Wednesday, 24 October 2001

Merci pour le chocolat

Listening to:

Shostakovich, symphony no. 14, op. 135.

A recent movie:

Merci pour le chocolat. I saw this a while ago really, but much of it remains quite fresh in my mind. It’s a creepy little story, about a young woman who discovers that she has a tenuous connection to a famous pianist (she and the pianist’s son were briefly switched at birth before the mistake was detected). The young woman wants to be a professional pianist, and approaches the famous pianist. He takes a shine to her and offers her some piano coaching.

The pianist lives with his wife and son. His son is not the child of his wife, but from an earlier marriage, that ended when the son’s mother was involved in a traffic accident. The character of the wife is mesmerising: she’s clearly up to no good, but it’s next to impossible to figure out exactly what it is she’s up to. The cold blankness of this character is very well portrayed by Isabelle Huppert.

Sadly, none of it really makes any sense, and the piano lesson scenes are tedious, particularly as it is really obvious that the actors are not playing the pianos. The acting by the women in the film is pretty good, but the men, particularly the young son, are much less convincing. So, not recommended.