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Favourite French films

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I'll add some of my current favourites (mostly just the obvious ones!)

  • Amelie
  • Untouchable
  • jeune et jolie
  • la famille belier
  • elle

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Playtime (must be seen in a cinema or largest monitor possible)

Le Vacance de M Hulot

Amelie

The Untouchables

French Kiss (not French but beautifully shot in France)

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Four films from the author Pagnol (amazed btw that they haven’t already been mentioned):

La Gloire de Mon Pere

Le Chateau de ma Mere

Jean de Florette

Manon des Sources

Each is wonderful in its own way, but particularly the first.  Believe me, well worth watching.

 

Edited by Gardian
typo

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Another vote from me for Les Vacences de M Hulot, but I don't disagree with any of the above (I don't know the first two in Gardian's post above - nor Betty Blue!). My wife votes for that Anglo American classic 'Chocolat', but I say it doesn't qualify in spite of its excellence and lovely French small town atmosphere. 

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Perhaps not as 'arty' as some of the entries above - but the movie 'Taxi' is one of my favourites if you'd like something a little daft. There are the increasingly-farcical sequels too.

 

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'Joyeux Noël', which may not qualify for this list as it is an internationally co-financed movie despite being directed by a Frenchman, would probably get my vote.

'Amélie' is certainly a fun movie to watch.

'Betty Blue' is great as long as your parents, parents-in-law or in my case baby-sitting employers (don't ask!) don't walk in the door just at the wrong moment.

If you like 'Taxi', and who doesn't, then I can suggest '1 Chance sur 2' as one to watch as it's great to see Delon and Belmondo working together and then get upstaged by Vanessa Paradis.

Are we allowed to mention remakes of French movies? I know most of those adapted by Hollywood have been pretty bad. I do however believe there is one exception. Many people enjoy 'Cyrano de Bergerac' and it's a good film but I prefer the Steve Martin version called 'Roxanne' as it's more accessible, much more fun and very creative with the dialogue. 

Ed

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2 hours ago, rogerpatenall said:

 (I don't know the first two in Gardian's post above - nor Betty Blue!).  

La Gloire de Mon Père is (I think) an autobiographical story of Pagnol’s childhood.

It covers the early years of the 1900’s when he was about 12.  His father was a schoolteacher and takes the family to a holiday home in the garrigue above Marseille - they walk there!  Whilst there, the boy meets a country lad who teaches him the ways of the ‘outdoors’.

Le Château de Ma Mère is a sort-of sequel.

Both delightful.

 

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Some interesting films already mentioned. Another couple I have enjoyed:

La Cage aux Folles
Delicatessen


Both bonkers, both watchable again. Delicatessen seemed to spawn a couple of English language adverts, but with no credit given to it.

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On the subject of foreign film... and diverting it to TV slightly, Channel 4's 'Walter Presents' segment is a treasure trove of subtitled programmes. Not all are shown on the main channels, but they are accessible via the All4 On Demand service. Personal recommendations:

"Spin" - French political drama focussed on the PR men involved
"Kaboul Kitchen" - French comedy, almost like a modern day take on 'Allo 'Allo. Slightly darker in tone at times though.
"Professor T" - Belgian drama, slightly obscure but if you enjoyed House (well, until it got silly around Season 4) bear with it and you'll be hooked


 

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"Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis"   (Ch'ti is slang for someone from Northern France).

Easy to watch, touching, charming and very funny French comedy with sub titles about a manager with La Poste. 

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21 minutes ago, Haul Away said:

"Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis"   (Ch'ti is slang for someone from Northern France).

Easy to watch, touching, charming and very funny French comedy with sub titles about a manager with La Poste. 

Or you could just go to any branch of La Poste and watch someone trying to buy a simple stamp. The process lasts longer than the film and is quite funny until you get to the front of the queue and suffer the same fate.

They (La Poste) currently have a Star Wars promo on and, I kid you not, have invented a new verb for the duration. The phrase on the leaflet reads: "Starwariser votre courrier avec...". Presumably the miscreant responsible has received a 'special invitation' to the Academie Francaise' on the day they test all their pencil-sharpeners. Ed. 

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My mum has a few aged J.P Belmondo VHS, one is about Dunkirk I think? Bought on a holiday around Bordeaux. She also had a bit of a weakness for Monsieur Delon. I watched them more than once many years ago.

I have no specifics certainly no classics but have seen many Jean Reno movies together with Christian Clavier... Les visiteurs I & II are diverting and I quite like L'operation Corned Beef then there's Leon, of course.

If Millsy can have French Kiss, I want Ronin or The Transporter...! at least the latter is a Luc Besson and has the scene stealing Francois Berleand.

I agree with Jim, Besson's Taxi is another worth a watch

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7 minutes ago, jonno said:

 

If Millsy can have French Kiss, I want Ronin or The Transporter...! 

But do they have Meg Ryan in that blue dress dancing to Verlaine by Charles Trenet? Not to mention Jean Reno trying to steal every scene he is in?

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Very little beats that, it's true. 9_9

If we are going for films made in France then I'll offer 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels', where the appalling accents make up for the lack of Meg saying "Oh, Baab!". Plus it's another Steve Martin film to boot! 

Ed. 

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6 minutes ago, Millsy said:

But do they have Meg Ryan in that blue dress dancing to Verlaine by Charles Trenet? Not to mention Jean Reno trying to steal every scene he is in?

No but... One has an awesome chase through Paris with Jean Reno and the other has our intrepid hero bombing around the French countryside in a stonking great Audi... What's not to love? Meg Ryan would have been overkill. She was good in Inner Space & Top Gun, mind and Kevin Kline is excellent.

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“Leon” has a very big French influence in it and some amazing acting from Gary Oldman and Jean Reno.

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1 hour ago, jonno said:

One has an awesome chase through Paris

Drivers on the Paris ring-road do not obligingly leave convenient gaps in the traffic for other cars to weave through. :D Ed. 

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7 hours ago, TerryDorset said:

I enjoyed "Les Chorists", which has the advantage of being available in English as "The Choir"

I did too - first saw it during GCSE French all those years ago. Being a heart warming story, I make a habit of watching it every year before Christmas!

 

4 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Or you could just go to any branch of La Poste and watch someone trying to buy a simple stamp. The process lasts longer than the film and is quite funny until you get to the front of the queue and suffer the same fate.

They (La Poste) currently have a Star Wars promo on and, I kid you not, have invented a new verb for the duration. The phrase on the leaflet reads: "Starwariser votre courrier avec...". Presumably the miscreant responsible has received a 'special invitation' to the Academie Francaise' on the day they test all their pencil-sharpeners. Ed. 

"Il stawrwarisa son courrier" or something like that if you want to show the full range of verb declensions! xDxD

Slightly different one, as many of the films so far present a 'picture perfect' image of (mainly) rural France - La Haine. Not so much an enjoyable film as such, but a significant one that was an interesting watch before my Year Abroad in Paris to understand that it's not all brasseries, croissants and wine. 

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41 minutes ago, AdamW said:

Il stawrwarisa son courrier

Well if you are going for the full 'Yoda' it would have to be : Starwariser ton courier, tu feras!' :D Ed. 

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33 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Well if you are going for the full 'Yoda' it would have to be : Starwariser ton courier, tu feras!' :D Ed. 

Hey Ed, avec vous la force sera... or something like it.

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11 hours ago, Jim said:

On the subject of foreign film... and diverting it to TV slightly, Channel 4's 'Walter Presents' segment is a treasure trove of subtitled programmes. Not all are shown on the main channels, but they are accessible via the All4 On Demand service. Personal recommendations:

"Spin" - French political drama focussed on the PR men involved
"Kaboul Kitchen" - French comedy, almost like a modern day take on 'Allo 'Allo. Slightly darker in tone at times though.
"Professor T" - Belgian drama, slightly obscure but if you enjoyed House (well, until it got silly around Season 4) bear with it and you'll be hooked


 

Professor T is indeed very good. 

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