Johnny Depp’s romantic drama Chocolat hits Netflix on October 1.
By Vic Medina | Published
After months of televised trial and endless media coverage, you might be sick of hearing about Johnny Depp. If so, you are in a tiny minority, because it seems that people never tire of Pirates of the Caribbean actor. Many look back on the 59-year-old’s movie history and rediscover his underrated work, including romantic drama Chocolatewhich arrives on Netflix on October 1st.
The film was a surprise hit in 2000, earning five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress (for Juliette Binoche), and Best Supporting Actress (for Judi Dench). The film, from director Lasse Hallström (The rules of the cider house) and based on the novel by Joanne Harris, tells the story of single mother Vianne Rocher (Binoche) and her six-year-old daughter Anouk (Victoire Thivisol) who open a chocolate shop in a small French country village in 1959 and cause a furor in the city of straight lines. Johnny Depp stars as Roux, a gypsy who sails a boat down the city’s river and proceeds to sweep Vianne off her feet.
Although Chocolate is a romantic drama, its charm lies in its comedy, as the star-studded cast gives the film an offbeat edge that few movies are able to capture. When the Vianne chocolate factory opens opposite the church (and dares to be open on Sundays) in the middle of Lent, it becomes a forbidden sensation among the townspeople, who savor its delicious treats and open up their personal lives to it. sympathetic ear.
The mayor of the city, embodied by Spider-Man: No Way OutActor Alfred Molina, doesn’t care about Vianne and his ways, and tries to undermine his business and standing in the community. Johnny Depp’s Roux is also not welcome, but he manages to conquer not only the city, but Vienna itself. Roux thinks of himself as a carefree river rat in the world, and you see some of the beginnings of the charming pirate persona he would bring to Jack Sparrow three years later.
Joining Johnny Depp in the film is Judi Dench (James Bond’s M) as Armande Voizin, the owner of Vianne who tries to reconcile with her daughter Caroline (played by Carrie-Anne Moss of The matrix films) in the enclosure of the confectionery. A.k.a alum Lena Olin (who is married to director Hallström) as the eccentric who was brought out of her shy shell by Vianne, and actor Peter Stormare (Fargo, prison break) plays her abusive husband.
Surprisingly, even though Johnny Depp gets second billing in the movie, he doesn’t appear onscreen until almost halfway through the two-hour film. At the time, Depp had just played Ichabod Crane in Tim Burton’s sleepy hollow the previous year, and her next big role was in Blowshowcasing the wide range of roles Depp has been able to play.
The film’s exteriors were shot in the French town of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain (hundreds of villagers were employed as extras), although a number of scenes were shot at studios in England. Although Johnny Depp was living in France at the time (with his then-girlfriend and French actress Vanessa Paradis), not a single scene in which he appears was filmed there, but rather in England. . Judi Dench never set foot in France to make the film, all her scenes having been shot in Great Britain.
Depp also admitted that he was not a fan of the gourmet chocolate featured in the film, preferring the cheaper, store-bought milk chocolate popular in America. He was actually allergic to chocolate for most of his childhood, eventually overcoming it as an adult.
Although it was a surprise Oscar contender (it didn’t end up winning a single one), critics were less than thrilled: it earned a 63% rating from Rotten Tomatoes, although the public rated it much higher, at 83%. The cast received high marks, including Johnny Depp, although many reviewers noted that his unconvincing Irish accent is a bit distracting. The British accent he used for Jack Sparrow, inspired by Rolling Stone member Keith Richards, fared much better with critics.
The film had a limited opening in December 2000, but had a wide release in January 2001, eventually earning over $71 million in the United States and over $152 million worldwide.
If you don’t have Netflix, the film is also available to stream on Paramount+.