Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chocolat - delicious French filled entertainment to read and on TV

I noticed that tomorrow evening (New Year's Eve) BBC2 is showing the film adaptation of Joanne Harris's book of the same name.

Earlier this year I finished reading the book, and loved it, so am looking forward to seeing the movie which has received some good reviews on Amazon and Internet Movie Database.

Set in the 1950's the story tells of how a travelling single parent Vianne Rocher and her daughter Anouk arrive at a small French village and decide to settle down for a while. Vianne immediately runs into opposition with the local priest over her plans to open a chocolate shop, in Lent, an act he sees as being inspired by the devil to tempt the villagers away from his black sermons.

Vianne's not easily cowed by him though and her delicious chocolate temptations soon start winning over the hearts (and stomachs) of the villagers as the battle rapidly escalates when a gipsy encampment arrives on the river, further inflaming the small-minded nature of many of the villagers.

The book switches between the different characters, their viewpoints and perspectives, from the chocolatey desires of Vianne and her plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival, to the inner torment and hidden secrets of the priest and to the local people caught between the opposing forces of religion and politics.

The film stars Juiliette Binoche, Johnny Depp and Dame Judy Dench and looks to be a great adaptation. If you don't manage to catch the film tomorrow night then the Chocolat DVD is only £4.98 from Amazon and the (thoroughly recommended) Chocolat book is only £5.99.

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