[[caption-width-right:350:I have a knack for guessing people's favorites.]]

Once upon a time, a European pharmacist/explorer fell in love with and married a South American woman who was destined from birth to move as the wind blows, sharing her "ancient cacao remedies" with unhappy people. He brought her to Europe, but she didn't stay with him, departing with her daughter to move from place to place with the "clever North wind."

Her daughter Vianne (Juliette Binoche) is the focus of this 2000 film, adapted from a novel by Joanne Harris. She and her daughter Anouk (who hopes to settle down someday) live this same lifestyle, and at the beginning of the film move into a stuffy French village run by the Comte de Reynaud (Creator/AlfredMolina), a man who has stricter moral standards than the local priest and holds ''everyone'' to them.

Using the secret recipes of her mother's people, Vianne opens a chocolaterie during Lent, earning the Comte's disapproval. Although at first the townspeople give her a chilly reception, they slowly warm up to her as they are tempted by her fabulous concoctions. She convinces abused wife Josephine Muscat (Creator/LenaOlin) to leave her drunk husband Serge (PeterStormare) and come work with her at the chocolaterie. She reunites young Luc Clairmont with his grandmother Armande (JudiDench), a passionate and sarcastic woman deemed a bad influence by Luc's conservative mother, Caroline. Hidden passions left buried for years are brought to the surface with the help of the chocolate.

The Comte fears that Vianne is a threat to his control on the town and behaves accordingly, warning all the townspeople of the dangerous and evil nature of her chocolate. He spreads rumors about her atheism and liberal lifestyle, and even uses the local priest as a mouthpiece for his own ideas.

Conflict is further stirred up by the arrival of a group of gypsies, led by the impetuous and handsome Roux (JohnnyDepp). Vianne, recognizing fellow outcasts, is the only shop owner in the town not to "boycott immorality" and refuse them service. She and Armande even contrive to unite them with the more liberal members of the town during Armande's 70th birthday celebration.

Although she changes everyone else's lives in the process, Vianne herself is changed by the people she meets in the town, specifically Roux - with whom she develops a romantic relationship - Josephine, and Armande. Whether or not Vianne can overcome her wanderlust is as big a question as whether severity or joy will finally win out over the town.

Primarily remembered today as having been nominated for several AcademyAwards, including Best Picture, in what commentators then and now regard as the most {{egregious}} example of MiramaxFilms' notorious Oscar campaigns; this resulted in a huge backlash that has [[NeverLiveItDown dogged the film ever since]]. Based on a novel by Joanne Harris [[AdaptationDisplacement which apparently nobody reads]], with all the NightmareFuel taken out.

* AshesToCrashes: in a non-comedic sense.
* BlitheSpirit: Vianne.
* BrokenBird: Josephine, who is escaping an abusive marriage.
* ButNowIMustGo: [[spoiler:Narrowly averted at the end of the film.]]
* ChocolateOfRomance: It provides the page image.
* CoolOldLady: Armande is an awesome grandmother (buying her grandson a book of Rimbaud's poetry) and friend, celebrating the finer things of life [[spoiler: up until the end.]]
* CoversAlwaysLie: The DVD cover (above) would have you think that Roux is a major character alongside Vianne. [[spoiler:In reality, he doesn't show up until a good hour into the film and even then his scenes are fairly limited as the love interest and nothing more]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Roux, most of the time. Once Josephine starts talking, she turns into one fairly quickly.
* DecemberDecemberRomance: Guillaume Blerot and the widow Audel.
* DisappearedDad: Anouk's father is only mentioned in the context of the scandal of Vianne being an unmarried woman with a daughter.
* {{Disneyfication}}: The anti-religious theme of the movie adaptation was softened by replacing the bitter churchman of the book with a town representative. Also, the town itself was made to look drab and ugly in the opening acts, when the very first scene in the book describes the heroine and her daughter watching a bright parade through the streets of the same town. The novel ended with [[spoiler:a brief, drunken hookup between the heroine and a male supporting character, leaving her pregnant as she left the village to continue drifting. In the movie, the relationship between her and the man is developed into a full romantic subplot, he returns at the end, and the heroine decides she doesn't need to leave the village, breaking the cycle.]]
* DontYouDarePityMe: Exact words used by Armande when Vianne learns she's diabetic.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: When the Comte finds out that Serge [[spoiler:started the fire at the dock in a bid to kill his wife, Vianne, and the Gypsies living there, the Comte is shocked, and he angrily orders Serge to leave the town, telling him that he is forever banished from the village.]]
* MrFanservice: This film propelled Johnny Depp straight back into the sex-symbol territory he had fought so hard to get out of with his earlier films. He's held this title ever since, albeit in an extremely non-traditional way.
* FaithHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Averted with the Comte de Reynaud, who becomes a better person when he relaxes the more fanatical elements of his faith.]]
* FoodPorn: Especially the slow-motion eating sequences.
* ForbiddenFruit: The villagers are tempted to break their Lenten fast with the decadent chocolate
* TheFundamentalist: The Comte de Reynaud
* GoodIsBoring: The heroine, Vianne, does not conform to the village's definition of "good".
* HolierThanThou: The Comte de Reynaud.
* ImaginaryFriend: Anouk's kangaroo, Pantoufle, [[spoiler:who seems a little less imaginary at the end]] was a way for her to cope with moving from place to place so much. He leaves when she doesn't need him anymore.
* InspectorJavert: Again, the Comte.
* LeaveYourQuestTest
* LighterAndFluffier: The writer of the original novel explicitly compares it to "milk chocolate", while the source material is darker and bitterer with more of an edge.
* MagicRealism: Vianne's chocolate and her ability to guess people's favorites are examples of this.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Vianne is this to ''the whole village.''
* TheMourningAfter: The woman Guillame is attracted to lost her husband in the war, thanks to a German grenade. No, not that war--he was killed on ''January 12, 1917.'' His poor wife has been in mourning for 22 years. [[spoiler: She does begin dating Guillame by the end.]]
* NarratorAllAlong: We only discover at the end of the film that [[spoiler:the narrator is Anouk.]]
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Most characters manage to sound as if they at least knew what a French accent sounded like (it helped that Juliette Binoche is actually French, and so was about half the cast). Johnny Depp, however, decided his character was Irish. This is somewhat justified by his lifestyle as a gypsy. Creator/JudiDench, notably, keeps her natural accent...presumably, because nobody tells Dame Judi Dench how to play a scene.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: There's at least one whole scene where Alfred Molina completely drops his otherwise fairly convincing French accent and reverts back to his native London accent.
* OscarBait: It didn't win any Oscars, but did get five nominations including Best Picture. That it got those five nominations at all, over what many viewed as superior films, became a major [[SeriousBusiness point of contention]]. There's no denying, though, that Judi Dench [[ShakespeareInLove can do no wrong]] and her nomination, at least, was well-deserved.
* OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions: Used as a way for the author to say religion is evil/encumbering on society in the original book.
** Averted in the movie. Although the film doesn't see anything wrong with breaking holy fasts or otherwise defying your religion in pursuit of happiness, it doesn't condemn religion outright; the priest is portrayed sympathetically and points out by the end that religion should be based on love and compassion instead of discrimination and rigidity.
* PreacherMan: Père Henri, a lovable young preacher who not only pays close attention to his flock's spiritual needs, but the quality of their lives. He's just a bit of an ExtremeDoormat when it comes to the seemingly inhumanly devout Comte de Reynaud. Upon seeing him passed out in the chocolaterie's window, he realizes that the man has as much need of guidance as the rest, and starts treating him as another supplicant. Ultimately, he's the one who [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped drops the film's anvil]]: faith isn't just supposed to condemn sins, it's supposed to encourage virtues - above all, compassion and tolerance.
** Perhaps in a reference to the movie, in ''Peaches for Monsieur Le Curé'' (The third volume in Vianne's story), the author introduces Père Henri Lemaitre, another priest from a neighbouring village, who [[spoiler: is meant to replace the old-fashioned and strict Reynaud,]] is portrayed as pandering to his parishioners and modernising church practices, but neglecting to become a real councellor and authority figure [[spoiler: like Reynaud]] for the people of his parish.
* PreApprovedSermon: The Comte gives this treatment to the priest.
* PygmalionSnapback: The Comte's efforts to change Josephine's husband don't work out.
* UsefulNotes/{{Romani}}: Roux & Co.
* ScrewDestiny: All over.
* SecretlyDying: At least implied regarding Armande's diabetes.
* SleepingDummy: Luc pads his bed (with crumpled drawing paper) so he can sneak out to his grandmother's birthday party.
* StrawAtheist: Vianne to the villagers.
-->'''Boy 1''': I hear she's an atheist.
-->'''Boy 2''': What's that?
-->'''Boy 1''': ...I don't know.
** Given that she practices various traditional magics and is going to hold a fertility celebration on Easter, while Vianne is labeled an atheist she probably practices pagan (in a broad sense of the word) beliefs, though she would never label herself as such.
* SupremeChef: Vianne's creations are mouth-watering enough to win over an entire town of strict Catholics during Lent.
* TrailersAlwaysLie: Some previews suggested that the movie was about someone selling aphrodisiacs disguised as chocolate. This happened in the film, sort of, but only once, and it didn't become a plot point.
* VillainousBreakdown: The Comte has a gentle one at the end of the movie, where he [[spoiler:breaks into the chocolate shop intending to destroy it... then he accidentally tastes the chocolate. The rush of simple delight he feels opens a floodgate for all the emotions he's been keeping bottled up inside, and he ends up devouring chocolate [[InelegantBlubbering while sobbing]], until he finally curls up in the remains of the Easter display and falls asleep, to be awoken the next morning by Vianne and a effervescent tablet in glass of water.]] So it could be said that [[IncrediblyLamePun he gets his just desserts]].
* WellIntentionedExtremist: The Comte, arguably. Though he's definitely on the low end of extreme. After all, morals are by definition ''good'' things, aren't they?
** Any ''good'' thing can become ''bad'' if taken too far.