Monday, 14 February 2011

Food on Film. 10. Chocolat

Chocolat (2000) is a gooey confection directed by Lasse Hallström, based on a novel by Joanne Harris. It tells the story of a woman and her daughter who arrive in a repressed French village in 1959. They make chocolate and open a shop called La Chocolaterie Maya. The decadent chocolate starts to change the lives of the townsfolk, especially in the romance department. However, when they carry on trading during Lent the devout Major plots against the chocolate shop by accusing the woman of immorality. Things come to a head when a group of river gypsies arrive in town.

Hallström is the ideal director to helm a project like this (see also My Life as a Dog and The Cider House Rules). There are enjoyable turns from Johnny (he's Irish, don't you know) Depp in gypsy mode and Judie (talk with a French accent, don’t be ridiculous) Dench as the wife of Alfred Molina’s scheming Major, while the ever-reliable Juliette Binoche effortlessly carries proceedings.

One for Valentine’s Day.

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