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Merci Pour Le Chocolat Review

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Social satire adapted from Charlotte Armstrong's 1948 novel.

★★★★★

Adapted from the 1948 novel by Charlotte Armstrong, Claude Chabrol's 48th film harks back to his glory days of the 1960s, with its astute blend of social satire and mischievous suspense.

Did Mika (Huppert) really dope her best friend to reclaim her pianist husband (Dutronc)? And is she now trying to finish off Jeanne (Mouglalis), the teenage protege, who was reportedly mixed-up at birth with Dutronc's determinedly non-musical son (Pauly)?

Ultimately, the facts of the case matter less than the pitilessly precise manner in which Chabrol slices through the veneer of bourgeois respectability to reveal the poisonous emotions simmering beneath the surface.

But Huppert's superbly controlled display of murderous vulnerability ensures that malice has a very human face.

Slices through the veneer of bourgeois respectability to reveal the poisonous emotions simmering beneath the surface.