Chocolat - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Chocolat Reviews

Page 1 of 4
December 20, 2015
Nice cinematography..EXTREMELY BORING. Not suggested to watch.
July 31, 2013
The exquisitely shot slow moving French Film based heavily on the director's own experiences in Africa.

Strong characters in an simple but proactive film that allowed the characters personalities to add themselves to the canvas of the vast African Landscapes.

Although this film did travel rather slow it had many great scenes between the young girl & head black slave. It's a little bit dull in parts but it often has bouts of life.
Super Reviewer
March 2, 2013
An evocative and beautifully shot period drama set in colonial Cameroon. The lethargic pacing and drawn out scenes make it a bit of a slog to sit through but there's no denying it's quiet power and that it has important points to make. Claire Denis went on to make the much better, similarly themed White Material.
February 24, 2013
Johnny Depp as a gypsy! Hah!
November 11, 2012
A gorgeous film about a young girl growing up in Africa during the last days of French colonialism.
½ July 11, 2012
Slow, presumably to match the pace of life, but largely successful story of childhood and the colonial experience, emphasising the alien presence of the uncomprehending Europeans, a recurring theme in her later films.
April 9, 2011
What the hell was this? Seriously!? This was one of the most boring films I've seen in my life. It centers around an INCREDIBLY nuanced and understated "will they? won't they?" romantic crush that explores class difference. It really leads to nothing. I only know those plot details because of my class's discussion on the film. You could watch this movie 3 times and still have no idea what it's about. Seriously, this is dry filmmaking that can only be appreciated by patient viewers.
½ April 9, 2011
What the hell was this? Seriously!? This was one of the most boring films I've seen in my life. It centers around an INCREDIBLY nuanced and understated "will they? won't they?" romantic crush that explores class difference. It really leads to nothing. I only know those plot details because of my class's discussion on the film. You could watch this movie 3 times and still have no idea what it's about. Seriously, this is dry filmmaking that can only be appreciated by patient viewers.
February 13, 2011
Claire Denis' most accessible work is a terrific, albeit sometimes frustrating work. We first meet a young woman on a beach in Cameroon who decides to take a car ride when offered by a man and his son. While he thinks she is a tourist, she then reflects back on her time as a little girl in colonial Cameroon where her father had a post. She was good friends with their intelligent but quiet helper Protee. The girl's father is often occupied with various tasks while her mother seems rather neglected. A plane crash has several new white French visitors come to the house and offer their varying viewpoints about the many facets of Africa. All dialogue seem to be tidbits of a broader picture. Emotions are sensed rather than stated. Claire Denis rather successfully manages through meticulous camerawork to successfully convey meanings through these fragmented narratives. Although not much happens, the impacts of these moments is staggering. As per usual this Denis' film is beautiful to watch.
October 23, 2010
In ihrem Debà 1/4t hat Claire Denis recht offensichtlich noch nicht ihre individuelle Kinosprache gefunden. Sie findet zwar stellenweise eindrucksvolle Bilder, bleibt aber - jedenfalls bis zum enigmatischen Schluss - noch weitgehend einer Arthouse-Grammatik verhaftet. Die Themen sind zwar alle bereits da, aber die spätere Brillanz ihres Kinos deutet sich in CHOCOLAT nur in sehr wenigen, vereinzelten Augenblicken an.
½ May 7, 2010
Something very special going on here...Denis is most effective when dealing with her African past, or rather, handling a subject in postcolonial terms. I now desperately look forward to White Material
½ March 4, 2010
3.5: The road scenes very much put me in the mood of a traveller to strange lands, which is precisely the situation in which I currently find myself (in Thailand). They are relaxing and hypnotic as watching the world pass you by from a vehicle can be. I can certainly imagine holding the camera during these scenes, as they are very much like the videos I shoot whenever I'm passing by something different or remarkable. I found the question towards the beginning, "Going Native?", very much cut to the essense of the film. It reminded me a bit of The Flame Trees of Thika as well, for obvious reasons. Films really don't get much more colonial than this, but it is handled in such a deft and subtle manner that it never feels condescending or preachy. The various scenes in which one can see the obvious subjugation of a people are done so simply and quietly that they have a far greater power and depth than films of far greater ambition. As many have said before, including me, less is often more. The pace, both in terms of narrative and editing, befits the climate and the desired mood. It leave one in a contemplative spirit and entirely relaxed and at ease. I can think of few films that have made colonial life seem so alluring without romanticizing it too much. Alternatively, it doesn't dwell on the vile or discgusting aspects of colonialism either, but it certainly does enough to make you more than conscious of them. It's interesting that the man we spend most of the film thinking of as African is actually a African man raised by priests, which I suspect makes him quite different from most of his compatriots. What is it then to be African (or more specifically Cameroonian, but even this is, I suspect, a Western name)? Is he somehow less pure because of his being tainted by the priests. Then the man the grown up little girl meets at the beginning turns out to be an African-American. Is he somehow less African that the French girl? In some ways yes; in other ways no. These are complex and fascinating characters, well written and performed. This really seems like quite an interesting life, despite all its flaws. The world was so gigantic back then, unlike today when it has shrunk considerably by comparison. My only real complaint is that the picture seemed far to brief. The ending is about as enigmatic as it gets. It isn't Antonioni, but it isn't conventional either. This could be a 4 after another viewing.
½ February 13, 2010
Most directors wouldn't have a hope of turning out something this intoxicating, self-assured and fully realised for their first film. Claire Denis really ain't most directors.
½ January 5, 2010
A powerful story of classes and racism.
½ December 14, 2009
A very beautiful film with great cinematography, editing, mise-en-scene...but the slow pace and lack of real narrative development can be a bit stifling.
½ December 9, 2009
Brilliantly directed.
½ October 5, 2009
What a horrible motherfucking movie. This movie had no plot development, actually it was lacking a plot all together. One minute they would introduce new characters for no reason only to see them leave a few scenes later. i would rank this film as one of the worst of all time.
½ September 20, 2009
"Chocolat" subtly explores the abstract nature of racial divisions and the absurdity of colonialism, but uses a trite flashback structure that favors a privileged perspective.
September 8, 2009
Told as a flashback to France Dalens' childhood experiences growing up in French colonial Cameroon on the west coast of Africa in the late 60's, Chocolat manages to create real characters with real conflicts and ambiguities. The difficulty of being trapped in an unreal existance that requires every person to maintain a facade of appearance and conformity to rules and expectations ultimately breaks the spirit of many of the characters, including significantly the houseboy, Protee (played by Isaach De Bankolé) who serves as Frances' ever present and caring mentor and companion. Stunning cinematography reminded me of Out of Africa.
August 4, 2009
This is not the Johnny 'gypsy' Depp film, but an autobiographical piece from Claire Denis. A really interesting film about nostalgia and colonialism. The scenery, soundtrack and acting are great - although it does drag a little in the middle with the flashback scenes. The opening and ending, however, a worth an extra star on their own for their intelligence, heart and subtlety.
Page 1 of 4