Films

I've only seen a small portion of the French films available on DVD, but they are a great way to hear different speakers of French besides the clearly enunciated voices on French lesson tapes. I usually rent my DVDs through Netflix, but most of the DVDs are also available on Amazon.com. Many of these films are rated R for obscentities and nudity (though less violence than in American films) so check the full review prior to renting or buying.
 
Comedies
Francis Veber has directed two of the funniest recent French farces. I rent mine from Netflix, but you can get many of them from Amazon. Some of the most renowned French names star in his movies. I’ve seen the following two:

The Diner Game

Amazon Price $12.99

Le Dîner de Cons (The Dinner Game) 1999. Starring Thierry Lhermitte and Jacques Villeret. A hilarious farce that you don’t really need to know French to understand (but there are subtitles). The premise is that a bunch of elitists have a weekly dinner where they make fun of supposed idiots (cons) without letting their targets know. Pierre (Lhermitte) thinks he has found the perfect prey in Pignon (Villeret), but  a series of misunderstandings and mistaken identities turns the tables on Pierre. (Rated PG-13)

The Closet

Amazon Price $14.99

Le Placard (The Closet) 2000. Starring Daniel Auteuil, Gerard Depardieu, and Thierry Lhermitte. Daniel Auteuil (as a milquetoast accountant) is about to get fired from his job for literally being a bore. At the last minute, a neighbor concocts a "new life" for Auteuil as an out-of-the-closet (read: intriguing) homosexual, and suddenly everything changes. Again, the “little guy” turns the tables. (Rated R)
 
Audrey Tautou films. If you just saw the Da Vinci Code, she was Sophie Neve. New to US films, she’s very popular in France.

Amelie

Amazon Price $19.99

Amélie (Amélie). There are two main story lines in this hit film with Amelie at the center. She’s a shy waitress who finds a cache of someone’s toys and decides to restore them to their owner, which sparks other acts of kindness. The other story line has Amelie finding love. A delightful film that will make you smile. (Rated R )

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Amazon Price $26.99

À la Folie... Pas du Tout (He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not) 2002. I can’t tell you much about this one without giving away the movie, but if you like psychological thrillers, you’ll like this one. (Rated PG-13)

Venus Beauty Institute

Amazon Price $12.99

Vénus Beauté (Venus Beauty Institute) 1999. Also staring Nathalie Baye and Bulle Ogier. Audrey Tautou has a much smaller roll in this film about spa employees finding love. A heartwarming story about finding love when and where you least expect it. (Rated R)
 
Other Comedies

Look at Me

Amazon Price $26.99

Comme Une Image (Look at Me) 2005. Starring Marilou Berry, Jean-Pierre Bacri, and Agnes Jaoui, who also directed and co-wrote the film with Jean-Pierre Bacri. The movie is partly your classic story of a famous father, who ignores his not so spectacular daughter, who people feign interest in order to meet her father. The girl is miserable, insecure and doesn't know who really cares for her. The movie also explores how fame changes people and often not for the better. (Rated PG-13)

 
Historicals

Queen Margot

Amazon Price $14.99

La Reine Margot (Queen Margot) 1994. Starring Isabelle Adjani, Daniel Auteuil. This is a historically-based (late 16th-early 17th centuries) film about the marriage of Catholic Margot de Valois and Henri Navarre (later King Henry IV of France) including the St. Bartholomew’s Night Massacre up until Henri becomes king and unites France. A moving story about power and religious persecution. (Rated R)

Ridicule

Amazon Price $19.99

Ridicule (Ridicule), 1996. Staring Fanny Ardant, Charles Berling, Judith Godrèche, and Jean Rochefot. The movie takes place at Versaille right before the Revolution. Le Marquis Ponceludon de Malavoy is a poor landowner To get royal backing on a needed drainage project, a poor French lord must learn to play the delicate games of wit at court at Versailles. But, he finds this may be to high a price to pay.
   
This website was created by and is maintained by Marta Carvajal. All material is created by Marta Carvajal or used with permission. © 2006