Chocolat Movie is the sweetest, treat-filled movie set in an old world charming French village. What I want you to know is the movie is about many things including chocolate!
Chocolat Movie is a 2000 romantic comedy based on the book by Joanne Harris. A woman transforms a whole village set against her because she is different and that means change. This young woman is played by Juliette Binoche as Vianne Rocher.
Each person who comes in contact with Vianne is changed, but for the better. The heart of the movie is the lives of the women in the village.
The film received five Academy Award and four Golden Globe nominations. Juliette said a deciding factor for doing the movie was chocolate because she loves it so much.
The Chocolate Movie is “medicine, magic and one taste is never enough” just like chocolate. WARNING: This movie causes cravings for chocolate so have a stash on hand before watching.
Chocolat starring Juliette Binoche as Vianne Rocher. Johnny Depp is her love interest as Roux. Alfred Molina as Count Paul de Reynaud – the mayor who tries to keep the village people under control and learns the biggest lesson of all. And many other stars.
Filmed in Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, a charming old world village in Burgundy, France. The interior scenes were filmed on a set in England. “Once upon a time there was a quiet village in the countryside… whose people believed in tranquility. If you lived there you knew your place and if you forgot your place someone would remind you. Then one winter day a sly wind blew in from the north and with it arrived”…
Vianne and her six year-old daughter Anouk to rent a shop and the apartment above it.
Vianne is an expert in chocolate and opens a chocolate shop. It just so happens the villagers are observing Lent and chocolate is a temptation-Ouch! So begins the weaving elements of a story about tradition, temptation, acceptance and courage.
The wonderful Chocolate Shop where Vianne creates the most delightful treats.
All made from scratch with cacao beans. The way the Chocolat Movie shows this process is done in the most sensual, tempting way. Help me!
At last the shop is open and ready for customers.
First customers are Caroline and her son Armande who she keeps tight reins on. Vianne offers them hot chocolate made from a 2000 year-old recipe.
Mama Caroline will not give in to herself or for Armande to have a taste of chocolate.
Vianne plays a game with her customers. She spins a colorful stone wheel and asks them what they see. Depending on their answer, she determines what their favorite chocolate is. She offers this chocolate treat to a new customer that has a tiny hint of chili pepper in it.
Judy Dench who is such a great actress plays Armande Voizin the landlady and her storyline in the movie intersects with Caroline and her son Armande. Vianne offers her hot chocolate with chili pepper in it and says “It will give you a lift.”
Mayor of the little village, Count Paul de Reynaud, stops in to invite Viannne and her daughter to attend church on Sunday. She tells him they don’t attend. He promptly replies “If you don’t go to church you won’t last long here!
So he begins spreading rumors against Vianne and voicing his disapproval of the strangers who are different.
Vianne stands her ground. In the movie we see her hand paint the background on the wall and set up her artifacts around the shop. Even though it seems like I am giving you a blow by blow, I am leaving a lot of details out so you can enjoy this movie someday too.
Villagers who dance to their own tune visit Vianne and are served chocolate everything.
Here is Lena Olin playing Josephine Muscat who takes refuge at the Chocolate Shop.
This beautiful turquoise door is seen often in the movie and has a starring role at least in my mind. I can’t get enough of this door and Johnny Depp fixes it in the movie, so there’s that too.
Anouk’s favorite bedtime story is about her grandmother and grandfather. It always goes the same.
“The grandfather, a pharmacist, traveled to Central America to study medicinal properties of certain natural compounds. One night he was invited to drink unrefined cacao with a pinch of chili.
This was the same drink the ancient Maya used in their ancient ceremonies. The Maya believed the cacao held the power to unlock hidden yearnings and reveal destinies.”
More strangers arrive by boat. The Mayor does not want the villagers to accept them and calls them River Rats and wants something to be done to get rid of them that causes a tragedy. Johnny Depp plays Roux, Vianne’s new love interest who cannot stay in the village. Chocolat Movie filmed the boat scenes on Fonthill Lake in Wiltshire, England.
Vianne throws a Birthday Party for Armande Voizin whose health is not good.
The story continues to unfold with new-found courage, acceptance and destinies realized.
The north wind blows again calling to Vianne about towns to visit and people to help, but this time she doesn’t listen.
“and so it was the north wind grew weary and went on its way.”
“A new breeze from the south blows soft and warm.” Summer arrived and with it the return of Roux.
Vianne’s daughter Anouk has an invisible friend named Pantoufle, who happens to be a kangaroo with a hurt leg. She needs him to keep her company as they move from town to town. Pantoufle means slipper in French. I read that in the novel Anouk’s invisible friend is played by a rabbit.
They are staying in the village and we get a first look at Pantoufle hopping away with no more hurt leg. Anouk doesn’t need him anymore.
As for how all the couples and families end up and how their destinies and yearning turn out, I will leave you to find out for yourselves.
~ The End ~
I shared the Chocolat movie with you for the CHOCOLATE, the compelling story and for the beautiful old world village. The festival scene above was filmed in the streets of the village in France.
Of course, I had to search for the recipe for Hot Chocolate with chili peppers and liked one called Mayan Hot Chocolate inspired by the movie Chocolat.
Chocolate as medicine was documented by European travelers from the 16th through 19th century so enjoy your Easter candy.
See some more TV & Movie Houses – enjoy!