My hometown, Lyon, is the birthplace of cinema with the Lumière brother’s invention able to be broadcasted to crowds. I couldn’t but talk about French cinema! The first public cinema broadcast happened in 1895 in Paris, showing workers as they left the Lumière brother’s factory in Lyon.
French cinema is a genre in itself, but it is also very diverse! Watching French movies is a great way to learn the language and also understand the language better.
From the decade 2000-2010, these are my 7 Must-see French movies that give a great panorama of the French culture and also were box-office successes in France and sometimes worldwide.
Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain – Amelie (2001)
Out of the list, this movie is a must-see! Amélie was a huge public and critic success both in France and internationally.
It illustrates one very French cultural behaviour to find beauty everywhere and to give importance to small details. This movie plays with the French stereotypes and will show you a Paris no one has never seen!
A young woman Amélie who had an unusual childhood decides to make people around her happy by intervening in their lives. This is a charming and romantic comic fantasy not to miss with an enchanting soundtrack!
L’auberge espagnole (2002)
This comedy also stars Audrey Tautou from Amélie and the famous French actor Romain Duris. L’Auberge espagnole is the story of a young French student’s adventures during a year in Barcelona. We follow his steps during his integration and cultural discovery together with his flatmates from all over Europe! Young expats will identify with this intercultural adventure!
Les choristes – The chorus (2004)
Les choristes is a musical and dramatic comedy that has a famous French conductor look back from the present to 1949 when his life was transformed by a new teacher. The young boy was at a dreary state reform school for orphans and difficult boys in the countryside (Auvergne). The new teacher has a belief in the kids’ potential that is not shared by his cynical colleagues or the director, a sadistic disciplinarian.
This musical’s success brought back into fashion the practice of choir all around France.
De battre mon cœur s’est arrêté – The beat that my heart skipped (2005)
This drama is a multi-award-winning film directed by Jacques Audiard. It’s the story of a young man, starred by Romain Duris, torn between becoming a pianist, like his mother, or a criminal, like his father. (2005). By chance, Tom meets with his late concert-pianist mother’s manager, who offers him to do an audition. Intrigued, Tom asks a virtuoso Chinese pianist to help him prepare for the audition, even though they don’t speak the same language.
Ne le dis à personne – Tell no one (2006)
Alex’s wife, Margot, was brutally murdered by a serial killer. Distraught and beside himself, Alex revisits, day in and day out, the troubling memory of his lost love. Eight years have passed when, one day, Alex receives an anonymous email. He clicks: The face of a woman in a crowd,… Margot?
La Môme – La vie en Rose (2007)
From her childhood to her time of glory, this drama follows the life of the exceptional Edith Piaf. Discover the singer’s soul and tragic destiny, but also, the woman’s heart and wounds. This intense movie shows a fragile and indestructible French artist that tug at every French people’s heartstrings.
Bienvenue chez les Chtis – Welcome to the Sticks (2008)
French directed and starred by Danny Boon Comedy pits the North of France against the South of France.
Tired of working in the same dead-end district in the South of France, Philippe applies for a postal service position further south down near the French Riviera, to please his wife and son. To put all the chances on his side, he falsifies his application and gets posted in the far north of France as a punishment.
This comedy accentuates the stereotypes of the Southern and Northern French region hilariously.
Bienvenue chez les Chtis had the highest number of tickets sold for the 2000-2010 decade!
Enjoy the movies! If you have liked other French movies, please share with me in the comment section.