Storyteller: Once upon a time, there was a quiet little village in the French countryside, whose people believed in Tranquilité - Tranquility. If you lived in this village, you understood what was expected of you. You knew your place in the scheme of things. And if you happened to forget, someone would help remind you. In this village, if you saw something you weren't supposed to see, you learned to look the other way. If perchance your hopes had been disappointed, you learned never to ask for more. So through good times and bad, famine and feast, the villagers held fast to their traditions. Until, one winter day, a sly wind blew in from the North...
The sly wind brings in Vianne Rocher and her young daughter who open up a patisserie in a conservative, orthodox town. What follows is a battle between the new order and the old, as Marie begins to sell the 'sinfully delicious' chocolate to the locals. The attraction is natural as more and more people begin to draw nearer to the unlikely character from abroad.
Marie doesn't just sell chocolates. Marie defies tradition. She doens't wear black shoes like other women. She doesn't have a husband. She doesn't fear in befriending the local nut (enter Olin) or greeting the 'pirates' of the time (enter Depp) or challenging the traditions of offering chocolate in the season of Lent.
The film is packed with a strong message for non-conformists and otherwise. It shows the resistance to change and it comes with a price (although is heavily chocolate-coated in this movie, in my opinion) which is never easy to pay. But like all good feel-good movies, this movie has that note of optimism, that bittersweet lesson that is so necessary to keep one's head sane at moments of despair and dejection. Being different isn't easy. But you've got to keep on going anyway.
Père Henri: Listen, here's what I think. I think that we can't go around... measuring our goodness by what we don't do. By what we deny ourselves, what we resist, and who we exclude. I think... we've got to measure goodness by what we *embrace*, what we create... and who we include.