Flashes of memory and archival footage blossom through the movie while the cinematography appeals to a marriage between a VHS atmosphere and celluloid textures. And then there's Dyrholm, a formidable actress who's always keen for a challenge. Devouring the screen with a rockstar's attitude, she's a force of nature constrained within the body of an addict whose better days are behind her. Her singing is especially astounding, turning concert scenes into spectacles of self-laceration, the voice traveling through her throat in raspy rhapsodies that are somewhere between Björk and Marlene Dietrich.
A man's journey from someone who is willing to capitalize on quasi-minstrel acts to someone that feels objectified, eager to escape the colonial commodification. Some eleventh-hour attempts at Caucasian redemption spoil part of the critique, but there's value in this exercise nonetheless. If nothing else, CHOCOLAT illuminates the life of a Black pioneer in French theatrical culture, calling attention to how even in triumph, marginalized people were seen as lesser by those in power, whether through active oppression or passive…
We should appreciate how hard it is to make screen love feel palpable. It's often taken for granted, especially when it comes to male actors. In other words, what Peter Dinklage does here, regardless of musical prowess, is remarkable and deserves its flowers, its earned hosannas. Bennett and Harrison Jr. also excel, playing a demanding muse and endearing himbo with no hint of irony. If their register feels modern, it does so out of exuberance rather than scorn.
I should preface my thoughts by making it clear I am a staunch anti-monarchist, against all types of nobility in fact. Furthermore, I have little sentimental nostalgia for Princess Diana. Born in 1994, I always remember her as a dead legend, if I remember her at all, rather than a living celebrity. Furthermore, the growing commodification of the woman's legacy makes me feel dread, alarm, maybe disgust. Nevertheless, that currency of mythic celebrity is also a fascinating contradiction, for it…