Movie Review: Chocolat
Reviewed by Peter DeHaan
Nomadic traveler, Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche), shows up unexpectedly at a rural French village and creates quite a stir. A non-catholic, unmarried mom, and free spirit, she is not like the intransigent townsfolk. To make matters worse, she has the audacity to open up a chocolate shop across from the church—during the season of Lent. Initially opposed by all, she responds to their opposition with non-conditional acceptance, to their indifference with open compassion, and to their snubs with kind generosity.
Possessing a demeanor more like Jesus than the locals who attend church every Sunday, she gradually wins over some with her uncompromising love—and delectable chocolate. But will it be enough to be welcomed into their tiny town or will its leaders prevail in running her out? Her open acceptance of the disdained river drifters, along with winsome Roux (Johnny Depp), threatens to drive the wedge even deeper. Perhaps it’s time to move on anyway, yet there is an allure to stay and settle down.
Note that while this is not a faith-friendly movie per se, it is faith confronting—and highly recommended.
[Read more reviews by Peter DeHaan of other faith-friendly videos and movies.]
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.