As the weather turns colder, what could be more satisfying than a generous helping of chocolat? It is just what I need to warm me through and convince me that all is right with the world.
I’m not talking about a cup of something from Cadbury’s here – or even something from Charbonnel et Walker. No, I’m referring to the Juliette Binoche film Chocolat.
The movie is based on a novel by Joanne Harris, who is half-French. It sees Binoche play the role of Vianne Rocher, who sweeps into the small French village of Lansquenet with her daughter just as Lent is beginning. Opening a chocolate shop puts her at odds with the local mayor, who does his best to shut her down.
The mayor is even more disconcerted when a group of river drifters – led by Johnny Depp – arrive down at the water’s edge.
Chocolat takes me back to Périgord. The boats Depp uses are familiar to anyone who has spent much time on the Dordogne. Except that the river scenes were actually shot in Wiltshire.
Although the Dordogne village of Beynac-et-Cazenac appears in the film, Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, over 500km away in Burgundy, stood in for Lansquenet for the bulk of the shooting.
“The boats Depp uses are familiar to anyone who has spent time on the Dordogne. Except the scenes were shot in Wiltshire”
All the same, the film is enough to put me in the mood for my trip to France this evening. In fact, I went to bed last night dreaming of chocolat. Mind you, I often do…