Film Review's Ultimate DVD Main Selected FeaturePlay Movie: The Global Picture - Bridget Jones's DiaryPlay Movie: Region 1 Review - Jurassic Park IIIPlay Movie: Region 2 Reviews - ChocolatContents of this issueBuy it from our online stores VI DIRECT
Selected FeaturePlay Movie: The Global Picture - Bridget Jones's DiaryPlay Movie: Region 1 Review - Jurassic Park IIIPlay Movie: Region 2 Review - ChocolatContents of this issueBuy it from our online stores VI DIRECT
Reviews of Region 2 discs from Ultimate DVD #24

Chocolat:

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CHOCOLAT Rated: 15

The Movie

Hallström (The Cider House Rules) maintains his reputation for directing lavish adaptations of modern literary classics with this delicious take on Joanne Harris's novel. Binoche is radiant as Vianne, a nomadic unmarried mother who arrives in a small French town to open a Chocolaterie during Lent. Believing the shop to be a sign of indulgence and sinfulness, Count Comte (Alfred Molina) instructs the god-fearing locals to abstain - but gradually even the coldest of hearts is melted by Vianne's warmth and generosity.

A small, European-flavoured film with large characters and a mighty cast, Chocolat made its mark on the Academy this year, garnering nomin-ations for Best Picture, Best Actress (Binoche) and Best Supporting Actress (Dench). How deserved they were; this is a spiritual feel-good film that touches all the emotional bases, delicately shot, with a delicious soundtrack from Rachel Portman that's 4 stars - Damn Good Discworth buying on its own merits. Not be missed.

The Extras

The Making of Chocolat (30 mins) reveals the determination of all involved to create a work of quality. Hallström admits he was "star struck" by the cast, Binoche and Olin talk of reuniting after working together on The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and there's even a potted history of the brown stuff itself. "I'm a great fan of chocolates," enthuses Binoche in her least insightful moment.

Hallström and his three producers share the microphone for the Audio Commentary, discussing Binoche's tireless research (she moved in with the author!), the creation of the village (a mix of real location and CG) and the radical changes imposed while adapting (Comte changed from priest to count).

The Costumes of Chocolat (four mins) and Production Design (eight mins) look at recreating the period, and there are seven Deleted Scenes. An alternate early take with a frizzy-permed Depp is amusing; Cat Food (Comte's shield slips) and the touching 4 stars - Damn Good DiscArmande's Letter are significant additions to the story.

David Richardson

Savour Every Bite

Credits
Chocolat - Order this at Black StarBlackstar

Cast Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench
Director Lasse Hallström
Year 2001
Duration 117 mins
Screen Ratio 1.85:1
Anamorphic Yes
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
Chapters 22
Language English
Subtitles English
Release Date
November 26
Distributor Buena Vista

 
 
 

Highlight
Chapter 12

"Who says I can't use a skillet?" – Josephine (Olin) finally teaches her husband a lesson.

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from Ultimate DVD #24

Reviews © Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction

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