display | more...
An indie film set in France in the late 1950s, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, among many others. Binoche plays Vianne Rocher, a woman who, with her daughter, arrives in a small French village, where everyone knows their place and stays in it like it or not. There, she sets up a chocolate shop. Because she sells such decadent goods, and refuses to attend church, she offends the sensibilities of the town's mayor, the Comte de Reynaud (played by Alfred Molina.) This is exacerbated by the fact that Rocher has a gift for composing chocolate concotions with an almost medicinal effect, unlocking people's desires and threatening to loosen them up. A classic struggle between spontaneity and uptight white men ensues.

The movie is truly beautiful. The story is of course more complicated than I've described, with Rocher falling in love with a river rat (Roux, played by Depp) and mediating a family struggle that spans three generations. The setting is lovely, and the photography takes advantage of the charms of such an old village and the surrounding countryside. And of course there's the constant sensuality of chocolate, with Mayan mysticism thrown into the mix.