Saturday, March 02, 2024

Movie Music: Rachel Portman's "Chocolat" (2000)

Here I am again, ready to discuss more movie music with you. I really enjoy Rachel Portman's movie scores.  Her music for both Chocolat (2000) and Emma (1996) make me happy and are particularly great for listening to when I feel like listening to something sprightly, but with a pang of melancholy here and there.  I reviewed the Emma soundtrack a while ago, so today, I'm going to share my other favorite Portman soundtrack.

Considering the movie's subject matter, I'm sure it's no surprise that I really like to listen to the Chocolat soundtrack while I bake.  It's also great for doing housework or powering through a writing session that needs some upbeat vibes.

I'll start you off with a feel-good song, lots of energy and spring to it. It really conveys the idea of vigorously setting to work, doesn't it? 

Here's a completely different mood. "Caravan" is soft and sensuous, a slow and beautiful simmer. It was first performed by Duke Ellington in the 1930s, but here, the guitar track is laid down by none other than Johnny Depp, who co-stars in the film. 

My favorite track on the whole soundtrack is "Minor Swing," another '30s jazz song which Johnny Depp also plays guitar on. It's joyful and energetic and just plain fun -- it gets my toes tapping and my fingers snapping. 

If you like those selections, you can listen to the whole soundtrack on YouTube right here :-)

(This review originally appeared here at J and J Productions on September 15, 2015.)


  1. I love the main theme of Chocolat! I remember when I first heard it. I had not yet seen the movie, but the theme was performed on the Oscars ceremony (along with the other nominees for Best Original Score) by Itzhak Perlman and Yo You Ma. It was an epic performance!

    1. Tom, it's so upbeat! I have a vague memory of watching that Oscar ceremony in college -- I had totally forgotten it until you mentioned it, but I do remember Yo Yo Ma playing this! Good stuff.

  2. "Chocolat" is one of my most favourite movies! I saw it at least 2 or 3 times when it first came out nearly 25 years ago, but haven't seen it now for a couple of decades. So, thanks to the inspiration of your blog post, I rewatched it this afternoon on Netflix. Still as powerful a message as ever!

    1. Debra, Chocolat is one of my favorites too :-) I first saw it when it came to VHS when I was in college, and loved it so much I ended up buying a used copy from Blockbuster eventually. Which has long since been upgraded to DVD. Such a lovely film.

  3. I love Rachel Portman's work so much and wish she was more regularly in demand in film and television. Emma, Chocolat, The Duchess, Sirens and The Legend Of Bagger Vance are my favourite scores of hers.

    The film is lovely and this gorgeous score is the icing on top. I can understand why this would be ideal to listen to while baking.


    1. Maddy, I agree! I do like Portman's scores for Belle, Nicholas Nickelby, and Their Finest as well. She does seem to score a movie or two every year, but she is not as well-known as she ought to be, considering she's the first woman to win an Oscar for best score!


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