Originally reviewed January, 2001
My movie-going experience of the past couple of months unfortunately ended with a disappointment. I was disappointed with O Brother, Where Art Thou?, no question, but even I knew that you never know what to expect from the Coen brothers. But Chocolat had gotten such wonderful reviews and word of mouth that I perhaps was expecting too much. Definitely the casting is the highlight of this film. Juliette Binoche can be in anything and I’d probably watch it and she is unerringly charming here. Dame Judi Dench almost steals the film as a cranky grandmother and Carrie Ann Moss makes a nice appearance, though you may not recognize her, fresh off her leather-bound performance in The Matrix. But the story rings just a little too predictable and far too unoriginal. There’s nothing here that challenges the audience, intellectually or emotionally. I was fully disappointed. But if you like charming characters and a slow-moving story to a predictable end, Chocolat may be your just desserts.
My rating: *** wait for video