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"...and the world is still indulging!"

Chocolat, released in 2000, is a romantic drama starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. The film is based on the novel also named Chocolat that was written by Joanne Harris. Binoche's character, Vianne, and her young daughter, Anouk, move from town to town in search of a place they can stay but something usually happens that compels them to move on. When they arrive in the small French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes in 1959, it is just at the beginning of Lent, when dedicated, traditional Catholics deny themselves indulgences and rich foods.

Vianne opens a chocolaterie directly across the square from the Catholic church, which annoys the village's mayor, Comte Paul de Reynaud because of the temptations the villagers will be subjected to. Reynaud wants the townspeople under his control, and is threatened by Vianne's open refusal to conform to established convention. He is alarmed that she is not married, which means that apparently Anouk was born out of wedlock. Vianne and Anouk do not attend church, and Vianne wears dresses with low cut bodices and red high heels. Her total disregard for tradition and convention is something he intends to remedy immediately.

He also senses Vianne may have other influences that he does not possess. And indeed, she and the chocolate confections she creates in her shop, do seem to weave a spell over all who do allow themselves the indulgence, in spite of the fact it is the Lenten season.

Reynaud becomes more desperate as the repressed people in the village begin to see other possibilities before them and his hold on them lessens while Vianne's influence on them strengthens. His determination to remain in control of his village clashes with Vianne's equally strong determination to live her life on her own terms. The tension between them reaches a breaking point when a group of gypsies who are traveling by barge on the river on the edge of town stop in the village for food and supplies.

| 2000 | 2 hr 1 min | 7.3/10 | 64/100
Lasse Hallstrom

Watch Chocolat Trailer

Chocolat | Official Trailer (HD) - Johnny Depp, Judi Dench | MIRAMAX|1:59

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