Saturday, March 1, 2014

Regardons-le en Français

J'aime la langue française, though I'm a little rusty. For the past few events for Cultural Ambassadors (a club on campus headed by the Global Education Office), I've planned foreign movie nights of only French films: Romantics Anonymous and The Intouchables. The movies were such a big hit it got me thinking that there are a ton of great French movies out there that I love.

Romantics Anonymous (2011)


Two people with intense anxiety + chocolate = a strangely cute love story
To sum it up even further its"Amelie meets ChocolatFilm Journal International,

Summary from Tribeca: Romantics Anonymous tells the story of Angélique (Isabelle Carré), a gifted chocolate-maker whose uncontrollable shyness prevents her from acknowledging her talents. Struggling chocolatier Jean-René (Benoît Poelvoorde), who also suffers from a similar case of awkward bashfulness that threatens to drown his company, hires Angelique as his new sales associate. Realizing she's attracted to her boss, Angelique decides to anonymously develop a new line of chocolates to save the company. With the future of the business hanging in the balance, Angelique and Jean-Rene must overcome their limitations and confess their sweet affections for one another in this delectable comedy.

The Intouchables (2012)


Guy from the projects helps out handicapped millionaire = friendship 

Summary from Weinstein: 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.


L'auberge Espagnole (2002)

International students studying abroad in Spain live together in one apartment which is essentially my Senior Year at WAC in a nutshell.

Summary from Mark Deming, RoviA man eager to learn Spanish gets an education he wasn't expecting in this comedy drama. Xavier (Romain Duris) enrolls in a language program inBarcelona. Upon his arrival, Xavier moves into a large house shared by a large group of students from all over Europe. Xavier finds that his ideas and attitudes are challenged in a positive way by the diverse personalities of his housemates, and that his loyalty to Martine is tested by his attraction to Anne-Sophie (Judith Godrèche), a sweet but lonesome woman from France who has been away from her husband for too long.

Mesrine: Killer Instict (2007) and Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (2010)

  [via]                                                            [via]

Bad ass guy + crime + prison time = More bad ass guy

Summary from Nathan Southern, RoviThis tough and gritty French-language crime drama represents the premier installment in a two-part series of features on the life and doings of notorious Gallic hood Jacques Mesrine (1936-1979). Beginning in 1979, with Mesrine's uncommonly violent death, whereby he and a beautiful young woman are suddenly (and fatally) ambushed by Parisian police not far from Mesrine's place of birth. Richet then flashes back to the Franco-Algerian War of the late '50s and a brutal interrogation undergone by Mesrine. Following a military discharge, Mesrine returns to his parents' suburb of Clichy, where his dad has arranged a pathetic job for him in a lace-making factory. Never one to take humiliation lying down, Jacques perceives burglary, larceny, and racketeering as much-superior options and decides to pursue a life of crime via a "business partnership" with childhood buddy Paul (Gilles Lellouche), who works for mobster Guido (Gérard Depardieu). As the years pass, Jacques works his way up through the ranks of the underworld; via Paul, he also meets and falls hard for two women: Pigalle streetwalker Sarah (Florence Thomassin), and Sofia (Elena Anaya), a beautiful Spanish woman with whom he cohabitates after doing time in a French prison. Following a brief and unsuccessful attempt to "go straight," Jacques reconnects with Guido, then finds it necessary to escape from France to Canada with his new mistress, Jeanne (Cécile De France). Unfortunately, another prison sentence is waiting for him there, replete with brutal solitary confinement, but the possibility of a daring escape beckons.

Amelie (2001)


Quirky girl does quirky things.

Summary from Mark Deming, Rovi: One woman decides to change the world by changing the lives of the people she knows in this charming and romantic comic fantasy from director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Amelie (Audrey Tautou) is a young woman who had a decidedly unusual childhood; misdiagnosed with an unusual heart condition, Amelie didn't attend school with other children, but spent most of her time in her room, where she developed a keen imagination and an active fantasy life. Her mother Amandine (Lorella Cravotta) died in a freak accident when Amelie was eight, and her father Raphael (Rufus) had limited contact with her, since his presence seemed to throw her heart into high gear. Despite all this, Amelie has grown into a healthy and beautiful young woman who works in a cafe and has a whimsical, romantic nature. When Princess Diana dies in a car wreck in the summer of 1997, Amelie is reminded that life can be fleeting and she decides it's time for her to intervene in the lives of those around her, hoping to bring a bit of happiness to her neighbors and the regulars at the cafe. Amelie starts by bringing together two lonely people -- Georgette (Isabelle Nanty), a tobacconist with a severe case of hypochondria, and Joseph (Dominique Pinon), an especially ill-tempered customer. When Amelie finds a box of old toys in her apartment, she returns them to their former owner, Mr. Bretodeau (Maurice Benichou), sending him on a reverie of childhood. Amelie befriends Dufayel (Serge Merlin), an elderly artist living nearby whose bones are so brittle, thanks to a rare disease, that everything in his flat must be padded for his protection. And Amelie decides someone has to step into the life of Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz), a lonely adult video store clerk and part-time carnival spook-show ghost who collects pictures left behind at photo booths around Paris. Le Fabuleux Destin D'Amelie Poulain received unusually enthusiastic advance reviews prior to its French premiere in the spring of 2001, and was well received at a special free screening at that year's Cannes Film Festival.

Know any other great French films or any other foreign films worth the watch?
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1 comment:

  1. Try "Hors de Prix" - Easily digestible and hugely funny romcom.