Shall We Attend French Cinema? Oui? Non? Oui!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  With early holiday decorating, work, cooking a feast for Thanksgiving dinner for two, Bonaparte and me, and anticipating if we will be home for Christmas due to another possible pandemic lockdown, it’s been the continuation of WTF else can go wrong in 2020.

Bitmoji Image

Goodbye Thanksgiving. Hello Christmas–even though it might be spent “tout seul”–all alone!

I’ve been sitting around pouting over  our cancelled trip to Paris—of which I would have been enjoying this very day as I sit here pounding upon my laptop’s keyboard.  But instead, I bring Paris as well as other parts of France into your living rooms. Or bedrooms.  Or family rooms. Or wherever you enjoy watching TV.  It’s a way of traveling both through time and to another country and can get your imagination going during these trying times.

Thanksgiving in Paris Part Three: On Saturday We Hang Out at Napoleon's  Place. On Sunday–We Don't Rest! | Atypical 60

Same time last year.  I discovered this beautiful pile of croissants at Cafe de Paris on Rue du Buci–our neighborhood hangout.  Not this year….

Let’s face it— those Hallmark Holiday movies can, at times, be a bit of overkill so why not try something different?   French movies–with subtitles for those who don’t speak the language!  Subtitles don’t take away from the movie at all. In fact, I find that subtitles can assist in learning another language.

Dix pour cent (Series) - TV Tropes

My bad.  I realize this is a post about French cinema but…I had to get a photo of my favorite French Netflix series in here. Dix Pour Cent.  As I eagerly await the new season  I am BEGGING you to watch the first seasons. It’s the greatest!!

For you, I’ve compiled a listing of some of my favorite French movies. Trust me, if I listed all of them, this post would turn into a novel. And I must resume writing about the weight gloss (I have a lot to say on that) and other subjects.  And Bonaparte has added his very pragmatic listing of French films that he highly recommends.  As my husband is a man of very few English language words, he leaves no descriptions.  Just films he loves that you might love.

I, on the other hand, will list some of my faves and brief descriptions.  Before I do.  Remember a few tips:  Invest in a DVD player equipped to play foreign films.  Seriously.  There’s a difference between many foreign DVD’s and ones in the States.  If you purchase an international DVD player, your life and movie-watching will be much easier.

 

Many of these movies can be found online if you wish to purchase.  Many can be found for streaming on YouTube or Amazon Prime or any other streaming venues.  TV 5 Monde shows many films as well.    So here we go—some of my recommendations:

 

It’s my favorite movie of all time.  ALL TIME!!

And I double-dog dare ya to not fall in love with Mathieu Kassovitz and Audrey Tautou–it is impossible. They are the most adorable couple ever!

Amelie or “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie Poulain: This is my Number 1 favorite movie of all time.  Yes. ALL TIME!  THIS is what every person who thinks “Emily in Paris” is a great show should watch. They would certainly change their minds about that horrific show after viewing the first ten minutes of Amelie.   The film is delightful and a masterpiece.  Audrey Tautou stars as the lovely but shy Amelie.  A waitress in a Paris café, she feels her mission is to help others, all the while allowing love to pass her by.  She develops a crush on a young Parisien, Nino, and the rest is a wild, bittersweet, scavenger hunt.  All the characters in this movie are perfectly cast and the cinematography is outstanding.  Shot in a greenish filter, the view is almost ethereal—like a dream.  And in the end, when Amelie and Nino finally meet, I guaranty you will be crying like a baby.  Over the years I’ve seen this movie about 30 times, and the ending still get me.  I can’t stop crying.  If you want a feel good, beautifully filmed movie, sweetest story that will have you grinning from ear to ear, please make this a must-watch!

This movie has something for everyone. It’s a great “couples” movie.  It’s got some really intense trench and war scenes and the scenes between Manech and Mathilde pre-war are touching and beautiful.  Hands down, this is one great epic film!

A Very Long Engagement:  As with Amelie, this is another Jean-Pierre Jeunet film.  This has a great deal of sentimentality for me—it’s the first movie Bonaparte took me to see.  This epic drama has everything.  It’s a love story.  It’s a story about World War I.  It’s tragic and beautiful and has a large cast—but the best surprise is Jodie Foster as Elodie, the wife of a soldier and her French is perfect—she is completely bi-lingual.  Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard stars as prostitute Tina Lombardi headed for a bad fate.  It follows the story of Mathilde and Manech, two young lovers who are engaged.  Mathilde, played by Audrey Tautou, due to a bout with polio wears a leg brace but it doesn’t stop her. Manech, played by Gaspard Ulliel, is Mathilde’s fiancé headed for the trenches of war.  When word reaches Mathilde that Manech has been killed, she refuses to believe it and the film turns to her search for him.  It’s an excellent movie that you’ll want to watch on repeat!

The 400 Blows or les Quatre Cents Coups–whichever you prefer, this is one of the greatest films of all time. It’s depressing but hopeful and Antoine Doinel is one of the greatest characters ever. I recommend watching the series of his “life” into adulthood!

The 400 Blows:  This film by New Wave Film maker Francois Truffaut introduces the iconic character Antoine Doinel.  Antoine is Truffaut’s alter ego and much of the Doinel movies are based on incidents in Truffaut’s life.  The 400 Blows has its comical moments, but for the most part is somewhat sad. Doinel doesn’t get much love at home and ends up in a school for truancy.  There are five movies in the Doinel series and I highly recommend watching all of them.  It’s interesting to watch the series as Doinel goes from young teen to adulthood.  Jean-Pierre Leaud is excellent as the brooding Doinel.

I saw this for the first time back in NYC when I was 22 years old. At The Thalia theatre on the Upper West Side.  After seeing Charles Denner, I had such a serious crush on him that I daydreamed about marrying a Frenchman.  OH!  Wait!  I DID marry a Frenchman!

The Man Who Loved Women:  Another Truffaut film, this one, from 1977 was the movie that started my decades-long crush on actor Charles Denner, who plays Frenchman Bertrand Morane in his insatiable pursuit of women.  I loved it—it’s kind of sexist but who cares *French shrug*–its just a great movie!

Many of us are familiar with Jean Reno–he’s been in a lot of movies made in the USA. But..Christian Clavier is another story. He is one of the funniest actors on the face of the earth. I could devote an entire post on him alone.  His face, his emotions–he’s just so funny–and if you love time travel this is such an entertaining movie.  Warning-empty your bladder before viewing because you will laugh THAT hard!

Les Visiteurs: A hysterically funny movie, this is the first of I believe three Visiteurs movies.  It stars Jean Reno, and Christian Clavier, who wrote the screenplay with John Hughes.  It’s a time travel movie about a knight and his sidekick who, through a spell gone wrong find themselves in modern-day France.  This movie has laugh-out-loud moments and Christian Clavier happens to be one of my favorite comedic actors.  You may recognize Jean Reno from many movies made here in the States.  If you are looking for a very sophomoric movie with a ton of humor, this is it!

I’m impressed. Somewhere there’s a video game based on this movie.  But seriously folks–the suave and bumbling Jean Dujardin is great in these movies..

It was like watching The Artist all over again with these two–only with voices and far more laughs!

OSS 117 Cairo, Nest of Spies:  You will definitely recognize two of the lead stars from this movie. Oscar winner Jean Dujardin (his Oscar from The Artist) and Berenice Bejo, wife of director/writer Michel Hazanavicius.  Dujardin also starred in OSS117 Lost in Rio and next year he stars in another OSS 117 movie.   A take on James Bond films, Dujardin is perfectly cast as the suave albeit bumbling spy.  There’s a scene in this movie where he is singing a song in a restaurant and it is, hands down, one of the funniest scene’s I’ve ever viewed in my life.  It reeks of every 1960’s spy, espionage, secret-agent movie and is done so very well!  Enjoy. You’ll want more!

My favorite naughty girl!  And naughty she is!

But put the sexist behavior behind-this WAS filmed in 1956 after all, and watch it for the visuals of old St. Tropez!

And God Created Woman: This Roger Vadim film turned Bardot into a star. It’s so stinking sexist and not in a good way either.  But, it’s so worth watching because of Bardot and St. Tropez. This was filmed in 1956.  Back when St. Tropez wasn’t the St. Trop we know now.  No jet-setters.  No  yachts. It was a simple fishing village.  My husband spent his summers here and his grandmother had a home here.  The stories he tells me fills my head with wishes that St. Tropez was still a small fishing village!  Bardot is so incredibly beautiful and the dancing scene in the bar/restaurant is epic.  Filmed in black and white, it hasn’t really aged that well but I still think it is worth watching.

Gerard Jugnot is so wonderful in this–and it IS an exceptional film! It’s based on a true story and honestly-once will not be enough to watch this. I may watch it again this afternoon!

The Chorus:  Want a good cry?  Watch this movie.  Seriously.  It’s about a failed musician, Clément Mathieu, played by the wonderful Gerard Jugnot, who ends up teaching music at a boarding school for bad boys.  Well, more like boys with issues because there’s only one who is really bad.  But Mathieu starts a choir and the movie takes us on the journey.  It’s loosely based on a real-life story. This is a beautiful movie that keeps you on edge but ends up being such a feel-good film. You’re going to need a box of tissues for this one!

I know. I know. There’s a certain campiness and cheesiness about this movie–but it’s FUN!!  A great little costume dramedy and  Robin Hood frenchie style!

Cartouche:  Got kids? Got grandkids?  Got your kid-at-heart ready? This is such a barrel of swashbuckling fun—it’s impossible not to love this one.  Jean-Paul Belmondo, Claudia Cardinale and Jean Rochefort star in this most entertaining and thrilling movie! Taking place in the 18th century, it’s a kind of French-style Robin Hood movie.  It’s just so much fun.  In 1962, when this movie was made, I was seven years old. Trust me, I would have loved this movie whether or not I understood the language!

French Film Reviews: Demain Tout Commence, Starring Omar Sy

I laughed. I cried. I fell in love with Omar Sy…

Movie Demain tout commence - Cineman

It was also fun being in Paris at the premiere of this movie . I got to see my favorite French actors in the audience and Bonaparte beamed with pride at his cousin’s son’s success.  It was a nice moment and this movie is just so “feel good”!

Demain tout Commence:  Shameless plug here. This movie was written and directed by my husband’s cousin, Hugo Gelin.  And the title is actually a saying his aunt, Daniele used to say all the time—tomorrow, it begins.  This family-fare film is charming, funny and sweet.  It stars the actor with the greatest smile on earth—Omar Sy.  He’s a rather wild playboy type until one day he receives a surprise in the form of…. a baby.  Is it his daughter or not?  Anyway, the film follows his life with daughter.  It is just such a sweet, sweet movie that will have you laughing and crying at the same time—and I’m sure you will fall in love with this little movie!

How successful was this movie?  Enough so that when we visit Yves Gravesite in Montparnasse, there are buttons placed upon his grave!

La Guerre des boutons : d'où vient la célèbre réplique... - Télé Star

Bonaparte’s brothers, Fracois and Martin.  It was so much fun to see them in the movie.  Makes me wish I had someone who would put me into a movie!!

La Guerre des Boutons:  The original. Released in 1962 and directed by Bonaparte’s uncle, Yves Robert, he and Daniele produced this and put their money in this project which was filmed largely on their estate.  My husband’s brothers Francois and Martin play two of the young boys in the movie.  It’s about a war of the buttons. The movie is about two rival teams of kids whose fun combats escalate. The buttons are cut off from clothing in this movie based on the book by Louis Pergaud, who was killed in WWI. It’s also a book and movie with strong anti-military overtones. It was remade in Ireland in the 1990’s and again in 2011 in France.  It is filmed in black and white. It may not be everyone’s choice but I think –especially in these uncertain times, it’s definitely worth watching!

This movie.  It personifies Film Noir.  It was so intense!  Louis Malle created a masterpiece with this dark thriller–and the soundtrack was pretty darn great too!

Elevator to the Gallows:  Whew.  This movie by Louis Malle will have you biting your nails. It’s such a dark thriller.  Starring Jean Moreau who is great, it’s the story of two lovers planning a murder.  And the effect of an elevator. That’s all I’m going to say.  It’s total film noir. And the soundtrack by Miles Davis adds to the darkness.  This is one movie you should not miss!

This movie.  It’s a gem that nobody seems to know about and I love it so much.  This is that movie you watch when you are a bit stressed and the visuals and the story will be so soothing for you.  I freaking LOVE this movie and the reaction from people–even my husband is “What movie are you talking about’?

Les Enfants du Marais:  Set in the very early 1900’s, after WWI. This is just one of those surprise gems.  I came across it a few years back when Netflix mailed movies to you.  There isn’t a lot of action—it’s just a slow, almost laze-like film about life in the French marshland in the Loire Valley.  It follows Riton, a sad-sack sort of guy, played by Jacques Villeret, with a wife and three really badly-behaved children.  Jacques Gamblin plays Garris, who lives alone with his memories of The Great War, and their friends, Tane a train conductor and Amedee, a complete dreamer who basically does nothing but read. Amedee is played by one of my favorite actors, Andre Dussolier.   The movie follows every day mundane life but it isn’t a boring movie. Visually it is beautiful and it’s one of those movies that you remember but can be difficult to find. Honestly, this movie deserves more love than it gets!

The French movie poster for Pardon Mon Affaire.  This movie was so stinking funny. Jean Rochefort was clearly the big star here because everything from his timing to his facial expressions were hysterically funny.   Want a great comedy?  Here you go!

Pardon Mon Affaire:  Alright.  Another shameless family plug. But I swear, this movie is so funny that you’ll thank me for recommending it. Jean Rochefort and Daniele Delorme star as a married couple.  Bonaparte’s uncle, Yves Robert who was married to his aunt, Daniele, wrote and directed the movie and Daniele starred as Jean Rochefort’s wife in the first of two movies. Daniele and Jean play a very happily married couple until one day, Jean is taken and obsessed with a young model wearing a red dress.  There’s a lot of miscommunication and comedy in this film—and Jean Rochefort on a building ledge is one scene that continues to get a ton of laughs.  In fact, this was remade in 1984 as The Woman in Red starring Gene Wilder and Kelly LeBrock.  I’ll take the French version s’il vous plait!

This is another little gem of a movie and if you can find it–you’ve found a lost treasure!

The Hairdresser’s Husband:  This was described as exotic. It was more dramatic than exotic if you ask me.  Another movie starring Jean Rochefort–I’m gonna go on record as saying he’s one of my favorite actors.  This was a quiet little movie about a man obsessed with hairdressers and he marries one. There life together seems wonderfully perfect and full of love–until one night.  It’s really kind of depressing but it’s great at the same time.  Personally, I loved it.  And think it’s worth sleuthing to find it!

One of the sweetest and charming musicals ever.  It never gets old and the music by Michel Legrand is classic.  So are the shoes that Catherine Deneuve is wearing. I want those.

 The Umbrellas of Cherbourg: Did you know that Catherine Deneuve could sing?  She can! The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a semi-operetta. There’s a lot of singing dialogue.  The story centers around Genevieve, a teenaged girl working in her mother’s umbrella shop. She’s in love with Guy, a young auto mechanic. Guy is drafted into the Algerian war.  Genevieve and Guy spend one night together.  She gets pregnant.  He’s away.  In the meantime, Roland, an older man who is in love with Genevieve wants to marry her.  He does.  The rest of the movie is love gone awry.  Guy returns and marries Madeleine.  Both Guy and Genevieve move on with their lives until a snowy night years later when Genevieve stops by the auto mechanics with a bit of auto trouble. Jacques Demy wrote and directed this movie and it’s become a classic.  It’s a great story plot but even better made as a musical.  It’s very touching and Michel Legrand’s music is incredible and well-known.  If you haven’t seen this 1964 classic, now is the time to watch it!

And those are just some of my favorite French imports. There’s an awful lot I haven’t mentioned because I want to move on and write about other subjects for now—but, this is a great narrowed-down start! Check out Bonaparte’s listing below!

FRENCH MOVIE LIST

Most of the films below are available on Netflix and/or video stores.

AMERICAN TITLE                                     FRENCH TITLE                                     

Indochine                                                        Indochine                                            Drama/History

Au Revoir les Enfants                                    Au revoir les enfants                          War Drama

My Father’s Glory (1)                                     La gloire de mon père                         Comedy/History

My Mother’s Castle (2)                                   Le château de ma mère                       Comedy/History

Pardon mon Affair                                          Un éléphant ça trompe …..                  Comedy

Métro                                                              Le métro                                             War Drama

Jean de Florette (1)                                         Jean de Florette                                  Drama/History

Manon of the Spring (2)                                 Manon des sources                             Drama/History

Cousin, Cousine                                             Cousin, cousine                                  Comedy

Camille Claudel                                              Camille Claudel                                  Drama/History

La Cage aux Folles                                         La cage aux folles                              Comedy

Ridicule                                                          Ridicule                                              Drama/History

Cyrano de Bergerac                                        Cyrano de Bergerac                            Drama/History

Amelie                                                            Amélie                                                Drama

Nikita  Woman                                               La femme Nikita                                Drama

The Tall Man with a Red Shoe                       Le grand blond à la chaussure …            Comedy

Cesar and Rosalie                                           César et Rosalie                                  Drama

Vincent, François, Paul and the others           Vincent, François, Paul et …              Comedy

Umbrellas of Cherbourg                                 Les parapluies de Cherbourg              Music hall

400 Blows*                                                     Les 400 coups                                     Drama

Beauty and the Beast*                                    La belle et la bête                               Drama/History

Partners                                                           Les ripoux                                           Comedy

French Kiss**                                                                                                             Comedy

Monsieur Ibrahim                                           Monsieur Ibrahim                               Comedy

The Barbarian Invasions (Fr Canadian)         Les invasions barbares                       Drama

The Closet                                                      Le placard                                           Comedy

Grand Illusion *                                              La grande illusion                              War Drama

Swimming Pool                                              La piscine                                           Drama

Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob                    Les folles aventures du rabin Jacob            Comedy

Story of Adele H.                                            Adèle H.                                              Drama/History

A Heart in Winter                                           Un coeur en hiver                               Drama

The Wages of Fear*                                       Le salaire de la peur                           Drama

L’Auberge Espagnol                                       (Same title)                                         Comedy

The Beat that My Heart Skipped                    (?)                                                       Drama

Elevator to the Gallows*                                Ascenseur pour l’échafaud                 Drama

Mr. Klein                                                        Monsieur Klein                                   War Drama

Rules of the Game*                                        La règle du jeu                                    Drama

Right Now                                                      A tout de suite                                    Comedy

Le Casque d’Or*                                             (Same title)                                         Drama

The Taste of Others                                        Le goût des autres                   Comedy

Touchez pas au Grisbi*                                  (Same title)                             Drama

Classe Tous Risques*                                     (Same title)                             Action

I Would Lie to You                                        (?)                                           Comedy

The Sorrow and the Pity                                 Le chagrin et la pitié               War Documentary

Jules et Jim*                                                   (Same title)                             Drama

Lacombe Lucien                                             (Same title)                             War Drama

La Chevre                                                       (Same title)                             Comedy

La Vie en Rose                                               (Same title)                             Drama

Delicatessen                                                   (Same title)                             Drama

Three Men and a Baby                                   3 hommes et un coufin           Comedy

The Man who Loved Women                         (?)                                           Comedy

A Very Long Engagement                             De très longues fiancailles     War Drama

Merry Christmas                                            Joyeux Noel                            War Drama

Two Days in Paris                                          2 jours à Paris                         Comedy

Paris Je T’Aime                                              (Same title)                             Comedy

The Valet                                                        Le valet                                   Comedy

Return of Martin Guerre                                 Le retour de Martin Guerre            Drama/History

Night and Fog                                                 Nuit et brouillard                    War Documentary

Green Card**                                                                                                 Comedy

All The Mornings of the World                     Tous les matins du monde            Drama/History

Caché                                                              (Same title)                             Drama

Count of Monte Cristo                                   Le comte de Monte Cristo            Drama/History

The Children of Chabannes**                        Les enfants de Chabannes      War Documentary

 

The Formatting is weird because I can’t add  proper columns to this blog post. Thanks WordPress!

NOTES:

Any movie directed by François Truffaut usually is interesting, at least for the quality of dialogues, which are made in “good French”, i.e. without much slang and clearly said.

Movies made by Eric Rohmer are also in excellent French but stories tend to be very slow.

The “Style” description above is very general.  “History” can refer to true historical subjects but also simply to movies taking place in early 20th Century or before.

* : Black and White movie

** : American made movie showing an excellent description of French life an/or behavior

And there you have it!  French cinema recommendations from The Frenchman and me!

UGC Danton (Paris) - 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)  - Tripadvisor

The Danton Movie theatre in Paris.  I’ve passed this theatre thousands of times!  And there’s always a few hours of treasured cinema time to come by in here!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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32 Responses to Shall We Attend French Cinema? Oui? Non? Oui!

  1. Helen says:

    Thank you Catherine for that list of great films. I can’t wait to get hold of them. I recently watched all series of Dix pour Cent and was blown away by how good it is. Like you, I am really looking forward to the last series. It is in what I call “Fast French” so hurray for the sub-titles as it is too fast for me to follow!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Helen. Dix Pour Cent is such a great show! The episode with Jean duJardin? I laughed for days at that one!The comedy is great in that show but it’s also a very moving show too! XOXOXOXO

  2. dbmoviesblog says:

    I love this post and list! You have listed some of my favourite French films including “The Chorus” and “The Elevator to the Gallows”. From the other list, I love “Delicatessen” and “Indochine”. The French title of “The Beat That My Heart Skipped” is “De battre mon cœur s’est arrêté”. I also really enjoy the cinema of Jean Renoir. “La Règle du Jeu” and “La Grande Illusion” are simply perfect films. I can also recommend some French horror: Henri-Georges Clouzot’s “Les Diaboliques” and Julia Ducournau’s “Raw”.

    • Catherine says:

      Diana, there’s so many films I left out. The post could have turned into a Novel. I loved Delicatessen–the only Juenet film I wasn’t crazy about was MicMacs and the cast was great–I love Dany Boon but that movie was meh for me. Elevator to the Gallows is freaking chilling. I loved that so much. I love Louis defuenes but failed to add any of his movies to the list. And I LEFT OUT GIGI!! THE ORIGINAL GIGI STARRING MY HUSBAND’S AUNT–DANIELE DELORME! You know, she was asked to be in the American version–the one that made Leslie Caron an international star. I asked Daniele if she was sorry she turned it down and she said “No”, in fact, she thought it was great that Caron became very popular. She did not like to leave Paris. Neither did her husband Yves Robert. Disney wanted to sign him and he would have nothing to do with the brand (I wish I had had the chance to Disney-bash with him). I can’t wait to go back to the days where we can all attend movies on the big screen! XOXOXOXO

  3. I loved this post and you have named some of my favourite French films! It’s over a year since we set foot in our French house – how can that even be possible? One of the positives of being stuck in the UK is that we now have a 7 month Blue Merle Border Collie Puppy who I adore. I can’t wait to take him for a walk along the Canal du Midi. He has his own EU dog passport which will be rendered useless after Brexit – don’t get me started on that one. Do you have a channel stream called Walter Presents. It has so many excellent French series. It’s worth a look if you can find it. Take care xoxo

    • Catherine says:

      Hi June! Oh man. A YEAR! This pandemic HAS to end sooner than later! Honestly, it’s driving all of us stir crazy! Thank God we shall be rid of the orange one soon!!! I’m glad you told me about Walter Presents. I’ve never heard of it and just Googled it. We can get it here in the States. I will be researching after I finish commenting!! Thank you!!!! And be safe!! XOXOXOXO

  4. Cindylou says:

    Thank you for the list. You and Bonaparte put a lot of effort into this and it is much appreciated. I’ve seen 5 or 6 of them. Now I know where to start when I want to see a French film.

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Cindylou. Yeah. It took a while to do the post but I was happy to share both our movies! Seriously–keep the list and check it twice! XOXOXOXOXO

  5. Jeanne says:

    This is a keeper of a post – just absolutely wonderful! Thanks to you and Bonaparte!

  6. Did you include The Village and Spiral. Great French Series. I’ve watched many of your recommendations. We love a great French film even if the ending non conclusive. It’s so French.

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Sandy! I didn’t include series in this list but we’ve seen The Village–my husband has shed tears at most of the episodes. It’s very dear to him due to what his family went through. Everyone keeps talking about Spiral! My husband is at a tennis game now so when he comes back I have to ask him if he has, in fact, seen it! XOXOXOXO

  7. Audrey says:

    Wonderful list of French films, but I’d like to add 3 more. Diabolique (the original), Diary of a Chambermaid, and Le samurai. Tres bien!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Audrey! I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID! I saw it in Philly and loved it too. I love Lea Seydoux–she was great in the movie. The other two I haven’t seen but I’m going to add them to my list of films I need to see! XOXOXO

  8. Sandra says:

    Thanks, Cathy, for compiling this list. I would add: L’Atalante, Entre Nous, Belle de Jour, Boudu Saved From Downing, Les Miserables (the Claude Lelouch version with Belmondo) and the megabit, Les Flangeurs.

  9. Bea says:

    10 pour cent was so great!! I can’t believe it’s over 😢 (whereas Emily in Paris is renewed for a second season!! 😱)

  10. Momcat says:

    I had a dear friend who grew up in post war Paris. He was addicted to French film as well as Italian and German. He actually managed to interview Fritz Lang when he was in Toronto! When I visited my friend in Montréal he always had an interesting film for his friends to view among my favourites were Hôtel du Nord (with the scandalous Arletty) Les enfants du Paradis ( again with Arletty) it was a favourite of mine! Not all great French films were directed by Frenchmen. The avant garde Luis Buñuel directed Belle de Jour and Diary of a Chambermaid. Although I despise the man Roman Polanski’s Venus in Furs ( in French) is amazing. Emanuel Seigner steals the show. Some might find it offensive as it is an erotic story but it is very original.
    North Americans must understand that European films are very different than American films. The stories are very rich and layered and are meant to make the viewer think. Sexual themes are often featured and sexuality is explored as part of those stories so I tell people to keep an open mind.
    As much as I love French film my all time favourite is La Strada by Fellini starring his adorable wife
    Giulietta Masina, Richard Baseheart and a hyper sexual,brutal and mesmerizing Anthony Quinn. It’s one of the great tear jerkers of all time. The theme song was so beloved by Masina that she asked for it to be played at her funeral.
    Thank you for your wonderful list! I am retired now so looking forward to self isolation ( I must be the only one!)

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Mae! You are spot on regarding French film. Your mindset does have to be open and ready to think for those dramas. Belle du Jour was a great movie. Roman Polanski may be a bit different to say the least but he’s a brilliant filmmaker. His wife’s sister, Mathilde Segnier is one of my favorite actors and I got to stand next to her during our exit from the theatre when we attended the premier of Demain Tout Commence. I was thrilled! But La Strada is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo incredible. I cried at that one. It’s such a sad and depressing movie. My favorite FellinEni film is Amarcord. I’ve seen it about a dozen times and I never tire of it! Enjoy the self-isolation! XOXOXOXO

  11. altogirl2 says:

    The Chorus was wonderful! I highly recommend it!

  12. Juliet says:

    Wow what a phenomenal list – anything with Audrey Tatou is probably going to be good, for instance Therese Desqueyroux, Ive also been recommended The Shiny Shrimps on Netflix (gay water polo team comedy) which I will hunt out… if you are into French crime drama there is a series called Engrenages (Spiral) which is brilliant. Looking forward to some books translated from French sometime maybe?????

    • Catherine says:

      Ugh. This effing laptop. Tomorrow evening I bring it in for repair. I lost the reply to you. Anyway, I did see that movie and it was great!! I forgot about that. Shiny Shrimps seems right up my comedy alley and I think my husband may be watching Spiral now. I’m not sure!! XOXOXOXO

  13. Joan Brown says:

    Thank you, Cathe and Vincent, for this post. We are always on the lookout for something different to watch!

  14. Leslie says:

    This post is a keeper! Thank you for this wonderful list. I will share this with friends. Sorry about your trip to France. This year has been full of surprises…most of them of the unpleasant variety😡

  15. Fiona says:

    Thank you Cathe & Bonaparte for your recommendations. I’ve seen a few of these, but not the older ones. Have also watched Amelie countless times but never cried and strangely didn’t find Les Visiteurs particularly amusing. …usually I appreciate French humour. My favourite French film is missing from your list – Intouchable. Xx

    • Catherine says:

      OMG. Fi! I freaking think Christian Clavier is one of the funniest actors around. Have you ever watched the Vacances movies? He’s hysterical! Bonaparte didn’t particularly think Les Visiteurs was that funny either! XOXOXOXO

  16. Mike says:

    Funny that you add “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg” Cathy, yesterday & today in my ‘English for Performing Arts students’ class, we were discussing musicals and several mentioned this one. I was already curious, now reading your post, it’s like, ok we’re heavily into “it’s a sign” territory – LOL.

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