Top 10 Must Watch French Movies – September Movie Recommendation
Lately, I must admit that I have been binge watching a lot of French movies. For some reason, it has never occurred to me to start exploring and pushing the boundaries on the movies I watch until a few months ago.
It all started when a friend recommended me a French movie called : Amélie. It was my very first French movie, and I recall being weirded out by the way the movie played out. Comparing it to most American films that I have watched, Amélie’s plot seems to be very abstract. In most American movies, you feel a very distinct beginning, climax and ending to a film. With French movies however, most of the time, it felt as if I was just thrown smack-dab in the middle of an already on-going story without much of an explanation at all and was expected to roll with it and see where it goes.
One would obviously think : who would enjoy watching such movies? A movie where you just go with the flow without knowing where it will end up?
Surprisingly however, I ended up not only enjoying, but loving French films. There is something that is so relaxing and liberating with giving up trying to overanalyze everything and trying to figure out how the movie will end. Because whenever I watch an American or even Asian movies, I always find myself trying to be a step ahead of it. I will attempt to guess and predict what will come in the next few scenes and be pleased when my predictions turn out to be true.
With French films, because of how volatile most of the plots are, most of the time whenever I watch French movie I find myself giving up trying to predict what is going to happen next. Because I already know that 95% of the time, I will be wrong. And let me just tell you, there is just something very calming in the knowledge that you can just sit back, relax and go whenever the story takes you.
So to close of this very lengthy introduction to the post, I just want to say : if you have never watched a French movie before, I highly recommend you do. Try just one, and see how you like it. And when you do, picture me being giddy and excitedly sitting on your shoulder while crossing my fingers hoping that you will come to be as addicted to it as I am.
1. Rust and Bone
Genre : Drama, Romance
Starring : Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure
Director : Jacques Audiard
Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), a former boxer and single father, meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) when he saves her from a brawl at the nightclub where he works as a bouncer. Their casual acquaintance develops into something much more after Stephanie, who trains killer whales at a marine park, suffers a horrible accident and loses both her legs above the knee. As Stephanie draws on Ali’s physical strength, an unexpected courtship slowly comes to life.
Genre : Comedy, Crime
Starring : Marie-Laure Dougnac, Dominique Pinon, Pascal Benezech
Director : Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) is a butcher who owns a run-down apartment building in post-apocalyptic France. The building is in constant need of a handyman, because Clapet routinely butchers them and sells them as food. The latest in the long ling of disposable workers is Louison (Dominique Pinon), a former circus clown desperate for work and lodging. But this time Clapet’s plan hits a snag when his young daughter (Marie-Laure Dougnac) falls head over heels for the lovable Louison.
3. The Intouchables
Genre : Biography, Comedy, Drama
Starring : Omar Sy, Audrey Fleurot, François Cluzet
Director : Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
An irreverent, uplifting comedy about friendship, trust and human possibility, The Intouchables has broken box office records in its native France and across Europe. Based on a true story of friendship between a handicap millionaire (Francois Cluzet) and his street smart ex-con caretaker (Omar Sy), The Intouchables depicts an unlikely camaraderie rooted in honesty and humor between two individuals who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common.
Genre : Crime, Drama, Thriller
Starring : Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny
Director : Paul Verhoeven
Michèle seems indestructible. Head of a successful video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michèle’s life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game-a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.
Genre : Coming of Age, Drama
Starring : Anne Dorval, Antoine Olivier Pilon, Suzanne Clément
Director : Xavier Dolan
A feisty widowed single mom finds herself burdened with the full-time custody of her unpredictable 15-year-old ADHD son. As they struggle to make ends meet, Kyla, the peculiar new neighbor across the street, offers her help. Together, they find a new sense of balance, and hope is regained.
6. Laurence Anyways
Genre : Melodrama, Romance
Starring : Melvil Poupaud, Emmanuel Schwartz, Suzanne Clément
Director : Xavier Dolan
Laurence, a French teacher and soon-to-be-published author, enjoys an intense and mutually loving relationship with his fiancée, Frédérique. But on the day after his 35th birthday, Laurence confesses to Fred that he longs to become a woman, asking her to support his transformation. The film follows the course of the couple’s on-again, off-again relationship throughout the 1990s.
Genre : Romance, Drama
Starring : Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert
Director : Michael Haneke
Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple’s bond of love is severely tested.
8. La Haine
Genre : Crime, Drama
Starring : Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui
Director : Mathieu Kassovitz
When a young Arab is arrested and beaten unconscious by police, a riot erupts in the notoriously violent suburbs outside of Paris. Three of the victim’s peers, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Said (Said Taghmaoui) and Hubert (Hubert Koundé), wander aimlessly about their home turf in the aftermath of the violence as they try to come to grips with their outrage over the brutal incident. After one of the men finds a police officer’s discarded weapon, their night seems poised to take a bleak turn.
9. The Artist
Genre : Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring : Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman
Director : Michael Hazanavicius
Hollywood 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky’s the limit – major movie stardom awaits. The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies.
10. Tell No One
Genre : Mystery, Crime, Drama
Starring : François Cluzet, Marie-Josée Croze, André Dussollier
Director : Guillaume Canet
An accidental discovery near a doctor’s estate stirs up some painful memories eight years after his wife’s hideous murder, and now, things are bound to take a turn for the unexpected. Does the good doctor know more than he’s letting on?