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50 (and counting) French Launguage Films

I decided to publish a long list of French films that I’ve seen because when learning a language movies can really help and when I was looking for things to watch I’d only ever been able to find short lists that featured the same well-known films. I’v tried to write a little note next to each. All of them are watchable… I mean none are too terrible! Some are really, really, really good and, even though I know everyone has their own tastes, I’ve highlighted my personal recomendatons in red. I also tried to keep it to films that are easy enugh to find, if you know what I mean. I’ll try to keep updating this list every now and then with new films I see. Allez regardons!

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2 Days in Paris (2007)

I found the character played by Adam Goldberg rather annoying but in general the film was watchable and probably good for beginners because about 75% is in English

Un bonheur n'arrive jamais seul (2012)

Un bonheur n’arrive jamais seul (2012)

A pleasent rom-com

99 francs (2007)

99 francs (2007)

Based on the excelent book by Frédéric Beigbeder. This film is funny but is also a more serious look at the world of marketing and its implications

Panique au village (2009)

Panique au village (2009)

A great little stop-start animation, bizzare, comedy film

La vie d'Adèle - Chapitres 1 et 2

La vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 et 2 (2013) 

A long drama movie about a young woman named Adele growing up, notorious for its 7 minute long lesbian sex scene, might be best avoiding watching this one with the grandparents.

Ernest et Célestine (2012)

Ernest et Célestine (2012)

A wonderfully drawn animated feature, good for adults and kids alike

L'arnacoeur (2010)

L’arnacoeur (2010)

Romantic comedy; kind of a French Hitch

La boum (1980)  La boum 2 (1982)  L'étudiante (1988)

La Boum (1980), La boum 2 (1982) and L’étudiante (1988)

Trilogy of retro coming -of-age movies centered on the lovable Valentine Ezquerra. La Boum the original is a must watch, with its excellent comedy moments provided notably by the parents

L'auberge espagnole (2002)  Les poupées russes (2005)  Casse-tête chinois (2013)

L’auberge espagnole (2002), Les poupées russes (2005) and Casse-tête chinois (2013) – The Auberge Espagnole is a great multi-language film that captured the spirit of the Erasmus generation, in the two follow up films are less well known but well worth watching

La môme (2007)

La môme (2007)

Biopic of the magnificent Edith Piaf

L'appartement (1996)

L’appartement (1996)

I can’t really remember this one. I think it was fairly strange

Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001)

Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001)

I’m sure this one needs no introduction

Les émotifs anonymes (2010)

Les émotifs anonymes (2010)

Quirky rom-com about chocolate and awkward people

Les visiteurs (1993)

Les visiteurs (1993)

Bit of a cult classic, a knight and his squire get transported forward in time to the modern day, well the early 90s

Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)

 Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)

Adapted from a graphic novel I believe, this is a kind of steampunk adventure mostly for kids I geuss, but hey why not have some harmless PG fun while learning French

Les bronzés (1978)  Les bronzés font du ski (1979)

Les bronzés (1978) and Les bronzés font du ski (1979)

Mad characters find themselves on vacation together. Les Bronzes Font du Ski is an absolute classic and a must watch especially for anyone heading to the Alps. Beware of the theme song though it is extremely catchy

Les petits mouchoirs (2010)

Les petits mouchoirs (2010)

Set on the Basin d’Arcachon not far from Bordeaux, a drama about the inter-relationships between a group of old friends

LOL (2008)

LOL (Laughing Out Loud) (2008)

Ok the title is a bit “too-much” as they say in France but don’t be put off its not a fairly decent teen rom-com, and funny to see the school trip to Angleterre with the stereotype of an English family eating jelly

Hors de prix (2006)

Hors de prix (2006)

Another rom-com, again worth watching. Seems like this list is nothing but rom-coms, I promise we will get onto some other genres but hey rom-coms mus tjust be my bag baby

Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu (2014)

Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu? (2014)

Comical exploration of different faiths and cultures in France

Rien à déclarer (2010)

Rien à déclarer (2010)

Comedy about the love-hate relationships between customs officers on the French / Belgium border. Les Douanes!

Le dîner de cons (1998)

Le dîner de cons (1998)

Recently adapted by Hollywood into the hilarious Dinner for Schmucks, the French original is also good craic

La doublure (2006)

La doublure (2006)

I get this one mixed up with Priceless because they both star Gad Elmaleh, both have a similar storyline and both have the same kind of vibe. They are both easy watching though so go ahead, just maybe leave a gap of a few months between the two

Le gamin au vélo (2011)

Le gamin au vélo (2011)

art-house feel to this fairly heavy drama about a kid neglected by his father and a woman that tries to foster him. Not much to do with his bike, although he does have one and rides it sometimes

Dans la maison (2012)

Dans la maison (2012)

Strange but engaging, I liked this one

Les triplettes de Belleville (2003)

Les triplettes de Belleville (2003)

Highly stylized animated movie with a bizzare plot and cycling obsession. You won’t learn any French from this one though as there is little to no dialogue

Dikkenek (2006)

Dikkenek (2006)

A cult favourite among the French, especially the northeners. A funny film but I’d recommend subtitles with this one, the language is far from basic

Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) (2010)

Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) (2010)

Wonderful biopic of the charismatic Serge Gainsbourg

Jeune & jolie (2013)

Jeune & jolie (2013)

Coming of age type story complicated by the fact the lead character kind of becomes a prostitute

Le nom des gens (2010)

Le nom des gens (2010)

I can’t really remember the story in this one. I think I should re-watch some of these films. I think this one is a kind of a rom-com that commentates also about cultural differences in contempory France, but I could be wrong

Le magasin des suicides (2012)

Le magasin des suicides (2012)

No mistaking what this one is about. A family run shop that sells anything you could possibly need to kill yourself. Black humour in this odd little animated musical feature

Micmacs à tire-larigot (2009)

Micmacs à tire-larigot (2009)

Weird and wonderful adventure of a bunch of misfits

OSS 117 Le Caire, nid d'espions (2006)

OSS 117: Le Caire, nid d’espions (2006)

France’s answer to Austin Powers. James Bond spoof comedy starring Jean Dujardin

La Vénus à la fourrure (2013)

La Vénus à la fourrure (2013)

A slowly unfolding role-reversal in this theatric amusing piece by Roman Polanski

La French (2014)

La French (2014)

Gangster movie where Jean Dujardin plays a magistrate battling to bring the Corsican Mafia to justice

Un village presque parfait (2014)

Un village presque parfait (2014)

Comedy set in a French village whose inhabitants must persuade a doctor it is a nice place to live in order for their factory to re-open

Samba (2014)

Samba (2014)

Comedy drama about an immigrant trying to live a normal life

Cloclo (2012)

Cloclo (2012)

Biopic about Claude Francois a perfectionist French pop-star from the 70s / 80s known for writing the original French version of Frank Sinatra’s My Way: comme d’habitude

La science des rêves (2006)

La science des rêves (2006)

Quirky little drama

L'écume des jours (2013)

L’écume des jours (2013)

I couldn’t bring myself to watch this film in its entirety, not sure why, it may well be good, if you’ve seen it and have a comment let me know

Les beaux gosses (2009)

Les beaux gosses (2009)

Another coming-of-age fim, this time about a teenage boy and his frind who both have impecabble fashion tastes, reminded me of myself when I was around the same age and shopping in charity shops

Les nuls, la Cité de la peur

La cité de la peur (1994)

A bit of a cult comedy with Hot Shots style humour, worth the watch for this classic scene:

Commissaire Bialès: Vous voulez un whisky ?
Odile Deray : Oh, juste un doigt.
Commissaire Bialès : Vous ne voulez pas un whisky d’abord ?

Les trois frères (1995)

Les trois frères (1995)

Comedy about three men having to look after a child

Un prophète (2009)

Un prophète (2009)

Prison / gangster movie – highly recommended, i’d suggest watching it with subtitles though as I seem to remember there is some Corsican and Arab dialogue in parts as well as general slang throughout

Quai d'Orsay (2013)

Quai d’Orsay (2013)

Political satire

Sans soleil (1983)

Sans soleil (1983)

One of my favourite films of all time! Sans Soleil is a kind of narrative documentary poem. Also La Jetée or any other film by Chris Marker you can get your hands on will, in my opinion, be worth watching

À bout de souffle (1960)

À bout de souffle (1960)

Classic new-wave film by Jean-Luc Godard…

Pierrot le fou (1965)

Pierrot le fou (1965)

Another by Godard, this one in technicolour!

Coco avant Chanel (2009)

Coco avant Chanel (2009)

Biopic of the founder of the now ubiquitous brand

Jean de Florette (1986)  Manon des sources (1986)

Jean de Florette (1986) and Manon des sources (1986)

I’d advise subtitles because of the heavy country accents but wrth the watching

Chroniques sexuelles d'une famille d'aujourd'hui (2012)

Chroniques sexuelles d’une famille d’aujourd’hui (2012)

Comedy, drama, slice of life

Le chef (2012)

Le chef (2012)

Comedy about a man following his passion to become a chef

20 ans d'écart (2013)

20 ans d’écart (2013)

Rom-com about an older woman and a younger man

Intouchables (2011)

Intouchables (2011)

Oh and I almost forgot this one. I’m sure you’ve heard of it and its on all the other lists, but for a reason: it is good

…………………………………………….

ANY MOVIES YOU THINK I SHOULD ADD TO THE LIST ?

ANY ABSOLUTE CLASSICS I MUST WATCH ?

ADD A COMMENT BELOW, THANKS 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “50 (and counting) French Launguage Films

  1. Great list! Very comprehensive. A few more that I enjoyed were House of Pleasures, A Happy Event, Love and Turbulence and To Be And To Have!

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