Chocolat Image
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 90 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: When Vianne (Binoche), a mysterious stranger, and her child arrive in a tranquil French town in the winter of 1959, nobody could have imagined the impact that she and her spirited daughter would have on this community stubbornly rooted in tradition. (Miramax Films)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
  1. It's tantalizing, delectable and randy, a movie of melting eroticism and toothsome humor.
  2. A work of artistry and craftsmanship at the highest level.
  3. If Hallström has a problem with tone, it lies in his almost supernatural niceness. Thus, what arrives on-screen is purely a man's feminism, simple and trite and beautiful and vital.
  4. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    75
    May not be deep, but it certainly is lip-smacking.
  5. It's as agreeably sweet as advertised, with a particularly yummy performance by Juliette Binoche.
  6. Has an unerring capacity for going soft whenever a hard edge is called for.
  7. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    20
    The movie is barely sufferable.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 5 out of 29
  1. May 21, 2011
    10
    A movie as delicious as its namesake - I want to eat it up over and over again. The message is also one with which I couldn't agree more:A movie as delicious as its namesake - I want to eat it up over and over again. The message is also one with which I couldn't agree more: give in to temptation - there's no such thing as sin. In moderation, of course. Expand
  2. Aug 4, 2014
    10
    "Chocolat" is superficially an enjoyable dramedy, with outstanding performances from most of its cast, especially Binoche. A nice plot, not"Chocolat" is superficially an enjoyable dramedy, with outstanding performances from most of its cast, especially Binoche. A nice plot, not too exciting, but passable... Well, this may be what most critics saw in this film when they gave it this decent 64.

    Well, you will probably see that "Chocolat" is much more than chocolate, humour and drama. It is full of symbolism and allegories about life. There are many symbols throughout the story. Of course, the most obvious is the resemblances between characters and their social profiles. Vianne is change, the Comte is tradition, Josephine is the brave who dare to change their lives, Caroline is everyone who longs for something new but is afraid of it, the river gypsies are the minorities, and so on. Of course, chocolate is temptation and pleasure in life.
    But, if you watch more carefully, you will see, for example, more interesting things. Vianne is travelling with the north wind, exactly like her mother. She is not really radical, she follows a tradition of her own. Same as Comte de Reynaud, Vianne is afraid of change, and does not change her life but at the very end of the film. Her mother's ashes resembles the way of life we humans have been used to life. It is the same as the villagers' prejudice, regardless of what it is apparently presented.
    Another interesting point is what chocolate actually stands for. We can see that it is connected to desire, pleasure, dreams, love and life. In the film, it is seen seducing people who taste it during Lent. It seen as what lures them away from righteousness and kindness, what spoils their efforts for abstinence. The Comte's views seem the pious ones. As the film goes on, it is more and more obvious that chocolate is actually what leads the villagers to compassion, tolerance and virtue. What the Comte stands for is ethics and not morality. Vianne is the one that stands for altruism and liberality, which is in fact what her antagonist's homilies are about. Chocolate, thus, becomes a symbol of true goodness and not superficial morals.
    There are much more connections between plot details and society that would take a lot of writing to fully express here. Every single thing seems to have its own meaning. I haven't read the book, so I can't possibly know who is right to praise, the author or the film makers, but I can say for sure that this film is one of the best to address human nature, because it manages to makes its points not on demonstrative evidence but on a delicate subtext.

    It is not about criticism on Christian religion as many sometimes say. It's about criticism on pretentiousness and fear to "indulge" in sincerity and pluck to respect truth.
    For me, "Chocolat" is a study on introspection and self-awareness. In its genre, it is perfect.
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  3. BohdanM.k
    Jun 3, 2008
    10
    Fantastic movie. Absolutely fantastic. But, have to agree, it's not for all, as some say that it's an acquired, has a bitter kick, Fantastic movie. Absolutely fantastic. But, have to agree, it's not for all, as some say that it's an acquired, has a bitter kick, or is a little vapid. The film uses these characteristics as tools, and, when allowed, is a marvelous, beautiful, and mesmerizing in its plot, acting, and setting. Love it. Expand
  4. Jan 2, 2013
    8
    Much like the chilli flavoured chocolate of the film, this effort from director Lasse Hallström is an acquired taste, not everyone willMuch like the chilli flavoured chocolate of the film, this effort from director Lasse Hallström is an acquired taste, not everyone will appreciate it.
    Set in a small village in 1950's France, Chocolat tells the story of Vianne Rocher, played by the impressive Juliette Binoche, who was "blown in" to this small village along with her small daughter Anouk. Everybody does what is expected of them in this place, which in this instance is going to church and being greeted at the threshold by the fluid charm of Alfred Molina"s Comte de Reynaud, who maintains the routine and predictability of the residents. When the new visitors decide to open a Chocolaterie entitled "La Chocolaterie Maya" much to the dismay of Molina. Not quite as sinister as we would later see him in Ron Howards "Da Vinci Code" but certainly a man with a saddled heart who normally gets what he wants.
    What ensues can only be described as Mary Poppins and Willy Wonka's lovechild, as Rocher has the charm and sophistication of Poppins but the unpredictable whims of Wonka. Was this an independant attempt at showing real life heroes? Who knows, but the almost supernatural persona of Rocher certainly leaves us to ponder what exactly she intends to do in this not so special French town.. there is the familiar tale of the village people being transformed from tradition by a mysterious outsider, but an uplifting and throughly enjoyable one that. One cannot review this film without mentioning the roles of Judi Dench and Johnny Depp in support, Dench playing a miserable and pessimistic landlady and Depp a charming, Irish (yes, Irish) "river rat". For their limited screen time, they create magical scenes that only stars of their caliber can muster. So were the Oscar nominations necessary? Yes, this films plays on emotions that people only feel in the simplest of occurrences, for instance, eating chocolate, and must films strike the chords of millions through violence or what not? Chocolat proves that light hearted humour and simple happy gestures can create a heartfelt film with an excellent cast and a beautiful landscape. Much like how the film plays out, eat up this delight of a film and don't regret it, don't think for once that the temptation is too much, it never is.
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  5. May 16, 2014
    8
    Chocolat is a gooey religious morality piece set in the beautiful French countryside. It's theme shine bright, and at times the movie can beChocolat is a gooey religious morality piece set in the beautiful French countryside. It's theme shine bright, and at times the movie can be an allegory for indulgence and human decency. It may get too soft for it's own good at times, but the movie knows when to pick itself back up. Expand
  6. Jan 7, 2015
    1
    Entediante,Mas também eu espera bastante de um filme com nome de chocolate é estupidez,só assisti por causa de Johnny Depp,os filmes de LasseEntediante,Mas também eu espera bastante de um filme com nome de chocolate é estupidez,só assisti por causa de Johnny Depp,os filmes de Lasse Hallström são sem vida,centrado em nada mais do que situações e foco chato sem acrescentar nada de ação Expand

See all 29 User Reviews