BREF RAPPEL: “Dip me in bitter-sweet and pass me around.

Float down a river of deep, rich sensuality and into the precious lives of wonderful characters, tasteful images and a dash of mystery. This beautiful presentation envelopes us in the type of warmth than you can only get from a cup of hot cocoa on a frigid winter day.

Lasse Hallstrom doesn’t directhe creates. He provides us with an insight of a very precious womanan almost holistic insight, should we choose to heal ourselves. The eloquent use of non-dialog, deftly spoken through Juliette Binoche’s eyes and half-smiles are so refreshing that the silence is truly golden. Judy Dench is classica woman of a full life, needing one more bitter-sweet moment before her time passes. Lena Olin blossoms with the realism of a beautiful flower upon which some rain must fall first. And what of the town mayor, played by Alfred Molina? There are some people you just love to hate, until you find out, given the same box of chocolates referred to by Forest Gump, we would probably be the same.

It’s not all heavy cream. Johnny Depp joins the mix with his own flavor of frivolity, providing the relief we wish we could find, but too often can’t. Ne Pas, my friends, Chocolat is no boring, laborious study in the darkness and pity of human salvation. It’s totally enjoyable, ultimately delectable and just a great film that draws you in.

Besides, who wouldn’t succumb to the allure of seeing swirling cauldrons of fabulous chocolate, each having its own personality and influence on the lucky soul who consumes it?

Bottom Line – Give me a Nipple of Venusas a matter of fact, make that two.