Merci pour le Chocolat

Merci pour le Chocolat, also known as Nightcap,[2] is a 2000 French psychological thriller film directed by Claude Chabrol and starring Isabelle Huppert and Jacques Dutronc. The film is based on the novel The Chocolate Cobweb by Charlotte Armstrong.[3]

Merci pour le Chocolat
Film poster
Directed byClaude Chabrol
Produced byMarin Karmitz
Screenplay byClaude Chabrol
Caroline Eliacheff
Based onThe Chocolate Cobweb
by Charlotte Armstrong
StarringIsabelle Huppert
Jacques Dutronc
Anna Mouglalis
Music byMatthieu Chabrol
CinematographyRenato Berta
Edited byMonique Fardoulis
Distributed byMK2 Diffusion
Release date
  • 25 October 2000 (2000-10-25)
Running time
99 minutes
Budget$5.9 million
Box office$13.4 million[1]


André Polonski is a virtuoso pianist of international renown. He first married Mika, owner of a Swiss chocolate company, but then left her for Lisbeth, with whom he had a son, Guillaume. When Lisbeth died in a car accident, he remarried Mika.

André wishes his son was more active, and showed more interest in things. Mika feels that André only cares about his music, abuses sleeping pills and neglects her. Still she tries to be a good homemaker and prepares a cup of chocolate for Guillaume every night.

The family's life is disrupted by the arrival of Jeanne, a young pianist, who might be André's daughter. Jeanne begins suspecting that Mika is poisoning Guillaume's chocolate and also has something to do with Lisbeth's death.



The film received generally positive reviews. Variety called it "a treat, a delicious blend of perversity, playfulness and deadly passion concealed beneath the tranquil, moneyed surface of the Swiss bourgeoisie", and said it is "fit to stand alongside his [Chabrol's] late-'60s career highs."[2] Roger Ebert said that the film's appeal "is not in the somewhat creaky old poisoning plot, not in the hints of suppressed family secrets, not in the suspense about what will happen next" but in Huppert's enigmatic character which is "maddening, perverse and seductive."[4] The Guardian called it "an intriguing little film, playfully aware of its own contrivances" but "stylish and intelligent - maintaining just enough of a frisson to keep you on the edge of your seat."[5] The Los Angeles Times said the film "crackles with wit and elegance, humor and pathos."[6] Time Out called it "a dark, velvety film which masks the rough with the smooth and coats a bitter pill in a veneer of decadent French polish."[7]

See also


  1. "Merci pour le chocolat (2000)- JPBox-Office". JP Box Office. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  2. Elley, Derek (8 September 2000). "Nightcap". Variety. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  3. Mitchell, Elvis. "NY Times: Merci pour le chocolat". NY Times. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  4. Ebert, Roger (23 August 2002). "Merci Pour le Chocolat movie review". Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  5. Staff, Guardian (8 June 2001). "Merci Pour le Chocolat". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  6. "From the Archives: 'Night Cap': Claude Chabrol in his element with a pitch-dark story of intricate relationships". Los Angeles Times. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  7. "Merci pour le chocolat". Time Out London. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
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