Chocolat (2000 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byLasse Hallström
Screenplay byRobert Nelson Jacobs
Based onChocolat
by Joanne Harris
Produced by
CinematographyRoger Pratt
Edited byAndrew Mondshein
Music byRachel Portman
Distributed byMiramax Films (through Buena Vista International outside the US[1])
Release dates
  • December 22, 2000 (2000-12-22) (United States)
  • March 2, 2001 (2001-03-02) (United Kingdom)
Running time
121 minutes
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • English
  • French
Budget$25 million
Box office$152.7 million

Chocolat (French pronunciation: [ʃɔkɔla]) is a 2000 romance film, based on the 1999 novel Chocolat by the English author Joanne Harris, directed by Lasse Hallström. Adapted by screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs, Chocolat tells the story of Vianne Rocher, played by Juliette Binoche, who arrives in the fictional French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes at the beginning of Lent with her six-year-old daughter, Anouk. She opens a small chocolaterie. Soon, she and her chocolate influence the lives of the townspeople of this repressed French community in different and interesting ways.

The film began a limited release in the United States on December 22, 2000, and went on general release on January 19, 2001. Critics gave the drama positive reviews and a number of accolades, praising its acting performances, its screenplay, and Rachel Portman's score. It received five nominations at the 73rd Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Binoche won the European Film Award for Best Actress for her performance, while Dench was awarded a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2001.

Chocolat earned Binoche and Dench several Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominations respectively at various award ceremonies including the Academy Awards, the British Academy Film Awards, the Golden Globe Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, with Dench winning the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.


Vianne and her six-year-old daughter Anouk drift across Europe following the north wind, like Vianne's mother before her. In 1959 they arrive in a quiet French village, overseen by mayor the Comte de Reynaud, at the start of Lent. Vianne opens a chocolate shop; despite not fitting in well with the townspeople, she begins to make headway with some of the villagers, getting them to come to her shop. Reynaud, who will not admit his wife has left him, speaks out against Vianne for tempting the people during Lent.

Armande, Vianne's elderly landlady, is one of her first allies. Armande's daughter Caroline will not let her see her grandson Luc, as she is a "bad influence". Vianne arranges for him and his grandmother to meet in the chocolaterie, where they bond. After finding out about their secret meetings, Caroline reveals her mother is diabetic, but she continues to eat the chocolate when visiting the shop.

Vianne develops a friendship with Josephine, who is being physically abused by her husband Serge, the local café owner. Through their friendship, Josephine finds the courage to leave Serge after he beats her, moving in with Vianne and Anouk. As she works at the chocolate shop and learns the craft, her confidence slowly increases. Simultaneously, under Reynaud's instruction, Serge attempts to make amends for his abusiveness, eventually asking Josephine to come back to him, but she refuses. Later that night, a drunken Serge breaks into the shop, attacking both women, but Josephine knocks him out.

As the rivalry between Vianne and Reynaud intensifies, a band of river Romani camp near the village. Although most of the town objects to their presence, Vianne embraces them and a mutual attraction develops between her and the leader, Roux. They hold a birthday party for Armande with villagers on Roux's boat. When Caroline sees Luc dancing with his grandmother, she begins to accept that Armande's influence in her son's life may be positive. Luc takes Armande home after the party, while Josephine and Anouk fall asleep on a boat, which Serge sets fire to, while Roux and Vianne make love on a barge in the river. No one is hurt in the fire, but Vianne is shaken. Armande later dies in her home and is discovered by Luc. This devastates both Luc and his mother. Meanwhile Roux packs up and leaves with his group.

Reynaud initially believes the fire was divine intervention until Serge confesses to starting it, saying he thought it was what Reynaud wanted. Horrified, Reynaud orders him to leave the village and not to come back.

With the return of the north wind, Vianne decides she cannot win against Reynaud, and decides to move on. Anouk, now attached to the town, refuses to go, and during a scuffle, the urn containing Vianne's mother's ashes breaks, scattering them over the floor. While recovering the ashes, Vianne sees a group of her friends who have come to help out in her shop, and understands the positive influence she has had on their lives. She decides to stay.

Despite shifting sentiment in the town, Reynaud remains staunch in his abstinence from chocolate. On the Saturday evening before Easter, Reynaud sees Caroline, to whom he is attracted, leaving the chocolaterie and is devastated. He breaks into the shop that night, smashing the special window display for the Easter festival. After a morsel of chocolate falls on his lip, he devours much of the chocolate in the window before collapsing in tears and falling asleep. The next morning, Vianne wakes him and gives him a drink to help him recover. Reynaud apologizes for his behavior. Pere Henri, the town's young priest, gives a sermon emphasizing the importance of humanity over divinity.

The narrator, a grown-up Anouk, reveals that the sermon and festival are a success. Reynaud and Caroline start a relationship half a year later. Josephine takes over Serge's café, renaming it Café Armande. The north wind returns, but this time Vianne throws her mother's ashes out into the wind. Anouk concludes the story: Roux returns in the summer to be with Vianne and Anouk.


  • Juliette Binoche as Vianne Rocher
  • Victoire Thivisol as Anouk Rocher, Vianne's daughter (voiced by Sally Taylor-Isherwood because Victoire's French accent made her difficult to understand)
  • Judi Dench as Armande Voizin, Caroline's mother
  • Alfred Molina as Comte de Reynaud, the mayor
  • Lena Olin as Josephine Muscat, Serge's abused wife
  • Johnny Depp as Roux, a self-described "river-rat" and Vianne's lover
  • Hugh O'Conor as Pere Henri, village priest
  • Carrie-Anne Moss as Caroline Clairmont, Armande's daughter
  • Aurélien Parent-Koenig as Luc Clairmont, Caroline's son
  • Peter Stormare as Serge Muscat, café owner
  • Hélène Cardona as Françoise "Fuffi" Drou, beauty shop proprietor
  • Antonio Gil as Jean-Marc Drou
  • Elisabeth Commelin as Yvette Marceau, woman who buys chocolates as an aphrodisiac
  • Ron Cook as Alphonse Marceau, Yvette's husband
  • Leslie Caron as Madame Audel, village widow whose husband died in World War I
  • John Wood as Guillaume Blerot, who carries a long-time yearning for Madame Audel
  • Michèle Gleizer as Madame Rivet, village woman who works for the Comte
  • Dominique MacAvoy as Madame Pouget, village woman
  • Arnaud Adam as George Rocher, Vianne's father
  • Christianne Oliveira as Chitza Rocher, Vianne's mother
  • Tatyana Yassukovich, the narrator



Filming: Vianne's shop in Flavigny-sur-Ozerain

Filming took place between May and August 2000 in the medieval village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain in the region of Burgundy and on the Rue De L'ancienne Poste in Beynac-et-Cazenac in Dordogne. The river scenes were filmed at Fonthill Lake at Fonthill Bishop in Wiltshire and interior scenes at Shepperton Studios, England.[2]

The film is dedicated to the memory of renowned cameraman Mike Roberts, who died in his sleep of natural causes during filming in England.[3]


Music written by Rachel Portman, except where noted.[4]

  1. "Minor Swing" (Django Reinhardt/Stéphane Grappelli) – 2:13
  2. "Main Titles" – 3:07
  3. "The Story of Grandmere" – 4:08
  4. "Vianne Sets Up Shop" – 1:57
  5. "Three Women" – 1:01
  6. "Vianne Confronts the Comte" – 1:21
  7. "Other Possibilities" – 1:34
  8. "Guillaume's Confession" – 1:29
  9. "Passage of Time" – 2:32
  10. "Boycott Immorality" – 4:38
  11. "Party Preparations" – 1:28
  12. "Chocolate Sauce" – 0:48
  13. "Fire" – 2:37
  14. "Vianne Gazes at the River" – 1:06
  15. "Mayan Bowl Breaks" – 2:14
  16. "Taste of Chocolate" – 3:08
  17. "Ashes to the Wind / Roux Returns" – 2:18
  18. "Caravan" (Duke Ellington/Juan Tizol)– 3:43

Additionally: Erik Satie’s Gnossienne is heard in the scene where Viane tells the story of her parents’ meeting.


Box office[edit]

Chocolat grossed US$152,699,946 worldwide, on a production budget of US$25 million.[5] It was not successful in France.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received a mixture of reviews from critics with some critics dismissive of the film's tone.[7] The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 63% of 119 critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 6/10. The website's critical consensus states, "Chocolat is a charmingly light-hearted fable with a lovely performance by Binoche".[8] On Metacritic, which uses a normalized rating system, the film holds a 64/100 rating, based on 31 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[9] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[10]

Chicago Tribune critic Michael Wilmington called Chocolat "a delightful confection, a cream-filled (and slightly nutty) bon-bon of a [...] tantalizing, delectable and randy movie of melting eroticism and toothsome humor." He felt that the film "is a feast of fine actors – and every one of them is a joy to watch."[11] Similarly, Peter Travers from Rolling Stone declared the project "a sinfully scrumptious bonbon [...] Chocolat may be slight, but don't discount Hallstrom's artful finesse [...] Except for some indigestible whimsy Chocolat is yummy."[12] Roger Ebert, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, gave the film three out of four stars. He found the film was "charming and whimsical, and Binoche reigns as a serene and wise goddess."[13]

In his review for Variety, Lael Loewenstein found that "Hallstrom couldn't have asked for a better cast to embody those themes; likewise, his production team has done an exquisite job of giving life to Robert Nelson Jacobs’ taut script. Chocolat [...] is a richly textured comic fable that blends Old World wisdom with a winking, timely commentary on the assumed moral superiority of the political right."[14] Mick LaSalle of the Los Angeles Times remarked that the film was "as delectable as its title, but for all its sensuality it is ultimately concerned with the spirit." He noted that Chocolat "is a work of artistry and craftsmanship at the highest level, sophisticated in its conception and execution, yet possessed of wide appeal."[15] The New York Times critic Elvis Mitchell found the film "extraordinarily well cast" and wrote: "This crowd-pleaser is the feature-film version of milk chocolate: an art house movie for people who don't like art house movies."[16]

Lisa Schwarzbaum, writing for Entertainment Weekly, graded the film with a 'B−' rating, summarizing it "as agreeably sweet as advertised, with a particularly yummy performance by Juliette Binoche,"[17] while Jay Carr from The Boston Globe found that the film "may not be deep, but it certainly is lip-smacking."[18] Mike Clark of USA Today was more cutting in his review, saying that there are "never enough goodies to keep the two-hour running time from seeming like three."[18] In another negative review, Dennis Lim from The Village Voice criticized the film for its "condescending, self-congratulatory attack on provincial sanctimony." He called Chocolat an "airy, pseudo-folkloric gibberish at best."[19]

Following the criticisms, Harvey Weinstein challenged the USA Today critic, Andy Seiler, to choose a venue where the film was showing to try to prove to him that audiences liked it even if not all critics did. After the screening in Washington D.C., Weinstein asked the audience for their feedback and no one said anything negative.[7]


List of awards and nominations
Award Category Recipient(s) Result
Academy Awards[20] Best Picture David Brown, Kit Golden and Leslie Holleran Nominated
Best Actress Juliette Binoche Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Judi Dench Nominated
Best Screenplay – Based on Material Previously Produced or Published Robert Nelson Jacobs Nominated
Best Original Score Rachel Portman Nominated
American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy or Musical Andrew Mondshein Nominated
Art Directors Guild Awards[21] Excellence in Production Design for a Contemporary Film David Gropman, John Frankish, Lucy Richardson and Louise Marzaroli Won
Awards Circuit Community Awards Best Original Score Rachel Portman Nominated
Berlin International Film Festival[22] Golden Bear Lasse Hallström Nominated
Bogey Awards Won
British Academy Film Awards[23] Best Actress in a Leading Role Juliette Binoche Nominated
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Judi Dench Nominated
Lena Olin Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Robert Nelson Jacobs Nominated
Best Cinematography Roger Pratt Nominated
Best Costume Design Renee Ehrlich Kalfus Nominated
Best Makeup and Hair Naomi Donne Nominated
Best Production Design David Gropman Nominated
British Society of Cinematographers[24] Best Cinematography in a Theatrical Feature Film Roger Pratt Nominated
Costume Designers Guild Awards Excellence in Period/Fantasy Film Renee Ehrlich Kalfus Nominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actress Judi Dench Nominated
David di Donatello Awards Best Foreign Film Lasse Hallström Nominated
European Film Awards Best Actress Juliette Binoche Won
Golden Globe Awards[25] Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Juliette Binoche Nominated
Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Judi Dench Nominated
Best Original Score – Motion Picture Rachel Portman Nominated
Goya Awards Best European Film Lasse Hallström Nominated
Grammy Awards[26] Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Rachel Portman Nominated
Guild of German Art House Cinemas Best Foreign Film Lasse Hallström Nominated
Japan Academy Film Prize Outstanding Foreign Language Film Nominated
Nastro d'Argento Best Female Dubbing Franca D'Amato (for dubbing Juliette Binoche) Won
Online Film & Television Association Awards[27] Best Supporting Actress Judi Dench Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Robert Nelson Jacobs Won
Satellite Awards[28] Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama Judi Dench Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards[29] Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Juliette Binoche, Leslie Caron, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Alfred Molina,
Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugh O'Conor, Lena Olin, Peter Stormare and John Wood
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Juliette Binoche Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Judi Dench Won
USC Scripter Awards[30] Robert Nelson Jacobs (screenwriter); Joanne Harris (author) Nominated
World Soundtrack Awards[31] Soundtrack Composer of the Year Rachel Portman Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards[32] Best Screenplay – Based on Material Previously Produced or Published Robert Nelson Jacobs Nominated

Television adaptation[edit]

A French-language adaptation for TV was reported to be in development between Miramax and Mediawan.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chocolat (2000)". BBFC. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  2. ^ (2000) filming locations,, accessed 10 July 2013
  3. ^ Mike Roberts dedication,, accessed 12 March 2023
  4. ^ "Chocolat: Music from the Miramax Motion Picture (2001 Film): Rachel Portman: Music". Amazon. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  5. ^ "Chocolat (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  6. ^ James, Alison (24 December 2001). "Homegrown pix gain in Europe". Variety. p. 7.
  7. ^ a b Bing, Jonathan (June 11, 2001). "B.O. treacle-down theory: Motion by emotion". Variety. p. 6.
  8. ^ "Chocolat (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  9. ^ "Chocolat" – via
  10. ^ "Home". CinemaScore. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  11. ^ Wilmington, Michael (December 22, 2000). "Chocolao: A Romance-Comedy-Fairytale That's Sinfully Sweet". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  12. ^ Travers, Peter (December 22, 2000). "Chocolat". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  13. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 22, 2000). "Chocolat". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  14. ^ Loewenstein, Lael (December 7, 2000). "Chocolat". Variety. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  15. ^ LaSalle, Mick (December 22, 2000). "'Chocolat' a Rare Treat That Nourishes the Soul". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  16. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (2000-12-15). "FILM REVIEW; Candy Power Comes to Town". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-12-04.
  17. ^ Schwarzbaum, Lisa (December 15, 2000). "Chocolat (2000)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  18. ^ a b Chocolat at Metacritic Edit this at Wikidata
  19. ^ Lim, Dennis (December 12, 2000). "The Old Slack Magic". The Village Voice. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  20. ^ "The 73rd Academy Awards (2001) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  21. ^ "2001 Winners & Nominees". Art Directors Guild. Retrieved November 7, 2021.
  22. ^ "Berlinale: 2001 Prize Winners". Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  23. ^ "BAFTA Awards: Film in 2001". BAFTA. 2001. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  24. ^ "Best Cinematography in Feature Film" (PDF). Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  25. ^ "Chocolat – Golden Globes". HFPA. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  26. ^ "2001 Grammy Award Winners". Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  27. ^ "5th Annual Film Awards (2000)". Online Film & Television Association. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  28. ^ "International Press Academy website – 2001 5th Annual SATELLITE Awards". Archived from the original on 1 February 2008.
  29. ^ "The 7th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild Awards. Archived from the original on November 1, 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  30. ^ "Past Scripter Awards". USC Scripter Award. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  31. ^ "World Soundtrack Awards". World Soundtrack Awards. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  32. ^ "Writers Guild Awards Winners". WGA. 2010. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  33. ^ Goldbart, Max (November 29, 2022). "'Chocolat': Miramax TV & Mediawan Forging French-Language TV Series Adaptation Of Johnny Depp Movie". Deadline. Retrieved October 6, 2023.

External links[edit]