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Chocolat (2000)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 19 January 2001 (USA)
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A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.

Director:

Lasse Hallström

Writers:

Joanne Harris (novel), Robert Nelson Jacobs (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,903 ( 771)
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alfred Molina ... Comte de Reynaud
Carrie-Anne Moss ... Caroline Clairmont
Aurelien Parent Koenig Aurelien Parent Koenig ... Luc Clairmont (as Aurèlien Parent Koenig)
Antonio Gil ... Jean-Marc Drou (as Antonio Gil-Martinez)
Hélène Cardona ... Francoise 'Fuffi' Drou
Harrison Pratt Harrison Pratt ... Dedou Drou
Gaelan Connell ... Didi Drou
Élisabeth Commelin Élisabeth Commelin ... Yvette Marceau (as Elisabeth Commelin)
Ron Cook ... Alphonse Marceau
Guillaume Tardieu Guillaume Tardieu ... Baptiste Marceau
Hugh O'Conor ... Father Henri
John Wood ... Guillaume Blérot
Lena Olin ... Josephine Muscat
Peter Stormare ... Serge Muscat
Leslie Caron ... Madame Audel
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Storyline

When a single mother and her six-year-old daughter move to rural France and open a chocolate shop - with Sunday hours - across the street from the local church, they are met with some skepticism. But as soon as they coax the townspeople into enjoying their delicious products, they are warmly welcomed. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One Taste Is All It Takes See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a scene of sensuality and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

19 January 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chocolate See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$157,624, 17 December 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$71,509,363

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$81,190,583
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's Oscar campaign became the grounds for a major fight between Miramax Chairman Harvey Weinstein and reporter Lisa Schwarzbaum, when Schwarzbaum enraged Weinstein, and said that the studio had cheaply used the endorsement of Anti-Defamation League Chairman Abe Foxman (who praised the film for its promotion of tolerance) as part of what she called a "P.T. Barnum" campaign. The dispute petered out when each side made vague apologies, and the film did get several Oscar nominations. See more »

Goofs

When Vianne is packing and about to leave, a hanger is swinging behind her. Throughout the scene the speed of the hanger changes from slow to fast to slow again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Storyteller: Once upon a time, there was a quiet little village in the French countryside, whose people believed in Tranquilité - Tranquility.
[Sunday morning congregation sings]
Storyteller: If you lived in this village, you understood what was expected of you. You knew your place in the scheme of things. And if you happened to forget, someone would help remind you.
[wife kicks sleeping husband in pew]
Father Henri: The season of Lent is upon us. This is of course a time of abstinence. Hopefully also it's a time of ...
[...]
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Connections

References The Wind (1928) See more »

Soundtracks

They're Red Hot
Words and Music by Robert Johnson
World Copyright Delta Haze Corporation
Licensed Courtesy of Paul Rodriguez Music Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Cast of Chocolat Satisfies Sweet tooth
19 December 2000 | by cdsouterSee all my reviews

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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