Stephen Speicher

Chocolat

   75 votes

  1. 1. Chocolat

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15 posts in this topic

I suggested Chocolat because it is one of my favorite movies. It's the story of a small religious town turned upside down when a chocolate maker and her daughter arrive and open shop during Lent.

I particularly enjoyed the performance of Judi Dench.

This film is so close in sense of life to Objectivism that one has to remind one's self that it was not written by an Objectivist. I highly recommend it.

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I suggested Chocolat because it is one of my favorite movies. It's the story of a small religious town turned upside down when a chocolate maker and her daughter arrive and open shop during Lent.

I particularly enjoyed the performance of Judi Dench.

This film is so close in sense of life to Objectivism that one has to remind one's self that it was not written by an Objectivist. I highly recommend it.

I agree! It is wonderful to watch the people discover the joy in life! That they do it through chocolate is a great bonus. :excl:

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I agree!  It is wonderful to watch the people discover the joy in life!  That they do it through chocolate is a great bonus.  :excl:

Often one is disappointed to see the movie after reading the book, but not in this case. The screenwriter told a much better story than the author. It is such an uplifting movie; one that should be viewed with great regularity for the sheer joy of it.

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Often one is disappointed to see the movie after reading the book, but not in this case.  The screenwriter told a much better story than the author.  It is such an uplifting movie; one that should be viewed with great regularity for the sheer joy of it.

My Mom and I always loved chocolate, and I took her several times to the movie when it first opened. We loved it! Then I had the opposite experience: I was thrilled by the movie, and so I bought the book. Disappointing! It is quite different from the movie...

I was moved to post today also because as we suffer through the news of the Terry Schiavo case, Le Chocolat reminds us of a truly human view: a world where death can be chosen and ... private.

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I finally watched this movie after a million recommendations, and it blew me away. It's definitely one of the best, most uplifting movies I've ever seen. It gets a 10!

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Love it. In this and Don Juan de Marco, Johnny Depp earned my respect as an actor. Both roles have an amazing spirit.

This movie has wonderful writing, direction, acting. The explicit philosophical conflict (religion vs. life and pleasure) is terrific, but the implicit joy of life won me over.

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I enjoyed this movie very much. I used to stay away from Johnny Depp movies after seeing "Edward Scissorhands", which I thought was very weird. But, this movie along with others have showed me that the man can act, very well!

I refered this movie to one of my clients, she is religious, and she hated it. She also read "The Ominous Parallels" and did not like that either. Most religious people state how much they respect life, but I think they do not even know what it means to live.

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I finally saw this film again recently, and agree that it is terrific. Why? Because it takes the right side of a good theme (religion vs. life), and is well-conceived and executed. The best parts are the story, and the acting.

The rest of this post is not specifically about Chocolat. Instead, it is a commentary on the practice of labeling films that are not comedies as such, which has been a pet peeve of mine for years.

I had been unprepared for Chocolat the first time I saw it, because I thought I was going to be watching a comedy. And although it has some excellent humor, I would not consider classifying it as a comedy because its primary aim is not amusement, but the communication of an intransigent allegiance to life.

In saying that Chocolat is not a comedy, I am in agreement with this general definition of comedy from A Handbook to Literature 4th edition, C. Hugh Holman p. 89:

Compared with tragedy, comedy is a lighter form of drama, which aims primarily to amuse and which ends happily.

Given this definition -- in my experience, many films are categorized as comedy that should not be. Too often, the categorization "comedy" has virtually nothing to do with the actual identity of the film.

But no matter how many times the categorization is wrong - knowing that it is likely an arbitrary classification doesn't help me, because all this means is: I have no idea what to expect. So if/when I cannot find any specific reason not to take the categorization at face value, it's a crap shoot -- but sometimes (incredibly) I assume that it's true, in which case (if it is not), I am in the wrong frame of mind for watching a serious film.

Anyway, I suspect that the "reason" behind the practice is something like this:

If, as a general collective statistic, comedies sell and rent better than dramas; labeling a film 'comedy' on any pretext could merely represent an attempt by marketers to cash in on a general statistical fact.

Objective reviewers could curb this ignorant, or lazy, or dishonest practice with some well-deserved ridicule. But objective reviewers are too scarce to raise the bar for what the public can expect from those who sell films and books.

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

I saw this movie for the first time last night. Simply wonderful! Superb not merely for the theme, but as an example of the moviemaking craft. Johnny Depp continues to impress me every time I see him, and (at least while I'm watching the film) I'm completely in love with Vianne (Juleitte Binoche) and want nothing less than to adopt her daughter Anouk (Victoire Thivisol). ;) Alfred Molina, whose hair is as tightly clenched throughout as his character's persona, stretches a cool cover over the simmering wickedness of the Comte Paul de Reynaud. Finally, Judi Dench is the soul of the story (as Vianne is the mind and Anouk the heart), simultaneously subtle and brazen as Armande Voizin, the aging landlady determined to live as she chooses.

Spoilers:

Chocolat overflows with wisdom and intelligence. My pick for the most philosophically important scene is when the Comte falls to his knees in the church begging Christ to tell him what to do, and all he gets for an answer is the lifeless silence of the crucifix hanging before him. This makes it clear that all his next actions are choices. The victory of a rational life on earth over the living death of religion occurs at that moment. Picking up the knife and going to smash the chocolaterie are merely the death throes of his irrationality, and turning from destroying to partaking of the delights he finds there is his redemption. When he falls asleep in the shop window, we know that he has found a peace he has never before known, and we embrace him for the first time.

End of spoilers

In a small tribute to the striking way this film reflects my values, today I'm heading off to my favorite chocolate shop (best in the world as far as I'm concerned) for some special treats. :D If you haven't yet seen Chocolat, don't wait any longer.

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Alfred Molina, whose hair is as tightly clenched throughout as his character's persona, stretches a cool cover over the simmering wickedness of the Comte Paul de Reynaud.

Yes! Wasn't he a far better villain than he was as Dr Octopus in Spiderman 2?

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In a small tribute to the striking way this film reflects my values, today I'm heading off to my favorite chocolate shop (best in the world as far as I'm concerned) for some special treats. :D If you haven't yet seen Chocolat, don't wait any longer.

Unfortunately, I am currently residing here in Portland, Oregon. But whenever I get the chance to be in the East Coast, I will definitely check that out. Thank you for the tip! The website alone looks so enticing.

And by the way, if you have not visited this thread, make sure to post your favorite chocolate shop in there. ;)

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I finally saw Chocolat tonight... I don't know what to say. Just wonderful. Far superior to sleep, now it's 12:15 AM and I don't want to go to bed! THIS is what life should be like... now it's time for me to make it so. I can't say much other than that. I rated it a 10, of course. :blink:

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It's a 10 for me. It is a very benevolent movie and the hero is a principled individualist all the way.

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An excellent movie, one that you would expect to see in the fifties because of it's positive outlook. Delightful. I gave it an 8

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