Widely considered the birthplace of cinema, France is known for producing innovative, thought-provoking films. We have too many favourites to mention in one blog, so here’s our first list of 5, very watchable, French language films…
1. Le Mari de la Coiffeuse (The Hairdresser’s Husband, 1990)
A beautiful, quirky and touching film about a subject the French do so well – love. As a 12-year old boy, Antoine develops an obsession with a middle-aged hairdresser and dreams of marrying his very own hairdresser one day. Later in life, when he meets Mathilde, he achieves this ambition … and so begins an enchanting, bitter-sweet tale of love, passion, desire and pure joy.
2. La Cité des Enfants Perdus (The City of the Lost Children, 1995)
Co-directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet – the man behind Amélie another of our favourites – and something of a cult classic, this fantastical film is a visual feast for the eyes. Set in a futuristic world, a crazy scientist attempts to slow down the ageing process by kidnapping children and stealing their dreams. A dark fairy tale adopted by the Steampunk movement, this film is like a surreal cartoon come to life.
3. Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain(The Fabulous Destinyof Amélie Poulain, 2001)
Full of French humour and Jeunet’s distinctive colourful imagery, the film known simply as Amélie here in the UK is a true feel-good film. As a result of an unusual upbringing, shy waitress Amélie sees the world differently to most girls and makes it her mission to bring happiness to other people. This is a film that keeps you hooked and warms your heart.
4. La Môme (La Vie en Rose, 2007)
This biopic about the iconic French singer Edith Piaf won Marion Cotillard the first ever Oscar for a French-language role – and with good reason. The film, packed with passion, tragedy and triumphs in equal measure, charts Piaf’s rise from rags to riches and her unfortunate untimely demise. Marion Cotillard’s devastating portrayal of Piaf is truly breathtaking.
5. Café de Flore (2011)
Not strictly a French film, this Canadian French language film stars Vanessa Paradis as the mother of a child with Down ’s syndrome. A story about love, soulmates and destiny – it also has a great soundtrack. Featuring two seemingly unconnected storylines, one set in 1960s Paris and the other in present day Montreal, this is one of those films that stays with you long after it has finished.