Chocolat (2000) Film Review
Chocolat is based on the bestseller of the same name by Joanne Harris. It is a feel-good story about home, acceptance, and chocolate.
An extraordinary woman and her daughter come to a quiet, traditional French village and open a chocolate shop just in time for lent. One by one she begins to affect the staid, uniform lives of the people there for the better. However, there are those in the community who fear change and will do almost anything to prevent it.
The film has a warmth and quiet strength much like it’s heroine. It is a charming period drama about community, belonging and living the life that is right for you. There is just enough magical realism to give the story a fairy-tale like feel. It also helps that Chocolat is a visual treat. Not just because of the delectable confectionery on show either. The majority of the scenes are filmed in a picturesque French village in Burgundy. The cinematography is also very near to perfect.
However, there are those that feel that Chocolat is anti-church. I would disagree. After all, having a moral that encourages acceptance and kindness over rigid adherence to custom didn’t exactly strike me as un-Christian. It also has a good message about how women can help each other. I liked how the women most let down by the community held together, united by the stranger in their midst.
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Chocolat has all the ingredients that produce an entirely enjoyable whole. It has humor, drama, growth, warmth, family, good messages, stunning visuals, a little magic and is completed with a touch of romance.
There is a sweet, subtle romance between Vianne and Roux, a traveling ‘river rat’ which while not a large part of the film added a little extra layer of enjoyment to an already good movie.
All in all a perfect film to curl up with during the winter months.
Content Note: This film is rated PG-13 and contains some mild sexuality.
Photo credit: Miramax
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