Treat Yourself to Chocolat This Easter: a Recommendation from Steve

One goal of this blog is to lead you to movies that deal with faith issues in ways that are enjoyable, enriching, and enlightening.  I have a recommendation that is quite appropriate as we move from Lent to Easter.  ChocolatChocolat takes place during the season of Lent.  It is sometimes dark, a bit bittersweet, but ultimately delightful.  Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her young daughter move to a small French village where she opens a chocolate shop.  Her past is cloaked in mystery.  She has an uncanny ability of matching just the right treat with each customer.  However, her timing in opening the shop is problematic.  The predominately (entirely?) Catholic population is supposed to abstain from worldly pleasures during Lent.  The mayor (Alfred Molina) considers it to be his responsibility to see to it that everyone does what they are supposed to do.  He is so controlling that he insists on previewing the young Father’s sermons before he preaches them (which, as a pastor, makes me cringe).  Things get more complicated when Vianne establishes a friendship with Roux (Johnny Depp), the leader of a group of Gypsies.  Everything comes to a head when Vianne plans a Festival of Chocolate for Easter Sunday.  This movie reveals how God’s grace comes to life in the ways in which we care for others, rather than in how closely we follow the rules.  The cast is wonderful.  Binoche is perfect, as sweet and tempting as her chocolates.  Depp’s role is definitely of the supporting variety, but he adds an intriguing edge to the movie.  This may be my favorite role in Molina’s long career.  You simply have to see what happens to him on Easter morning.  The cast also includes Judy Dench in yet another delightful performance.  If you’ve never seen this, treat yourself!  If you have seen it, then, just like the chocolate it’s named for, you’d like another taste, wouldn’t you? 

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