Chocolat is a 2000 British-American romantic comedy-drama film based on the novel Chocolat by Joanne Harris, and was directed by Lasse Hallström. Adapted by screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs, Chocolat tells the story of a young mother, played by Juliette Binoche, who arrives at the fictional, repressed French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes with her six-year-old daughter and opens La Chocolaterie Maya, a small chocolaterie. She and her chocolate quickly begin to influence the lives of the townspeople in very different and interesting ways.
Filming took place between May and August 2000. The film was shot in the village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain in Burgundy, France, and on the Rue De L’ancienne Poste in Beynac-et-Cazenac on the Dordogne River in Dordogne, France. The river scenes were filmed at Fonthill Lake at Fonthill Bishop in Wiltshire, England and interior scenes at Shepperton Studios, Surrey, England.
The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It was also nominated for eight BAFTAs, and four Golden Globes. Judi Dench won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in the film.
An unnamed female storyteller narrates the story of Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche), an expert chocolatier who drifts across Europe with her daughter Anouk (Victoire Thivisol), following the north wind. At the beginning of the Lenten season in 1959, “fifteen years after the War,” they travel to a quiet French village that closely adheres to tradition, as dominated by the village mayor, the Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina). Just as the villagers begin observing the forty days of Lent, Vianne opens a chocolate shop, much to Reynaud’s displeasure.
Vianne wears more colorful clothing than the village women, is an atheist, and has an illegitimate child. She does not fit in well with the townspeople, but is nevertheless optimistic about her business. Her friendly and alluring nature begins to win the villagers over one by one, causing Reynaud to openly speak against her for tempting the people during a time of abstinence and self-denial. The Comte will not admit that his wife has left him; he is romantically interested in Caroline, but he does not pursue her.
One of the first to fall under the spell of Vianne and her confections is Armande (Judi Dench), her elderly, eccentric landlady. Armande is unhappy that her cold, devoutly pious daughter Caroline (Carrie-Anne Moss) will not let Armande see her grandson Luc because Caroline thinks Armande is a “bad influence”. Having lost her husband, Caroline is overly protective of Luc and does not even want her son to play. Vianne arranges for Luc and his grandmother to see each other in the chocolaterie, where they develop a close bond. Caroline later reveals to Vianne that her mother is a diabetic, though Armande continues to eat the chocolate despite her condition.
Vianne also develops a friendship with a troubled woman, Josephine (Lena Olin), who is a victim of brutal beatings by her abusive husband Serge (Peter Stormare). After her husband violently hits her and wounds her head, Josephine leaves him and moves in with Vianne and Anouk. As she begins to work at the chocolate shop and Vianne teaches her her craft, Josephine becomes a self-confident, changed woman. At the same time, under the instruction of Reynaud, Serge, having seemingly changed into a better man, asks Josephine to come back to him. Finally happy and fulfilled on her own, Josephine declines his request. A drunken Serge breaks into the chocolaterie later that night and attempts to attack both women, before Josephine, in a moment of empowerment, knocks him out with a skillet.
As the rivalry between Vianne and Reynaud intensifies, a band of river gypsies camp out on the outskirts of the village. While most of the town objects to their presence, Vianne embraces them, developing a mutual attraction to the Traveller Roux (Johnny Depp). Together they hold a birthday party for Armande with other village members and gypsies on Roux’s boat. When Caroline sees Luc, who sneaked out to the party, dancing with his grandmother, she begins to see how strict she has been with her son and that his grandmother’s influence in his life may after all be beneficial. After the party, Josephine and Anouk fall asleep on a boat, while Roux and Vianne make love. Late that night, Serge sets fire to the boat where Josephine and Anouk are sleeping. Both escape unharmed, but Vianne’s faith in the village is shaken. Luc helps Armande home from the party; her death soon after devastates both him and his mother. After the fire, Roux packs up and leaves with his group, much to Vianne’s sadness.
Serge later visits Reynaud at his home to confess to setting the fire, which Reynaud initially thought was divine intervention: he is horrified at the thought of people almost getting killed as a result. Realizing that Serge is beyond help, and fearing that people would also blame him for the arson, Reynaud demands that Serge leave the village and never come back.
With the return of the North wind, Vianne decides that she cannot win against Reynaud or the strict traditions of the town. She decides to move elsewhere. Anouk refuses to go, and during a scuffle, an urn containing the ashes of Vianne’s mother falls and shatters. After a moment, Vianne goes into her kitchen to see a group of townspeople, who have come to love her and the way she has changed their lives, making chocolate for the festival Vianne had planned for Easter Sunday. Realizing that she has brought change to the town, she decides to stay.
Despite the shifting sentiment in the town, Reynaud remains staunch in his abstinence from pleasures such as chocolate. On the Saturday evening before Easter, he sees Caroline leave the chocolaterie, which devastates him. Convinced now that chocolate will make people stray from their faith, he sneaks into Vianne’s house in order to ruin her preparations for the Easter festival. After accidentally tasting a bit of chocolate that fell on his lips, he finally yields to temptation and devours much of the chocolate in the window display before collapsing into tears and eventually falling asleep. The next day, Vianne awakens the chastened mayor, a mutual respect between them is established, and Pere Henri improvises an inspiring sermon. Both the Easter Sunday sermon and the festival are a success, and the storyteller reveals that Reynaud and Caroline start a relationship half a year later. Josephine takes over running Serge’s café, which she renames Café Armande. Vianne throws her mother’s ashes out the window, which are carried away by the departing north wind.
The unseen storyteller concludes the story: Roux returns in the summer to be with Vianne, who despite her constant need for change resolves to stay, having found a home for herself and her daughter in the village; and her grown-up daughter Anouk herself is the storyteller. (by wikipedia)
And here´s the soundtrack of this movie.
The soundtrack was nominated for the Academy Award, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media.
Director Lasse Hallstrom’s recipe for Chocolat is bittersweet, a tale of human hope and frailty imbued with no small amount of symbolism. It’s a story that requires a deft, sensitive musical touch, and Hallstrom has wisely turned again to English composer Rachel Portman for the honors. As she did on The Legend of Bagger Vance and her previous, Academy Award-nominated collaboration with Hallstrom, The Cider House Rules, Portman walks the fine line between preciousness and delicacy with grace and dignity. The gypsy flavor of Django Reinhardt’s and Stephane Grappelli’s “Minor Swing” sets the story’s place and time, while Portman’s gentle pastoral melodies outline its emotional core, with a few gratifying excursions into more Euro-ethnic music to keep it well-seasoned. The result is another quiet, powerful Portman masterpiece. (by Jerry McCulley)
And you´ll hear a very fine, very special version of the Duke Elltongton classic “Caravan” !
Rachel Mary Berkeley Portman, OBE (born 11 December 1960) is an English composer who is best known for scoring films.
Portman was born on 11 December 1960 in Haslemere in Surrey, England, the daughter of Sheila Margaret Penelope (née Mowat) Portman and Berkeley Charles Berkeley Portman.
She was educated at Charterhouse School and became interested in music from a young age, beginning composing at the age of 14.
After finishing school, Portman studied Music at Worcester College, Oxford. It was here that her interest in composing music for films began as she started experimenting with writing music for student films and theatre productions.
Rachel Portman’s career in music began with writing music for drama in BBC and Channel 4 films such as Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Mike Leigh’s Four Days in July and Jim Henson’s Storyteller series.
Since then, Portman has written over 100 scores for film, television and theatre, including The Manchurian Candidate (Jonathan Demme), Oliver Twist (Roman Polanski), Hart’s War (Gregory Hoblit), The Legend of Bagger Vance (Robert Redford), Beloved (Jonathan Demme), Benny and Joon (Jeremiah Chechik), Life Is Sweet (Mike Leigh), Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek), Grey Gardens (Michael Sucsy), The Duchess (Saul Dibb), One Day (Lone Scherfig), The Vow (Michael Sucsy), Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (Wayne Wang), The Lake House (Alejandro Agresti), Infamous (Douglas McGrath), Mona Lisa Smile (Mike Newell), and The Human Stain (Robert Benton).
Portman is perhaps best known for her music soundtrack compositions in the movies Chocolat and The Cider House Rules.
Her other works include a children’s opera, The Little Prince (which was later adapted for television) and Little House on the Prairie, a musical based upon the Laura Ingalls Wilder books Little House on the Prairie (2008). Portman was commissioned to write a piece of choral music for the BBC Proms series in August 2007.
Rachel Portman married in 1995 Uberto Pasolini Dall’Onda, with whom she had three daughters, Anna Gwendolen, Giulia Ginerva and Niky Joan Pasolini Dall’Onda.
Portman’s first award was received as the result of scoring “a large body of work” for The Storyteller, for which she received the Anthony Asquith Award from the British Film Institute.
Later, Portman became the first female composer to win an Academy Award in the category of Best Musical or Comedy Score (for Emma in 1996). (Previously, female songwriters Barbra Streisand, in 1977, Buffy Sainte-Marie, in 1983, and Carly Simon, in 1989, each won Oscars, but in the category of Best Original Song). Portman was also nominated for Academy Awards for her scores for The Cider House Rules in 1999 and Chocolat in 2000.
On 19 May 2010, she was given the Richard Kirk Award at the BMI Film & TV Awards for her contributions to film and television music. Portman is the first woman to receive the honour.
Portman was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.
In 2015 Portman received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special for her work on Bessie. (by wikipedia)
Unknown orchestra counducted by Jeff Atmajian and Rachel Portman
01. Minor Swing (Reinhardt/Grappelli) 2.15
02. Main Titles (Portman) 3.08
03. The Story Of Grandmere (Portman) 4.10
04. Vianne Sets Up Shop (Portman) 1.59
05. Three Women (Portman) 1.03
06. Vianne Confronts The Comte (Portman) 1.23
07. Other Possibilities (Portman) 1.36
08. Guillaume’s Confession (Portman) 1.30
09. Passage Of Time (Portman) 2.33
10. Boycott Immorality (Portman) 4.40
11. Party Preparations (Portman) 1.29
12. Chocolate Sauce (Portman) 0.49
13. Fire (Portman) 2.38
14. Vianne Gazes At The River (Portman) 1.07
15. Mayan Bowl Breaks (Portman) 2.15
16. Taste Of Chocolate (Portman) 3.09
17. Ashes To The Wind / Roux Returns (Portman) 2.20
18. Caravan (Ellington/Tizol) 3.44
This entry is dedicated to a real wonderful woman called Margarete