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MERCI POUR LE CHOCALAT

Night Cap

Claude Chabrol | 2000 | 101 MINS
France | Subtitles
Claude Chabrol's nervy and black little thriller, starring a superb Isabelle Huppert, is based on Charlotte Armstrong's novel ‘The Chocolate Cobweb’.

In Detail

In Chabrol's hands it becomes a vehicle of considerable power for the unsettling, disturbed qualities of Huppert, who has been one of his most important muses over the years (their other collaborations include ‘La Cérémonie’ and ‘Rien ne va Plus’). She plays Mika, married to a world-class concert pianist André (Jacques Dutronc), and they live in Lausanne with André's son Guillaume. She is the owner of a Swiss chocolate factory obsessive about making the family's drinking chocolate every day, and as the clues unravel, it soon becomes clear that Mika is damaged goods. When her husband acquires a piano student (Anna Mougalis) in curious circumstances, Mika is forced to escalate her secret agenda. Huppert is fascinating throughout in this sinewy and, for the most part, clever film, evoking shades of Hitchcock and Clouzot.

“Of all the French New Wave directors that emerged in the ‘60s I enjoyed Claude Chabrol the most, although he was the least revolutionary. I think he was less appreciated than his contemporaries. He is definitely the French Hitchcock, and not surprisingly wrote the first book on Hitch (in French) long before the latter became fashionable as an “auteur”. Many of Chabrol’s films are shamefully unavailable to license, but ‘Merci pour le Chocolat’ is one of his best.” - RG

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