After seeing this film, I wanted to rush to read the Charlotte Armstrong novel The Chocolate Cobweb, not because I was wowed by the source material but rather to try and fathom what on earth she was trying for. Perhaps the fault can be blamed on the adaptation by Caroline Eliacheff and director Claude Chabrol. It's hard to know but what is certain is that this treatment poses more questions than it answers. Mysteries can be fun without having all the motivations explained, since human behaviour is often inexplicable, but here I found I had the same response as in Chabrol's La Ceremonie when Jacqueline Bisset's family are blown away - shock and disbelief. The plot contrivance that leads Anna Mouglalis to the house of Isabelle Huppert and Jacques Dutronc is as tenuous as a spider's web. One hears it and thinks, this can't be all there is?! And whilst Huppert supplies some intriguing duplicitious body language - note the movement of her legs as subtext in the scene where she visits Mouglalis' mother - there is more suggested than actually revealed. It also reminded me of the non-end to Chabrol's L'Enfer, where he dared not provide a conclusion to the unfinished screenplay by Henri-Georges Clouzot. Chabrol's camera occasionally pans past Huppert to make observations, and the edit from a photo of Dutronc's first wife whom Mouglalis resembles (the actress plays her in flashback) to Mouglalis listening to music, her hands covering her face in the identical pose, is amusing. But the climactic revelation at the end has no weight, as arbitrary as Huppert's movement from sitting enveloped by her web-patterned lacework, to a long one take closeup where she cries, to folding into a foetal position. The titular chocolate is a red herring, but I was more disappointed that the implication of incest with her son had no basis. Perhaps one's inclination to project onto the narrative is an indication of it's lack of focus. Mouglalis conveys a strong screen presence, and perhaps because Huppert and Chabrol have worked together to great effect before, one's expectations of her contribution in his films is high. But I can't feel I can criticise Huppert. She seems keyed to do something that the screenplay never brings to fruition. Hoping that a second viewing will make the filmmakers objectives clearer is never a good sign.