Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(UK, USA, 2000)

The film is in English and was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. It is one of those films that is pure magic. The lovely and fascinating Juliette Binoche comes to a small French village in 1959 with her young daughter and they open a chocolate shop. It is Lent, and everyone is supposed to be denying themselves any pleasure. This is rigidly enforced by the mayor, Alfred Molina, a humorless man who soon is at war with this awful, sensuous woman. She is everything he can’t stand, in dress, attitude, and failure to go to church. She gains a few allies who aren’t afraid of him, including a battered woman (Lena Olin) and Judi Dench. There is a sort of mystical element to all this. Her devotion to chocolate reaches all the way back to the Maya people, for whom it was a ceremonial drink. She seems fated to wander the world, bringing sweets and bitters to town after town. Her daughter is tired of this. Will she be able to win over the town and break free of her destiny of wandering? Will Johnny Depp win her heart? This is a fun movie, so I think you know the answer. We deeply love this movie. Makes you want to get a bite of real chocolate. We all have our favorites. For me it is the dark, faintly bitter stuff, not sweet milk chocolate, though I can enjoy almost any kind.