Dark Chocolat

Through a strange chain of events, a likable young pianist (Anna Mouglalis) becomes an interloper in the household of an internationally renowned musician (Jacques Dutronc), whom she believes might be her father. He's sure he's not, but her appearance proves disturbing to both his son (Rodolphe Pauly) and even more so to his new wife (Isabelle Huppert). This 2000 thriller from French master Claude Chabrol (La Femme Infidèle, La Cérémonie) is a masterpiece of nuance and characterization, marred only by an inexplicable, utterly distracting blunder at the very end. In tone, it falls somewhere closer to his off-puttingly cold, distanced works (like the 1988 The Story of Women) than his charming, relatively lightweight trifles (like 1985's Coq au Vin). While he gets excellent work from Dutronc (Place Vendôme) and relative newcomer Mouglalis, Merci Pour le Chocolat belongs primarily to him and Huppert.

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