Okay, so here's a more in-depth review, because Brendan told
me that his sad lack of any cultural reference points means
that referencing Footloose has no meaning to him.
(If he's that culturally out of touch, what's he doing setting
up a cultural review site?)
don't have any so-called "cultural reference points" because
i am, after all, a Sponge. Do i criticize you for you
lack of understanding and appreciation of South Pacific
Sponge Poetry? Alright then -- backoff!
You know I love you, Brendan.
Oh sure, suck up to me now!
Get on with it!
Anyway, Juliette Binoche plays a single mom drifter who sets
up a chocolaterie in small-town rural France in 1959. Alfred
Molina plays the Count who is also the Mayor of the town who
sees the town as his surrogate children and who has a large
emotional investment in their proper behavior. Binoche winds
up tapping into everyone's pent-up longings and sets up our
conflict, especially since Molina is especially pious and Binoche
wants to set up her chocolate shop at the start of Lent.
This is the kind of movie that makes me realize that the movie
rating really is a vector, not a scalar. That is, it is best
described with a series of numbers, not a single number. The
story itself is not particularly imaginative or captivating.
So not so much a high rating there; middle of the road is what
it deserves, I guess. But I've also got to consider how well
the story is told, and it is told extremely well. Kind of like
the difference between Titan A.E.
and Atlantis; they tell the exact same story,
but Atlantis just does a better job of telling
I do have to give props to the scriptwriters for not turning
everyone into simple caricatures, especially the chief "villain",
the Count. When Binoche shows Molina some of the dirt that gets
swept under the rug in the name of his orderly society, he genuinely
seeks to make it right, instead of letting the bad stuff go
on with implicit approval, rationalizing it away. So Molina's
Count is a much more sympathetic character than you'd expect,
and that happens pretty much right off the bat. The characters
overall are extremely well done. You get to see them mature,
and not all at once in a life changing-event, but gradually,
like we'd like to see real people do.