|Like Water for Chocolate|
|Directed by||Alfonso Arau|
|Produced by||Alfonso Arau|
|Written by||Laura Esquivel|
|Music by||Leo Brouwer|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|Box office||$21.6 million (USA) |
Like Water for Chocolate (Spanish: Como Agua Para Chocolate) is a 1992 Mexican film in the style of magical realism based on the popular novel, published in 1989 by first-time Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel. It earned ten Ariel Awards including the Best Picture and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film became the highest grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the United States at the time. The film was selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 65th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.
The story is about a girl named Tita, the youngest of three daughters. Their mother, Elena, insists on upholding the family tradition that the youngest daughter has the duty of caring for her mother until she dies. When Tita meets a boy named Pedro they quickly fall in love. Pedro goes to Tita’s house and asks her mother if they are allowed to marry. Elena forbids it and instead suggests he marry Tita’s older sister Rosaura. Pedro decides to accept and Tita is devastated. After the wedding, Pedro tells Tita that he only married her sister so that he will be able to stay close to his true beloved.
Within the family structure, Rosaura is the oldest. Next is Gertrudis, who was created by an affair with another man. Last is Tita, who is always fighting for her rights. Each daughter represents something within the Mexican revolution. Rosaura is representing the upper class, the people who get things handed to them and have nothing to worry about. Gertrudis represents people who are actually in the revolution, since she runs away and joins it. Tita represents the people who are left fighting for their rights, who are given nothing in return.
Before her sister’s wedding, Tita is preparing the food with Nacha, and some of Tita’s tears get mixed in with the batter. This results in an emotional riot in which everyone feels devastated and longs for their one true love. After Pedro gives Tita some roses, she uses the petals to prepare a sauce. As they are eating dinner everyone feels an intense passion and Gertrudis even sets the shower on fire with her passion.
Tita was born on a kitchen table and spent most of her time with Nacha. She knew the smells of the kitchen and learned how to cook at a young age. In the kitchen Tita is able to connect with Pedro. She states that when she puts all of her passion into her food, and after Pedro eats it, it is like she is entering his body in a sexual way. That has always been how the two connected. They did not need to touch physically, as Tita is an expert in the kitchen and able to make others feel what she feels when she prepares food.
When Rosaura has a baby boy, Elena becomes more suspicious about Tita and Pedro, and sends Pedro and Rosaura away to a different state to keep Pedro away from Tita. The baby then becomes sick and dies. Everyone blames Elena because she sent them away and they were not able to care for the boy the way Tita did. Tita then becomes extremely sad due to the loss, and is sent away where Dr. John Brown heals her. They begin a relationship and plan to marry shortly thereafter. However, Elena dies and Pedro and Rosaura come back. Pedro is still in love with Tita even after finding out that she is going to marry Dr. Brown.
When Dr. Brown leaves on business, Tita sleeps with Pedro. After an alarming false pregnancy, Tita tells Dr. Brown and he supports her decision to call off the wedding. Years later, Rosaura dies of digestive problems and her daughter, Esperanza, marries Dr. Brown’s son. After the wedding Tita and Pedro make love, but Pedro died of being too happy all at once. Tita then swallows matches which results in the entire house catching on fire. Esperanza goes back to the house’s ruins and finds a cook book with recipes and the story of Tita’s and Pedro’s forbidden love story.
- Lumi Cavazos as Tita
- Marco Leonardi as Pedro
- Regina Torné as Mama Elena
- Mario Iván Martínez as Doctor John Brown
- Ada Carrasco as Nacha
- Yareli Arizmendi as Rosaura
- Claudette Maillé as Gertrudis
- Pilar Aranda as Chencha
- Farnesio de Bernal as Cura
- Joaquín Garrido as Sargento Treviño
- Rodolfo Arias as Juan Alejándrez
- Margarita Isabel as Paquita Lobo
- Sandra Arau as Esperanza Muzquiz
- Andrés García Jr as Alex Brown
- Regino Herrera as Nicolás
- Genaro Aguirre as Rosalio
- David Ostrosky as Juan de la Garza
- Brígida Alexander as Tia Mary
- Amado Ramírez as Pedro's father
- Arcelia Ramírez as Esperanza's daughter
- Socorro Rodríguez as friend of Paquita
Like Water for Chocolate received positive reviews from critics, as the film holds a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 30 reviews.
The American release of this film is quite shorter than the original Mexican version, in the original release you see the main character Tita, return home to take care of her dying mother who still makes her life as difficult as she can, in the American release this complete sequence is removed and instead Tita only returns home for her mother's funeral.
|1992||Como Agua Para Chocolate||Best Picture||Won|
|Alfonso Arau||Best Director||Won|
|Mario Iván Martínez||Best Actor||Won|
|Regina Torné||Best Actress||Won|
|Claudette Maillé||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Joaquín Garrido||Best Actor in a Minor Role||Nominated|
|Margarita Isabel||Best Actress in a Minor Role||Won|
|Laura Esquivel||Best Screenplay||Won|
|Emmanuel Lubezki||Best Cinematography||Won|
|Carlos Bolado and Francisco Chiú||Best Editing||Nominated|
|Emilio Mendoza, Gonzalo Ceja and Ricardo Mendoza||Best Production Design||Won|
|Marco Antonio Arteaga, Carlos Brown, Mauricio De Aguinaco and Denise Pizzini||Best Set Design||Won|
Golden Globe Awards
|1992||Como Agua Para Chocolate||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
- List of submissions to the 65th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Mexican submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- "Like Water for Chocolate (1993) - Box Office Mojo". www.boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
- "Laura Esquivel Biography". Biography.com. Retrieved 20 August 2017.[permanent dead link]
- Neibylski, Dianna C (1998). "Heartburn, Humor and Hyperbole in Like Water for Chocolate". In Hengen, Shannon. Performing Gender and Comedy: Theories, Texts and subtext. Routledge. p. 189. ISBN 90-5699-539-1. Google excerpt.
- Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
- "Foreign Oscar entries submitted". Variety. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- "XXXIV 1992 — Ganadores y nominados" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas. 1992. Retrieved October 20, 2016.