Set in 1940 on the Greek island of Cephallonia, CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN is the story of Dr. Iannis and his daughter Pelagia who find themselves playing unwilling hosts to Captain Antonio Corelli from the Italian army. The Captain soon captures the hearts of those that live on the island, especially that of Pelagia. Based on the best selling novel by Louis de Berniere.
Lasse Hallstrom's CHOCOLAT is set in the late 1950s, but it might as well be the late 1850s in a small French town where everyone behaves as they should (supposedly), and attends church regularly. When a strong north wind blows through town, it brings the vivacious and mysterious Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her young daughter, Anouk (Victoire Thivisol). Vianne--an unwed mother who declines to go to church and opens up a chocolate shop in the midst of Lent--is soon the talk of the town. Her good-natured, honorable personality and psychic ability (she can predict what kind of sweets best suit each person, and magically cures each of them of their particular maladies) make her as irresistible as her delectable treats. However, Vianne and her daughter are resented by the conservative mayor, the Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina), and by the pious Caroline (Carrie-Anne Moss), who has disowned her own spirited mother (Judi Dench, who plays Vianne's landlady), refusing the elderly woman access to her beloved grandson.This touching fairy tale, based on the novel by Joanne Harris, was filmed on location in rural France. An intelligent, exquisitely filmed fable that deals with the idea of 20th century paganism rising up against a closed-minded church and a persevering aristocracy, CHOCOLAT is enjoyable, romantic, and entertaining, with affecting performances by both its stars and its supporting actors (Lena Olin and Johnny Depp).