6.7/10
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Merci pour le Chocolat (2000)

Merci pour le chocolat (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 25 October 2000 (France)
In Lausanne, the aspirant pianist Jeanne Pollet has lunch with her mother Louise Pollet, her boyfriend Axel and his mother. Lenna leans that when she was born, a nurse had mistakenly told ... See full summary »

Director:

Claude Chabrol

Writers:

Caroline Eliacheff (scenario), Claude Chabrol (scenario) | 3 more credits »

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4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabelle Huppert ... Marie-Claire 'Mika' Muller
Jacques Dutronc ... André Polonski
Anna Mouglalis ... Jeanne Pollet
Rodolphe Pauly Rodolphe Pauly ... Guillaume Polonski
Brigitte Catillon Brigitte Catillon ... Louise Pollet
Michel Robin ... Dufreigne
Mathieu Simonet ... Axel
Lydia Andrei Lydia Andrei ... Lisbeth
Véronique Alain Véronique Alain ... Madame le Maire
Isolde Barth ... Pauline
Jacqueline Burnand Jacqueline Burnand
François Germond François Germond
Antoinette Martin Antoinette Martin
Michel Moulin Michel Moulin
Dorotea Brandin
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Storyline

In Lausanne, the aspirant pianist Jeanne Pollet has lunch with her mother Louise Pollet, her boyfriend Axel and his mother. Lenna leans that when she was born, a nurse had mistakenly told to the prominent pianist André Polonski that she would be his daughter. André has just remarried his first wife, the heiress of a Swiss chocolate factory Marie-Claire "Mika" Muller and they live in Lausanne with André's son Guillaume Polonski. Out of the blue, Jeanne visits André and he offers to give piano classes to help her in her examination. Jeanne becomes closer to André and sooner she discovers that Mika might be drugging her stepson with Rohypnol. Further, she might have killed his second wife Lisbeth. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Switzerland

Language:

French

Release Date:

25 October 2000 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Merci pour le Chocolat See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,805, 16 August 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$443,238, 2 February 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview about the film, Claude Chabrol said: "Perversity guides its adept (or its victim) to a form of relative solopsism that leads us to provide other examples of relative solopsism; that of the musician, for instance, with infinitely more benign consequences that are nonetheless real. We have tried to illustrate this idea by the slow dissolution of the most definite certainties of our society - here, filial descent, and so the family. The main aim is to get across the idea that all certainties melt away as the story progresses." See more »

Goofs

(at around 40 mins) When Mika is talking to Dr. Pollet in the hospital, two crew members feet and a cable (possibly the boom mic's cable) are visible moving - reflected on the side of table. This shot lasts for approx 50 seconds like this. See more »

Connections

References Secret Beyond the Door... (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Funérailles
de Franz Liszt
Par Claudio Arrau
Copyright Philips Classics
Avec l'aimable autorisation de Universal Music Projets Spéciaux
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Decadence In The French Cinema
23 May 2005 | by robert-642See all my reviews

The French either make pro-Marxist films or anti-Marxist films - with a few in between. "Merci pour le chocolat" is the latter of this genre. From the opening credits telling the viewer what music is going to be played and by whom it was who composed you know that you are going to be swathed in middle class pretension. It is an old man's film with an excess of 40's plus people. It is also directed by an old man along with an old crew who have nothing to say about life to the viewer. The plot is not only banal but preposterous. How many films reveal the plot through dialogue only to repeat the same message via flashback some five minutes later? Maybe the director and actors had a low retentive capacity? In truth their is no tenable plot at all. It is riddle with holes like a good piece of French cheese.

Whether intentional or not, it is a film about the bourgeoisie. At least a third of the film focuses on the piano and the pretentious twaddle espoused in each scene. I concede it has some well framed shots though they couldn't have used a steady-cam in this film - it would have woke them all up! Other than it being a nonsense story, the film allows the upper middle class to parade their values and vanity in a very comfortable Swiss location. A telling line of the film is when Rodolphe Pauly tells Anna Mouglalis that she need not lock her car while in the resort! Oh dear me.

On the DVD, Miss Huppert makes a comment about shedding a false tear for a scene. Smirking she says: "Like they do in the American Actor's Studio!" I think Miss Huppert and the rest of the cast could learn well from the Actor's Studio.

If there is one statement that stand out in my mind it is when Huppert remarks 'we are having friends for the weekend and all the servants are away'. No doubt they had all escaped from the mind numbing set lest they be associated with such an appalling film.

Safety Medical Note. In the film they show a hot water scald being covered with ointment and a bandage. This should never be done. Only cold water should be used.

Minus 10 marks.


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