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10 Feel-Good Movies to Improve Your French

by Sandrine Cuperty, IT Department

Many movie theatres around the world are closed at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy great movies, especially if it helps improve your French at the same time! Here’s a list of 10 feel-good French movies – ranked from easiest to follow to most challenging.

Ernest et Célestine (Ernest and Célestine)

Ernest is a bear and Célestine is a mouse. In the world they live in, they can’t be friends. But when these two artists meet, they learn to get along with each other and go on to fight prejudice together. A wonderful animated movie to be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

 

Le Grand Méchant Renard et Autres Contes (The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales)

This animated movie, from the same artists as Ernest et Célestine, tells two funny tales. The first recounts the story of a fox who struggles to be scary enough and who finds himself taking care of three baby chicks. The second story tells the adventures of a pig, a duck and a rabbit, who want to make sure a baby girl is safely delivered to her family after a stork gives up on the job.

 

Visages Villages (Faces Places)

Agnès Varda, a great French film director, sadly left us a year ago, but her movies still shine. Her last film was a documentary taking you to parts of France you’ve never before seen on screen. Discover the journey of Agnès Varda and JR, a photographer, on the roads of the French countryside, and meet funny and interesting people you will never forget.

 

Hors de prix (Priceless)

A poor waiter falls in love with a woman who only dates rich bachelors. He will do anything to stay with her. The lady will need to be careful, however, because she might end up being caught out by her own game. A romantic comedy with Audrey Tautou (beloved for Amélie) and French stand-up comedian Gad Elmaleh.

 

Camille Redouble (Camille Rewinds)

Camille is in her mid-forties, but she’s about to go back to high school. When her marriage starts to fall apart, she goes to a party, has a bit too much to drink, and wakes up as a teenager. She then lives with her parents again and meets for the second time the high-school sweetheart who became her husband.

 

Mon Inconnue (Love at Second Sight)

Raphaël is a successful science-fiction writer. Olivia should have been a great pianist but let her husband take the limelight. After neglecting Olivia too much, Raphaël wakes up one morning to realize she’s gone. He now lives in a parallel world where he has never met her.

 

Patients

French slam poet Grand Corps Malade tells us his story: after a serious accident, he was rushed to hospital, where he was surrounded by other people in just as bad a state as he was, or worse. With such a pitch, you wouldn’t think Patients is a laugh-out-loud comedy. Think again.

 

Le Premier Jour Du Reste De Ta Vie (The First Day of the Rest of Your Life)

Follow the Duval family in a touching chronicle featuring great French actors, young and old. The film is built around five days in the lives or Robert, Marie-Jeanne and their children. This story of love, friendship and solidarity between brothers and sisters will make you laugh and cry.

 

Le Prénom (What’s in a Name?)

A great success in France when it was released in 2011, Le Prénom is adapted from a stage play. You wouldn’t believe that telling your family what you want to name your child would lead to such an eventful evening! The famous French actors and hilarious dialogue will make your day.

 

Gainsbourg, Vie Héroïque (Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life)

Many French people are obsessed with Serge Gainsbourg. So much so that Joann Sfar, originally a comic-book author, made a movie about his life. Full of poetry, little-known songs and unforgettable musical scenes, Gainsbourg, Vie Héroïque is more about the singer’s imagined life than the one he actually lived. However, in this movie, it will be hard to tell the difference.

 

Are you watching movies to improve your language skills? Let us know what you’re watching by emailing communicationsataup.edu.