I watch a lot of foreign films, and many of my favorites come from one of the greatest contributors to art. The French are masters in everything that requires artistic flare--from food, to films, to fashion, to music, to visual art, etc. I love it all.
There are a lot of French films you should watch, but here’s a short list, in case you feel like adding a little culture and good entertainment to your life.
I don’t know why, but movies about horses are always so good, and in this one, Guillaume Canet is brilliant as ever as Pierre Durand. To me, Guillaume is like the Leonardo DiCaprio of France. He’s just incredibly captivating.
The king of romantic comedies, Romain Duris, stars as Louis Echard, an insensitive insurance agent who is a bit of playboy. Rose Pamphyle, played by doe-eyed Deborah Francois, is a small town girl trying to make more of her life when she is hired as Echard’s secretary, because of her quick typing skills. Set in 1958, the air of the film is very light and bright and perky, though of course, not without its dramatic moments. It’s truly an adorable film, and I was so excited to see that you can now stream it on Netflix. The writer and director, Regis Roinsard did a fabulous job. I mean, you know it takes talent to make typewriters interesting.
3) Haute Cuisine
Before you watch this film, make sure you’ve had a very satisfying meal, because it will make you drool. The amount of black truffle used in this film, alone, will get your taste buds jumping. It’s a fabulous film based on French president Francois Mitterrand’s private chef, Daniele Delpeuch. And this gem is also, very excitingly, now available on Netflix for streaming.
4) Le fils de l’autre (The Other Son)
There are a lot of films that revolve around the issues between Palestine and Israel, and this one is quite touching. Two boys accidentally switched at birth find out 18 years later, and the friendship that develops between the two families is warming.
5) Jeux d’enfants (Love Me If You Dare)
This is the kind of weird French film I love. Plus, Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard are a smashing pair with so much chemistry, that I’m not surprised they made a baby together in real life. I love love love this film.
6) Les Petits Mouchoirs (Little White Lies)
Here’s another Guillaume Canet movie, except this time he’s the director. This is a great ensembles piece, a dramatic comedy full of highs and lows. It revolves around a group of friends, who decided to go on their annual vacation, while one of their friends is in the hospital after a near-fatal accident.
7) Les Emotifs Anonymes (Romantics Anonymous)
This is a charming little romantic comedy, involving two really awkward people, which makes it more adorable. What brings our two lovebirds together here, is chocolate, so you know it’s a sweet story ;). (Sorry, I know, that was totally cheesy).
8) Le Balon Rouge
This is one of my all time favorite films. It’s a short film, with hardly any speech, and it’s absolutely beautiful.
9) La Nouvelle Guerre des Boutons (War of the Buttons)
By now, you’ll know that Guillame Canet is one of my favorite French actors. Actually, he’s just one of my favorite actors in general. This is a most wonderful film that takes place during WWII, and the storyline follows the children of this small town, and their rivals. However, it’s a great parallel as to the greater issue of the time, and really just of humankind—of camaraderie and community. I mean, what better story is there when children can teach us a good lesson?
10) Un Long Dimanche de Fiancailles (A Very Long Engagement)
This is an older one, and a favorite of mine. I love all Audrey Tatou movies. How can I not? Her middle name is Justine. But no, really, she is in my mind, the Kate Winslet of France. If you haven’t seen this, it’s a beautiful story about Mathilde, a young woman, who is determined to uncover the story of her of her fiancé’s disappearance from the trenches during WWI. It’s a story of the greatness of the human heart.
Uh duh. That’s all I have to say about that.
12) Intoucahbles (The Intouchables)
This is such a sweet and touching film about a friendship that develops between an aristocratic quadriplegic and his caretaker from the projects. Francois Cluzet is as wonderful as ever. He reminds me of Robert DeNiro. And throughout the film you kind of just want to give Omar Sy a ginormous hug. You cannot help but love his character.
13) La Vie en Rose
This is the incredible story of Edith Piaf, beautifully and astoundingly portrayed by Marion Cotillard. Her Oscar for Leading Lady was well deserved. This is probably still one of her greatest, if not greatest roles to date.
Okay, go on now, lovelies. Get yourself some culture.
BIG LOVE & HUGS