Chocolat (2000)

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Starring: Juliette Binoche, Alfred Molina, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Lena Olin, Victoire Thivisol, Aurelien Parent-Koenig (in his only film), Peter Stormare, Hugh O’Conor, Carrie-Ann Moss, Leslie Caron

Director: Lasse Hallstrom

Summary: A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community

Other Nominations: Actress (Binoche), Supporting Actress (Dench), Adapted Screenplay, Original Score

Binoche is far and away the best thing about this movie-she’s incredibly charming throughout, but has the dramatic chops she needs when it’s called for; the second best thing is probably Dench, who’s good in everything, especially when she’s an older woman who doesn’t put up with anyone’s shit like she is here. Besides those two things, this is a very mediocre movie. It trudges along as a generally light-hearted film about conformity and repression, but is occasionally punctuated with really, really intense movies every once in awhile that feel very out of place. There’s also a lot of really broad, over-the-top villainy with some half-hearted/poorly executed scenes where they come to realize the error of their ways. Finally, Depp is the love interest here (with an Irish accent because why not) and I didn’t get a lot of sizzle from that either. If not for a couple of the performances, this is a (mostly) inoffensive and mildly charming movie that was solely nominated because Harvey Weinstein and Miramax HAD to have a nominee every year.

Rating: C

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