Nightcap, also known as Merci pour le Chocolat, was based on the novel The Chocolate Cobweb by Charlotte Armstrong. It’s directed and co-written (with Caroline Eliacheff) by Claude Chabrol, whose career is being re-released by Arrow Video in several box sets.
André Polonski (Jacques Dutronc) is an internationally recognized concert pianist whose love life is interesting to say the least. He was first married to Mika Muller (Isabelle Huppert), the owner of a chocolate company before he left her for Lisbeth, the mother of his son Guillaume. When Mika dies in an automobile accident, he finds himself back in Mika’s arms and they’re soon married.
Guillaume is listless and doesn’t care for anything, while André abuses sleeping pills and ignores Mika. When a potential student Jeanne (Anna Mouglalis) arrives, she sees bad intentions in everyone. And as for her, she may be André’s daughter. And as for Mika, she may have murdered Lisbeth and is definitely poisoning Guillaume with the hot chocolate she serves him every night.
Shot in the home of David Bowie, Chabrol found himself turning to Hitchcock while making this film, if the poison-laced hot chocolate is any indication, as it’s so close to the arsenic coffee from Notorious.
John Waters selected this movie in his top ten films for 2002, saying “It’s her again. Isabelle Huppert poisons her family, and Claude Chabrol tells her how to do it with cinematic perfection.”
He’s right. If you ever need to cast a dispassionate murderess, always go with Isabelle Huppert.
Twisting The Knife: Four Films By Claude Chabrol comes with high definition Blu-ray presentations of all four films, as well as new 4K restorations of The Swindle, The Color of Lies and The Flower of Evil. You also get an 80-page collector’s booklet of new writing by Sean Hogan, Brad Stevens, Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Pamela Hutchinson, as well as limited edition packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella.
Nightcap offers new commentary by film critic Justine Smith, a new visual essay by film critic Scout Tafoya, interviews with Isabelle Huppert and Jacques Dutronc, behind-the-scenes, a screen test for Anna Mouglalis, an introduction by film scholar Joël Magny, a trailer, an image gallery and select scene commentaries by Claude Chabrol.
You can get Twisting The Knife: Four Films By Claude Chabrol from MVD.