User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 87 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 87
  2. Negative: 9 out of 87
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  1. 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 Lasse Hallström são sem vida,centrado em nada mais do que situações e foco chato sem acrescentar nada de ação
  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 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
    "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. Jul 26, 2014
    9
    Chocolat is charming, enchanted fable with a wonderful perfomance gived by the Academy-Award winning french actress from The English Patient, Juliette Binoche; Chocolat is a touching masterpiece by the swedish film director Lasse Hallstrom. A great cast, a great work, a great film! Chocolat is full of love and charm!
  4. 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 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.
  5. Jan 5, 2013
    4
    A lovable film about chocolate and attraction however it lacks to go into depths of how hard the Comte guy wil actually go for this to stop. It shows us lovable characters like Armande(Judi Dench) and Vianne(Juliette Binoche). Alfred Molina did extremely well for his character even though he didn't take charge and put this "sin" to a stop. Sweet-Hearted film but nothing more and nothing less.
  6. 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 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
    Much 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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  7. 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: give in to temptation - there's no such thing as sin. In moderation, of course.
  8. SharonG.
    Nov 26, 2008
    9
    What a great film. It was light and mysterious and warming. It does what a movie like this should do, wrap you up in entertainment on a ill-weathered day. Drinking hot cocoa is a must!
  9. 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, 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.
  10. Mer
    Dec 20, 2004
    10
    Ya the people who gave this movie a 4 or a 2 or whatever do not know what the definition of a good movie is. they are probably the kind of people who like lots of violence massacre scary action-packed movies, and don't like mature movies. It was "a COMPLIMENT to our intelligence, VERY precious, VERY NOT VAPID, and REALISTIC in its feel-goodism." oh yeah and it did have great scenery Ya the people who gave this movie a 4 or a 2 or whatever do not know what the definition of a good movie is. they are probably the kind of people who like lots of violence massacre scary action-packed movies, and don't like mature movies. It was "a COMPLIMENT to our intelligence, VERY precious, VERY NOT VAPID, and REALISTIC in its feel-goodism." oh yeah and it did have great scenery and casting. Expand
  11. RachaelW.
    May 10, 2004
    10
    I think the cast did an awesome job portraying the charecters. johnny depp and juliette binoche were incredible. it's a movie you can lose yourself in.
  12. Emma
    Jan 17, 2004
    10
    A dazzling movie! Stresses the importance to accept people for the way they are, and not judging them based on other's opinions. A heartwarming story that'll leave you with a smile on your face!
  13. PatC.
    Jan 10, 2004
    7
    Like Chocolate, Binoche is an acquired taste, always forthright and invigorated in a world that imposes the devious and dull. Always count on her as the French equivalent of a Merchant Ivory visit to the provinces.
  14. Layne
    Aug 4, 2003
    7
    As light a flavor and as sweet as chocolate itself, but with a bitter kick to it. It's good, but shame on the Academy for giving it a Best Picture nod!
  15. GastonDeGilbertMulroneygateaux
    Nov 27, 2002
    9
    Of course it's unrealistic in it's feel-goodism. If it was realistic, it would be very, very depressing. And I don't know to whom Derek L refers when he mentions an actress with one emotion and one facial expression; he puts (Juliette Binoche) in brackets, but that's got to be a non-sequiteur, surely (watch Three Colours Blue, Derek, then we'll talk). Is it really Of course it's unrealistic in it's feel-goodism. If it was realistic, it would be very, very depressing. And I don't know to whom Derek L refers when he mentions an actress with one emotion and one facial expression; he puts (Juliette Binoche) in brackets, but that's got to be a non-sequiteur, surely (watch Three Colours Blue, Derek, then we'll talk). Is it really so hard for people to just enjoy a film, to allow a movie to make them smile? That, after all, is all that Chocolat is trying to do. And it accomplishes it. If you'd let it. Expand
  16. JackD.
    Nov 10, 2002
    2
    An insult to our intelligence, annoyingly precious, vapid, and unrealistic in its feel-goodism.
  17. NedD.
    Sep 10, 2001
    3
    Sickeningly sincere. Almost toxic in its desperate attempt to be feel-good. Nothing here that hasn't been done before, and better, and, Lord knows, shorter.
  18. AngelaW.
    Aug 20, 2001
    10
    This movie was beautiful.
  19. TedB.
    Aug 13, 2001
    9
    Judy Dench again proves that she is one of the finest actresses around. Lena Olin was wonderful as well. A beautiful film.
  20. BroderickJ.
    Jun 27, 2001
    7
    A great tale about acceptance and love.
  21. MariusL.
    May 31, 2001
    10
    One of the best movies in years! I'm very disappointed that lots of critics missed the main idea of this movie, which, in my opinion, is the long and hard road that has to follow a community in changing the mentalities of people that used to live in a self protecting and isolated society, almost a patriarchal one, that couldn't fight with its mentalities and prejudices when One of the best movies in years! I'm very disappointed that lots of critics missed the main idea of this movie, which, in my opinion, is the long and hard road that has to follow a community in changing the mentalities of people that used to live in a self protecting and isolated society, almost a patriarchal one, that couldn't fight with its mentalities and prejudices when something new and different showed up in its life. Regretfuly, the symbolism of this movie is far away beyond some critics' posibility of undersatanding! Do they know why the story didn't take place in America, but in France? Expand
  22. RyanM.
    May 26, 2001
    3
    At best "Chocolat" is almost a pleasure. This book adaption falls short of creating any emotional impact in any scene at all. And the ending is bad.
  23. DerekL.
    Mar 1, 2001
    3
    Take a "Sweet" story - make it look like an art house movie by setting it in a small French village, throw in one French word (and a French title of course), imbue it with Hollywood sentimentality, add an actress (Binoche) with one emotion and one facial expression, and you get this third rate waste of a couple of hours. Good thing I saw it at a Sunday afternoon matinee when I was in a Take a "Sweet" story - make it look like an art house movie by setting it in a small French village, throw in one French word (and a French title of course), imbue it with Hollywood sentimentality, add an actress (Binoche) with one emotion and one facial expression, and you get this third rate waste of a couple of hours. Good thing I saw it at a Sunday afternoon matinee when I was in a good mood and forgiving about these thing. Expand
  24. AndyH.
    Feb 27, 2001
    4
    This movie does not deserve a Best Picture nomination. One of Lasse Hallstrom's weaker directing efforts. Why does everyone supposedly love this? Oh yeah. Because Miramax is telling them that they do.
  25. AndyH.
    Feb 27, 2001
    4
    This movie does not deserve a Best Picture nomination. One of Lasse Hallstrom's weaker directing efforts. Why does everyone supposedly love this? Oh yeah. Because Miramax is telling them that they do.
  26. Dave
    Feb 20, 2001
    9
    Many of the reviews I read said that this film was so formulatic and trite that if any of the other new movies out were better I probably would not have bothered to see this one. This tells you something about how movie reviews are. This was a very well made and acted move with a strong script. The plot was not startlingly original, but if was not a film that telegraphed its punches. The Many of the reviews I read said that this film was so formulatic and trite that if any of the other new movies out were better I probably would not have bothered to see this one. This tells you something about how movie reviews are. This was a very well made and acted move with a strong script. The plot was not startlingly original, but if was not a film that telegraphed its punches. The photography was beautiful and I dare say that there were not many dry eyes in the house at the end. An excellent date movie. Expand
  27. CurtisC.
    Feb 9, 2001
    8
    Loved this movie but was surprised by Johnny Depp. I've loved his oddball movies, but when he appears midway through, he almost seems too Hollywood. A tad jarring to see such a mainstream face in an otherwise "indy" film.
  28. CarolJ.
    Feb 2, 2001
    10
    The movie was lovely, with beautiful photography, great acting, and a wonderful feel good movie.
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Carla Meyer
    50
    A lighthearted fable with jarring scenes of violence and halfhearted stabs at mystical realism, its saving grace is its gooey center, the luminous Binoche.
  2. Too bad Chocolat isn't as seductive as its leading lady.
  3. 80
    A sinfully scrumptious bonbon.