate shop is not a shop at all, but rather a metaphor we are all drawn into. I was inspired by the courage of the protagonist, a strong female role model, and the events of the film that never let us rest for a moment. Definitely, this one gets two thumbs up.
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9/10
Delightful
Jessica Carvalho19 November 2005
This movie starts being a comedy, and finishes with drama and romance genre. And it's one of the greatest movies I already saw, with such a good atmosphere and also one of the most appetizing scenes ever.(It's really hard watching this movie while you are on a diet!) (Juliette Binoche is terrific as Vianne Rocher and Johnny Depp as Roux is so sexy!)

Viane Rocher is the owner of a chocolaterie in a small Town of France; She and her daughter Anouk are always traveling to different places to live,following the Maya's tradition, since Viane herself is daughter of a Mayan woman.In the small town, Viane makes new friends, and tries to help the people there with her cacao recipes and her talent to guess the deep desires and the favorite chocolates of everybody who talks to her. Her problems start to complicate when the Comte De Reynaud tries to boycott her store, and a sexy foreigner named Roux come to the small town with his group,making Vianne attracted to him and for the first time not guessing what is his favorite chocolate and what is behind the mysterious guy.
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8/10
Both artistic and very entertaining
jackasstrange29 December 2013
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
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8/10
Chocolat — The tale of a mother and her will to help using cocoa
Avid Climber17 March 2013
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.
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8/10
chocolate dream
phoenix 211 February 2013
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.
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8/10
Choco-Boring Not!
Syl30 May 2007
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.
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9/10
Chocolat good
kevinsgift_shop13 August 2005
Warning: 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.
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10/10
The best movie I've seen in a long time!
Anna-5218 December 2000
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!
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10/10
Pure movie magic
davidl-726 December 2000
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.
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Very tasty in small amounts but is too slight and obvious to really please
bob the moo3 January 2005
In a quiet little French village morals are upheld and restraint is a virtue. So tongues get wagging when Vianne Rocher opens up a chocolate shop – during Lent of all times. The Comte De Reynaud decides to do all he can to force her out of the village, although her enticing treats start to win over some of the residents even if her standards don't. With the arrival of some river drifters things become harder for Rocher especially as she tries to help some of the villagers who have been trapped behind the walls of respectability.

With heaps of praise for this movie and the cast featuring the promise of the always interesting Johnny Depp, I took the chance to watch this film on television recently hoping for an enjoyable time. I did enjoy it but, aside from the sweet coating the film enjoys the film failed to have anything like a satisfying centre. The plot is fairly standard stuff where Vianne opens up the village to enjoy more about life and free them from restraint – it doesn't have much in the way of surprises or depth to it and it is telling that an advert recently for butter has managed to tell the same story in about 30 seconds. However it is sweetly enjoyable anyway and I did find it to be quite charming in its own way – only really towards the final third does the lack of depth really become exposed and the film doesn't leave any lasting impression other than a general sense of charm.

Depp's involvement is a fine example of this – he is prominent in all the marketing but really he just plays to his looks and his sexy presence without ever adding layers to his character (not his fault, but that of the script). Binoche is better and does try hard to make more of her character than just being all sweetness and light; likewise Moss, Stormare, Dench, Olin and Koenig all try hard to bring out complex characters and dark layers and they nearly succeed but the film seems more interested in being charming and sweet. Molina is very good until the ending forces him down an obvious path but until then he does tend to steal most of his scenes. Depp is very charming and a welcome addition despite representing the failings of the film.

Direction is good and the film is charming but I didn't think this was enough. The plot goes just where you expect it to and asks too much of the audience to be won over by charm with no substance. Don't get me wrong, it is a "nice" film and was enough for me to enjoy in front of a nice coal fire on a cold night but by the end of the film I was left wishing it had managed to do more than just be "nice".
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