Entertainment Weekly - 01/12/2001
"...As fudge-y as advertised....[Binoche is] luscious..."
Sight and Sound - 03/01/2001
"...A radiant central performance from Juliette Binoche and appealing supporting turns from Judi Dench and Johnny Depp....The film is beautifully shot..."
Total Film - 04/01/2001
"...[CHOCOLAT has] many pleasures. It's often very funny and the town looks a treat, a sort of Neverneverland that lends the movie a fairytale quality..."
Los Angeles Times - 12/15/2000
"...CHOCOLAT is as delectable as its title....It emerges as a splendid work in the grand humanist tradition of the classic cinema of France..."
It is the late 1950s, but it might as well be the late 1850s in a small French town where everyone behaves as they should (supposedly), and attends church regularly. When a strong North wind blows through town, it brings the vivacious and mysterious Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her young daughter Anouk (Victoire Thivisol). Vianne is soon the talk of the town: an unwed mother who declines to go to church and opens up a chocolate shop in the midst of Lent. Her good-natured, honorable personality and psychic ability (she can predict what kind of sweets best suit each person, and magically cures each of them of their particular maladies) make her as irresistible as her delectable treats. However, Vianne and her daughter are resented by the conservative mayor, the Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina), and by the pious Caroline (Carrie-Anne Moss), who has disowned her own spirited mother (Judi Dench, who plays Vianne's landlady), refusing the elderly woman access to her beloved grandson.This touching fairy tale, based on the novel by Joanne Harris, was filmed on location in rural France. An intelligent, exquisitely filmed fable that deals with the idea of 20th Century paganism rising up against a closed-minded church and a persevering aristocracy, CHOCOLAT is enjoyable, romantic, and entertaining, with affecting performances by both its stars and its supporting actors (Lena Olin and Johnny Depp.)
Small Towns |
Theatrical release: December 15, 2000 (NY).
CHOCOLAT was filmed in France and in Shepperton, England.
Actress Lena Olin is married to director Lasse Hallstr÷m.
Paul Clinton of CNN.com named CHOCOLAT one of the 10 best films of 2000.
Robert Nelson Jacobs won the Best Adapted Screenplay award of 2000 from the San Diego Film Critics Society.
According to Mitchell Fink of the New York Daily News, Vice President Al Gore saw the film and told Miramax head Harvey Weinstein, "What inspired me about the film is how it infuses a spirit of tolerance with the joy of life. And tolerance, of course, is a message that is especially important for our times."