Sweet and Fattening

In 1959, in a small French village, a young woman arrives on a cold wind with her daughter. Said town is conservative and uptight, with a well established social order. The pair of strangers come dressed in bright red cloaks likely unheard of in this town, and we are set on the course of the good, yet controversial, girl causing social change.

This is plot of many a film with ambitions. Young vs. old, liberal vs. conservative, frivolity vs. staid resignation. A narrator. Sort of a period piece - I think they go out of there way to make the setting look older than is being stated. We never see an automobile during the whole picture.

The young women rents a shop and opens a Chocolaterie there just in time for Lent, introducing the familiar theme of food as sensuality, but here it's more about indulgence and discipline. Enter the Count - the less vampiric kind - who proclaims the shop the work of the devil, and various other figures who weave in and out of the story, having varying need for an attitude adjustment.

The film pulls in a mish-mosh of influences, a bit of the supernatural here, the need to be yourself there, jabs at religion all around, and an undercurrent of the lesson of letting go throughout. So, what do we end up with? The ambitions of the film hinted at early on are really a pretense - the heart of the film is about individual people struggling with issues in their lives, and its best when it sticks to that thought. There's time spent later on with river rats that works out alright, but muddles it up a bit. Someone thought we couldn't live without a romantic interest for our young lady protagonist.

Altogether a pleasant film that goes down well, but might leave you in need for a main course.

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Review: Odd star4/10 mastadonfarm

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