What was eating Johnny Depp?Is Johnny Depp back? I’ve been pondering the question a lot lately as spots for the upcoming Whitey Bulger biopic inundate my TV. I guess the second part of the question has to be, back from what?
Back from the scarf storeBack from wherever he stashed his scarves and a slew of confounding career choices. You can find dozens, probably many dozens, of articles on line on the subject: Where Johnny Went Wrong, What Happened to Johnny Depp, Johnny Depp’s Downward Spiral. They all say the same thing: he used to be so cool, he of the Edward Scissorhands—sharp cheekbones and cheeky, hip attire; when did he turn into such a laughable caricature of himself? Tim Burton gets a lot of the blame, Pirates of the Caribbean gets its share.
Wigging outWhatever the cause, Black Mass, the bio-pic might be the cure. At fifty two, it’s a more mature Depp than we’ve ever seen, made more mature with the help of old age makeup and wigs. Can you imagine Johnny’s glee as he sat in the hair and makeup chair and realized that he got to play with fake hair AND play a serious part! An actor’s idea of heaven.
Couldn’t you just eat him up?Okay, enough about the new Johnny, and the bad Johnny, for today’s Saturday Matinee let’s watch the sexy, cool, boho Johnny we knew and loved in Chocolat. Based on the book by Joanne Harris, Johnny Depp plays Roux, a passerby of sorts (he docks his houseboat nearby) who drops in on the tiny French village where Juliet Binoche (Vianne Rocher), the mysterious new girl in town, upsets the uptight locals by opening a tantalizing Chocolaterie during Lent. The chocolates are supposedly full of magical elixirs with healing properties.
Winning the Taste TestDirected by Lasse Holstrom—the guy must be a foodie, he also directed 2014’s foodie’s fave The Hundred Foot Journey—Chocolat was nominated for Best Picture, Best Screen Adaptation and Best Musical Score. Juliette Binoche was nominated for a Best Actress while Judi Dench got a nom for playing Vianne’s chocoholic landlady. It didn’t win a thing but it did give us one of Johnny Depp’s tastiest roles.
The impressive cast of Chocolat also includes Alfred Molina, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugh O’Conor, Lena Olin, Peter Stormare and John Wood, all of whom, along with Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp, received a cast nomination from SAG.
What do you think of today’s #SaturdayMatinee? Delicious? If not, what’s your favorite Johnny Depp role?
Chocolat is available to stream in the usual places: Amazon, YouTube, GooglePlay and Vudu. You’ll have to check Netflix.
Here’s what I thought of Johnny Depp’s The Rum Diary disaster.