Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Chocolat

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:Mild language
Nudity/Sex:Mild sexual situations, reference to out of wedlock child
Alcohol/Drugs:Social drinking
Violence/Scariness:Scary fire (no one injured), reference to domestic abuse, sad death
Diversity Issues:Tolerance of individual differences is a theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:2000

This choice little fairy tale even begins with “once upon a time.”

It takes place in rural France, in a “quaint little village whose villagers believed in tranquility.” They have “learned not to ask for more.” The village is all but untouched by the outside world, and they seem to like it that way. A young priest sings an Elvis Presley song and it as though he is a visitor from a time machine.

The town is overseen by the Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina), the mayor. He acts as a sort of moral policeman, making sure that everyone is keeping to the straight and (very) narrow. Into this paragon of rectitude and abstemiousness the wind blow a mysterious red-cloaked mother and daughter.

Vianne (Juliette Binoche, Oscar-winner for “The English Patient”) and Anouk (Victoire Thivisol) open up a chocolate shop. The Comte takes it as an affront to his authority. How dare they! In the middle of Lent! He does his best to keep customers away. But the chocolate is luscious and Vianne always seems to know just what people need. She knows how to add a touch of chili pepper to hot chocolate for spice and she has an uncanny way of giving everyone the kind of chocolate they cannot resist. She gives her chocolate to her grumpy landlord Amande (Judi Dench, Oscar-winner for “Shakespeare in Love”). She gives some to Josephine (Lena Olin), a woman who is considered a little crazy by the town, but who behaves that way to protect herself from her abusive husband. The chocolate — and Vianne’s warm heart — help both women to bloom. Vianne takes Josephine in and helps Amande get together with her estranged family.

Then the Compte is affronted further when a group of itinerants dock their houseboats in the town. Vianne becomes friendly with Roux (Johnny Depp) and this is too much for the Compte and his sidekick, Josephine’s husband Serge. Both the Compte and Vianne have to confront near disaster and their own fears. The young priest has to find a way to speak from his own heart and his own faith, to become a true spiritual leader for the community.

This whimsical little story is as delicious as its chocolates, with a terrific score and lots of great issues for family discussion.

Parents should know that Vianne never married her daughter’s father, and that in a flashback we see that she and her own mother left her father to wander. Vianne gives some chocolates to one woman to use as an aphrodisiac, and we see the gleam in her husband’s eye as he watches her, after he eats them. Later, a dog who eats some of the chocolates is similarly inspired (brief shot of dogs having sex). There are mild sexual situations with brief and inexplicit nudity. There is some social drinking and a scary fire (no one hurt). A character dies peacefully.

Families should talk about why the Compte is so threatened by Vianne and her chocolates. He seems to feel that his efforts to keep himself and others from feeling joy and passion will help him avoid sadness (and dishonor) from the desertion of his wife. Why do Vianne and Roux wander? Why is there one person whose favorite she can not guess? What is the significance of Anouk’s imaginary friend? Why is Armande’s daughter so angry with her? What do you think about the priest’s conclusion that we are judged by what we do and those we embrace rather than by what we stay away from and those we exclude? Families might also want to talk about what some of the names mean in English. For example, reynaud means fox and roux is the base that holds a soufflé together.

Families who enjoy this movie should enjoy some of their own favorite chocolates together. Some family members will also enjoy Like Water for Chocolate, another movie about a woman whose food has some magical properties (mature material).



Previous Posts

Three Views on the Challenges Women Face in the Film Industry
It is wonderful that directors like Ava DuVernay, Angelina Jolie, and Gina Prince-Bythewood gave us superb films in 2014.  But it is an indicator of the challenges still faced by women filmmakers that none of them was nominated for a major directing award. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists

posted 3:38:46pm Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Snickers Wins the Super Bowl!
The real competition at the Super Bowl is for the commercials, right? This Snickers ad is a hoot. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rqbomTIWCZ8?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:02am Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

How Did Ca Plane Pour Moi End Up in So Many Movies?
How did a 1977 song in French by the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand become a go-to for 21st century American movie soundtracks, from big studio films to quirky indies? "Ça Plane Pour Moi" has appeared in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" and last week's "We'll Never Have Paris," from

posted 3:40:03pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

The Kitten Bowl 2015: You Can Win A Set of Kitten Cards
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5sO4NoaF89Y?rel=0" frameborder="0"] The most-anticipated sporting event of the weekend -- in some circles anyway, is this year's Kitten Bowl, Su-Purr Sunday, February 1 (12/11c) only on Hallmark Channel! [caption id="attachment_3263

posted 12:00:45pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Una Gran Noticia! Disney's First Latina Princess
The Disney princesses have their first Latina member! Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in the Disney Channel series "Sofia the First" before starring in her own series on the Disney channel.

posted 9:19:37am Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.