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, <more>
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.
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 <more>
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.
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 & <more>
this time I will share the experience with my partner as I know he will appreciate the story. Lida
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 <more>
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.
Many quibble when discussing Hallstrom's artistic work, but 'Chocolat' has a tale to tell. The film explores the compassion of man with dynamic tone. Indeed the moral of this fairy tale is tolerance, acceptance, of both individuals and their communities. The bright tone of the film is owed largely to the impressionable performance by Juliette Binoche as Vianne . With a distinctly French setting, Hallstrom offers stimulating photography, an emotive soundtrack, and powerful motif, in his efforts to promote a community spirit, most effectively captivated in the final sequence. <more>
Unfortunately I was disappointed with the final scene, although nevertheless, the film suggests a renewed moral depth and a spiritual dimension, a common theme of the literary world in our increasingly secular and perhaps emotionally shallow society.Quite a didactic film, and with an open mind, quite a satisfying film.
Juliette Binoche is absolutely sublime as is everyone else in this finely casted film. It has been stated that Miramax shoved this movie down everyone's throats to garner some Academy Noms. Complete hubris. Binoche's expressions and reactions are so touching and so real, that you forget you are witnessing fiction. Lena Olin is also outstanding in her role of Josephine; a villager who is ostracized from the rest of the town for leaving her husband who is abusing her. There are so many plots woven in this tale that it would not be fair for me to try and summarize this. All I can say is, <more>
see this movie. It moves so fast and every scene is a delight. For all you lovers of chocolate, I would keep a few bon bons handy.
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 <more>
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!!
Enjoyable comedy-drama directed by Lasse Hallström (by Travis_Bickle01)
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 <more>
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
It is misleading to suggest that this movie makes a fool or bad guy out of religion/Christianity. The movie simply portrays one of the many instances by which religion vis-a-vis Christianity can be manipulated by those with personal agendas to attempt to force others into particular lifestyles. The movie might have been a bit trite, but it was well done and entertaining. a much more significant problem than the treatment of Christianity was the treatment of peripheral characters, about whom we learn very little. aside from the woman running the chocolate shop and the town mayor, all of the <more>
other dynamic characters remain too flat. I would have loved to have known more about the all of these characters, with a solid cast of actors such as were present here, it really could've been accomplished with just a bit more dialogue, so long as it was done right. nevertheless, the movie was far, far better than a 2.