Wednesday, October 05, 2011

French Films

We're back on the Bateau  this time at the movies.
Can you think of a better way to bone up on your French than watching streaming Fr movies on Netflix? Absolutement pas! Thanks for all the tips on riding the boat in Paris. Now I have to do it!
Have you ever seen a French movie that didn't have at least ONE dinner soiree? Non! Period film, Ridicule (1996-cast:Charles Berling, Jean Rochefort, Fannie Ardent etc) is one of the best and totally au courant in content.
As Fr Girl says,
"At the dinner table you talk about food, not work, work, work."
The Man of my Life (L'Homme de Sa Vie) doesn't disappoint on all counts.
A special fav - I Do (2006 Prete-moi Ta Main cast:Alain Chabat, Charlotte Gainsbourg) - has Parfum expert Alain teaching pretend fiance Charlotte how to behave at an upcoming family dinner.
Even at a funeral, characters argue about how many guests should be at their dinner table! Thirteen will never do, Emmanuelle Beart tells her hubby in La Buche (1999)
Ensemble playing is the norm in French movies - you'll see the same faces over and over. In Change of Plans (Le Code a Change 2009) meaning the door code has changed, a group of friends meet for dinner two years in a row but their lives have changed.
Enroute to the dinner, the wife no longer wants to go, but her husband says,"We've brought a great Bordeaux!"
*According to Fr Girl, a bottle of red (preferrably Bordeaux) is the absolute best cadeaux you can bring as a guest.
Forget flowers, chocolates, and desserts.
My newest fav Fr film is Antony Zimmer (2005)
Bet you never heard of it.
This is the original film Johnny Depp had in mind when he made The Tourist. All the chemistry, tension and excitement lacking in Tourist is here in spades. Angelina can't hold a candle to Sophie Marceau.Who knew? Yvan Attal as lead male is pretty hot. Loved it!
A small quiet, engrossing film with Sandrine Bonaire and Kevin Klein (playing a grumpy old French man surprisingly well) is Queen to Play (2009 Joueuse) Don't miss it.
Any film with Daniel Auteil + Vanessa Paradis together has to be good. The Girl on the Bridge (La fille sur le Pont 1999) will keep you on your toes. It's got thrills,chills, romance, toute!
French gangster films are dependable for learning slang and short phrases. Most of them have Alain Delon. Dirty Money (1972 Un Flic directed by famed Jean-Pierre Melville of Army of Shadows)
The new French doc, L'Amour Fou on YSL is at Netflix, another don't miss.
A big fav, Place Vendome (1998)is not available on Netflix yet. But you can watch the trailer with FAB Caterine Deneuve playing a jeweler's wife who finds out her husband was morally and financially corrupt after he's murdered and is left with a pile of stolen gems bla bla bla. I saw the original & would love to see it again Netflix svp.
Meanwhile I'm still plodding on with my sketches of Place Vendome. Hope they like this one.
Bear, who grew up in Paris, has already seen these films. Besides his French is parfait. So he's praticing snoozing sitting up for the AirFrance trek. Got any good French films to rec? Do tell.


  1. Carol,
    I am not as seasoned a traveler to Paris as you are (I've only been 3 times) BUT I can say that one of the best things I ever did was take a boat ride on the about value for the money - purely magical and gives you a whole fresh perspective on the place. I hope you and bear have a beyond fabulous trip. Safe journeys. xo

  2. Seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkling over the river in the evening is magical!

  3. OK!
    I'm taking that $#@! boat as many times as I can.
    GOT TO DO IT!!

  4. Bonjour Carol. I have really enjoyed your list of favorite French movies, thank you. I could not agree more about "The Tourist." I adore Johnny Depp but I still can't understand why he and Angelina had so little chemistry in the film. In recent years, I have really loved "Change of Plans" and "I do." In fact, just watched "I do" again last week. Enjoy your trip, and your Seine river tour, best vantage point to see Paris according to Moi ;-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  5. When I took the bateau mouche, it was springtime, and people were there from around the world on that boat. we sat on the top-level, and all the different nationalities wound up singing individually and clapping for each group. One sweet little French man held onto my arm, when he saw I was American, and he said to me, "oh, sing that song that I love, please...sing that 'Yankee Doodle!'". Too funny.

  6. Ps
    Lovely sketch! And French films are the best. Oui. Have a great trip, Carol!!

  7. À bout de souffle (Breathless)1960.
    There is a shot of Le Sélect at one point.....

  8. Bonjour!
    Any French I have learned has come from staring raptly at Gerard Depardeaux and listening to his wonderful, soothing voice.
    French films are inspiring, moody and fascinating.
    Have you seen Le Moustache?
    (Pls pardon me for probably mispelling fr. words)

  9. No time to comment today - too much to do on Netflix. :-)

  10. Two of my favorite French films were not made by Frenchmen.
    la grande bouffe, with Marcello Mastroianni, and The Draughtsman's Contract, by British director Peter Greenaway.Some might find "bouffe a bit gross, on many levels, and the dinner scenes at night seemed to be totally lit only by the candles in the room, in "Contract", which was very surreal, sexy, and elegantly done.
    Each yummy in its' own way.

  11. Thank you for your list!

    I have seen some:) But not all and appreciate them!!
    I so agree about the Tourist..We didn't even know.. we're watching it and I am saying..this is just like The Tourist:)

  12. I LOVED both those films!
    The Draftsman's Contract maybe my all time fav!!

  13. thanks for the film tips!
    love watching french films!

  14. Carol ... you are tooooo funny on the boat answer .. can't wait to hear ... I have so many favorite French films .. something about Umbrellas of Cherbourg with the very young Catherine stays in my mind ... I rented it again recently .. such eye candy, even though they are singing the whole time.

  15. When was the last time bear had a bath?
    We loved "Queen to Play." Wonderful acting by everyone and so layered.

    Copied all your films and will watch in France.
    In France a "flic" is a cop.

  16. Oh interesting about Un Flic!

    Yeah poor bear is getting a tad tatty :(

    What to do?

    He is not replacable right

  17. I was going to suggest a while ago that you might want to procure a "back up" ... you could tell him you are keeping his spirit and all the memories you have shared, but he's getting a new body ... something a few of us would enjoy! Non?

  18. Wow, I am impressed by your movie review !! You know French movies better than most of French people themselves !

  19. Can't wait for my dear friend Lisa coming from Canada visiting me - BECAUSE - then we will go to PARIS!
    She just opened a cupcakery in Nelson BC and she is always telling me about this cupcakery she visited years ago in Paris...hope, we'll find it once we are there....

  20. 8 Women (or 8 Femmes) with Catherine Deneuve, French musical comedy murder-mystery film; it's brilliant. You can get a sub-titled DVD, well at least you can here in the UK. Also something completly different Brotherhood of the Wolf based on the book L'Innocence des loups ("The Innocence of the Wolves"), by Michel Louis.

  21. Ah, I always love a French film. I only saw I Do recently and really enjoyed it. My favourite Paris film is probably Amelie. Cliche perhaps, but I love the Quirky nature of it. I saw an astonishing film recently called Angel-A, that is perhaps the most beautifully filmed movie I've seen in a while. As well as being a visual love letter to Paris, it's also a fun movie (quite adult themes), but nice to see Jamel Debbouze, who i loved in Amelie, again. I'm very keen to see it again, and will likely buy the DVD of this one.

  22. Amelie is my favorite Paris film - but I've always loved French films.
    It sounds like you HAVE to take that boat ride!!
    Trade in Bear???

  23. I am surprised you have never taken that boat after al lthe times you have gone there. I own Charade. I love that movie and the scene on the boat.. I loved The tourist too. Cant imagine it being better. Will have to look for the French one.

  24. Louis Malle *loved* to film dinner scenes and their aftermath -- empty wine bottles, guttering candles, people still sitting, talking.

    I LOVE Bear. Leave him alone! (perhaps a good brisk brushing with dry shampoo?) I asked, and my husband promised he won't turn me in when I get too tatty.

    Tell the retentives to transfer the critical energy. Tell them to go scrub their kitchen floors on their knees yet again.

  25. You may know these already, but for comedy: the classic Le Diner de Cons, Le Placard (the Closet) with Daniel Auteuil & Gerard Depardieu, Apres Vous (also Daniel Auteuil, a favourite actor of mine), 8 Femmes (fab female cast including Deneuve, Beart, Huppert, Ardant). For drama: A la Folie Pas du Tout (He loves me, he loves me not is the English title) and A Very Long Engagement, both with Audrey Tautou, and Il y a Longtemps que je t'aime with Kristin Scott Thomas.

    Thanks for your list - several are new to me and now I must hie me to Amazon!

  26. Thanks to the suggestion that you made on a post of mine showing some people playing chess in the Luxembourg Gardens, my daughter and I just watched Joueuse (Queen to Play) and thoroughly enjoyed it. We'll definitely make our way through your other movie recommendations!

  27. I was mad about Jean-Pierre Leaud in the 60s & 70s.

  28. Meant to add that I am mad about Bear now, just as he is! He needs no double!

  29. I have just returned from a week in Paris. Thanks for your posts; they help keep the city alive for me.

  30. Anthony Zimmer is one of my favorites, too. Have you seen Mon Meilleur Ami? Quand J'Etais Chanteur?

    Thanks for sharing your list of films.

  31. Hello Carol!
    I just got back from my first trip to Paris. You don't know me, but you know my creations! I invented the NYC Subway Line of apparel and accessories, you have so kindly mentioned in your lovely blog. (I don't make the socks, but did make you Subway Map messenger bag and black Manhattan Map tee. Thank you for featuring us. We are at for anyone else who may be interested.
    Lynne Lambert

  32. OMG Lynne!
    I am wearing your MTA T right now!!
    I wish I had the MTA brolly.
    And I always carry my laptop in the MTA bag.
    They guys in Pierre Herme always comment it is 'cool'
    but the T-shirt sizes are only for kids..
    Thanks Lynne

  33. Thanks for the movie tips! I've seen several of these and have put the others in my Netflix queue.

  34. I'm late commenting here, but Carol, thank you for this post! I think I'm going to sign up for Netflix and have regular French movie nights (with myself and some French treats) with some of these recommendations. Merci mille fois!


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