We gave it a B-
After bringing John Irving’s prose to the screen, the Swedish director is delving into the pages of a very different sort of book — a modern day fairy tale about the healing power of high caloric confections. Binoche plays a mysterious (and vaguely supernatural) stranger who scandalizes a tiny conservative French village by opening a chocolate shop across the square from the church, leading the locals into temptation with her magically delicious treats.
Molina is the resident nobleman who tries to shut her down, while Depp (who starred in Hallström’s ”What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”) plays the handsome out of towner who gives Binoche more than a sugar rush. ”It’s a totally different tone than ‘Cider House,”’ says Hallstr& ouml;m, who made only one major change from Joanne Harris’ 1999 novel, moving the story from the 1990s to the more lyrical 1950s. ”This one is sort of a comedic fable. It’s a very enchanting story, with a great eye for character and psychology.” GOOD SIGN Certainly sounds sweet. THEN AGAIN Depp doesn’t appear until well into the second half. Talk about burying your lead.