Like Water for Chocolate

Like Water for Chocolate

4.4 20
Director: Alfonso Arau

Cast: Alfonso Arau, Lumi Cavazos, Marco Leonardi, Regina Torne

     
 

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Based on the best-selling novel by Laura Esquival, this internationally popular romantic fable from Mexico centers on a young woman who discovers that her cooking has magical effects. The tale's heroine, Tita, is the youngest of three daughters in a traditional Mexican family. Bound by tradition to remain unmarried while caring for her aging mother, Tita nevertheless… See more details below

Overview

Based on the best-selling novel by Laura Esquival, this internationally popular romantic fable from Mexico centers on a young woman who discovers that her cooking has magical effects. The tale's heroine, Tita, is the youngest of three daughters in a traditional Mexican family. Bound by tradition to remain unmarried while caring for her aging mother, Tita nevertheless falls in love with a handsome young man named Pedro. Pedro returns her affection, but he cannot overcome her family's disapproval, and he instead marries Tita's elder sister. The lovestruck young woman is brutally disappointed, and her sadness has such force that it infects her cooking: all who eat it her feel her heartbreak with the same intensity. This newly discovered power continues to manifest itself after the wedding, as Tita and Pedro, overcome by their denied love, embark on a secret affair. Director Alfonso Arau, Esquival's husband at the time, presents the acts of love and cooking with the same glossy, sensual sheen. Indeed, despite occasional digressions into a magical realist tone, the film often takes on the gloss of Hollywood romance. This combination of traditional melodrama and exotic fairy tale proved extremely popular with audiences, particularly in the United States, where it became one of the highest grossing foreign language films at the time.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Karen Backstein
Mexican director Alfonso Arau hit upon a recipe for success when he whipped up this tasty mixture of magical realism and spicy romanticism. An art house favorite based on a novel by Arau's then-wife Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate traces the unusual aftermath of a love affair thwarted by an old Mexican custom. Because she is the youngest daughter in her family, Tita (Lumi Cavazos) must renounce her beloved and remain forever single, in order to devote herself solely to her mother's care. But Tita's repressed passion comes out in her cooking, and all who partake of her luscious dishes find themselves deeply and erotically affected. The film's atmospheric photography (by Steven Bernstein and Emmanuel Lubezki) evokes a world gloriously transformed by the power of food and desire. Clever and enchanting Like Water for Chocolate is a delicious fairytale that owes as much to Federico Garcia Lorca as it does to Romeo and Juliet.
All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
Beautifully executed in the Latin storytelling tradition of magic realism, Like Water for Chocolate is a romantic drama that ultimately falls back into a Cinderella myth. Director Alfonso Arau shows the domestic chores and duties of the ranch with a commonplace realism, occasionally lapsing into fantasy sequences for the surreal events that are being cooked up. In one instance, the long-suffering Tita (Lumi Cavazos) rides away with a mile-long blanket dragging behind her, a product of her lovesick nights spent knitting. The mother is appropriately wicked, as is the sister, and Tita views her prince charming, Pedro (Mario Leonardi), as the only escape from her lifelong servitude. Like the oven-warmed kitchen where most of the action is set, the photography is warm and glowing. The connection between food and sex is well developed, in several banquets and dinners proving both memorable and humorous. Filled with characters simmering with passion and jealousy, Like Water for Chocolate lives up to its title, which refers to a method of making hot cocoa by adding chocolate to boiling water. Although heavier topics such as death, ghosts, and revolutionary war arise, the story is overall lighthearted and adheres to Hollywood romantic sensibilities.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/17/2011
UPC:
0031398137733
Original Release:
1993
Source:
Miramax Lionsgate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
16,909

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lumi Cavazos Tita de la Garza
Marco Leonardi Pedro Muzquiz
Regina Torne Mama Elena
M. Martinez John Brown
Ada Carrasco Nacha
Claudette Maille Gertrudis
Yareli Arizmendi Rosaura
Pilar Aranda Chencha
Rodolfo Arias Juan Alejandrez
Farnesio DeBernal Cura
Arcelia Ramirez Great Niece--Narrator
Regino Herrerra Nicolas
Margarita Isabel Paquita Lobo
Joaquin Garrido Sergeant Trevino
Brigida Alexander Aunt Mary

Technical Credits
Alfonso Arau Director,Producer
Francisco Chiu Amador Editor
Emilia Arau Executive Producer
Steven Bernstein Cinematographer
Carlos Bolado Editor
Leo Brouwer Score Composer
Carlos Brown Costumes/Costume Designer
Oscar Castillo Executive Producer
Mauricio de Aguinaco Art Director
Farnesio DeBernal Choreography
Laura Esquivel Screenwriter
Emmanuel Lubezki Cinematographer
Denise Pizzini Production Designer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapter Selection
1. Opening Credits [2:16]
2. Pedro Declares His Love [2:16]
3. Chabelah Wedding Cake [4:07]
4. Quail In Rose Petal Sauce [12:51]
5. Gertrudis' Arousal [6:45]
6. Turkey Mole [1:28]
7. Bad News From Texas [10:04]
8. Matches Inside Us [6:51]
9. Magic Beef Broth [6:16]
10. Marriage Proposal [2:31]
11. Just Like Mama Elena [2:02]
12. Apparition [2:11]
13. Sister Talk [7:47]
14. Lovers' Quarrel [7:08]
15. A Talk Long Overdue [8:44]
16. Esperanza And Alex Wed [3:04]
17. Chili Peppers With Love [9:38]
18. Like Water For Chocolate [2:03]
19. End Credits [1:29]

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