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French film Friday: easy watching – our top 5 favourite films

MyFrenchLife™ – MyFrenchLife.org – French film Friday: easy watching – light-hearted fun in French cinema

Happy Friday! We’re bringing back 5 of our all-time favourite French film recommendations to ease you into the weekend. This Friday, our focus is on the carefree, uplifting charm of easy watching.

These French films may not convey the characteristically moody, sultry climate of classic French cinematographic genius, but they’ll certainly leave you feeling inspired and elevated.

Experience the guilt-free pleasure of easy watching in French film.

1. Easy watching: French film – Folies Bergère

We are in Haute Normandie, Pays de Caux. Brigitte Lecanu (Isabelle Huppert) is wearing a lovely pair of boots, a fur hat, a chocolate brown coat and a silk scarf while she grooms the hide of Ben Hur, one of their prized vaches charolaises.

Your first impressions of Marc Fitoussi’s latest French film ‘Folies Bergère’ (French: ‘La Ritournelle’) could therefore go one of two ways:

c’est quand même pas un peu exageré non ? Franchement, on s’habille pas comme ça à la campagne…” or alternatively, “How do they always look so good? I mean, the French are just so stylish. All the time. I need to buy a hat like that.” Read more.

2. Easy watching: French film – Attila Marcel

Sylvain Chomet is best known for his award winning ‘Triplets of Belleville’, an animated film based around three old ladies and the Tour de France (2003).

His new French film, ‘Attila Marcel’ also features old ladies – the two aunts of Paul Marcel, Attila’s orphaned son.

The world of Chomet’s film is strange and magical, a version of Paris straight from a rather bizarre storybook. Read more.

3. Easy watching: French film – De vrais mensonges

Beautiful Lies’ is a quintessentially French rom-com set in the beautiful coastal town of Sète in southern France.

The story centres on a local hairdressing salon run by manager Emilie (Audrey Tautou), a single, independent, young woman and her employee, the handy-man Jean (Sami Bouajila).

Jean is secretly enamored with his boss and writes her an anonymous love letter.

Emilie seizes upon the letter’s potential to revive the spirits of her broken-hearted mother, Maddy (Nathalie Baye), who is still recovering from her artist husband’s abandonment four years ago. Read more.

4. Easy watching: French film – La tête en friche

The story revolves around an unlikely friendship that develops between Germain (Gérard Depardieu), fifty and barely literate, and Margueritte (Gisèle Casadesus), a little old lady passionate about reading.

The two are brought together in a chance encounter by their mutual interest in the pigeons at the local park.

Germain learns some valuable lessons about life through the books Margueritte reads aloud to him. Ultimately, it is he who reads aloud to her as her vision fades. Read more.

5. Easy watching: French film – Eyjafjallajökull

More than half a million viewers saw French film ‘The Volcano’ in its opening week in France in 2013. And as blockbusters go, it ticks all the boxes.

Dany Boon and Valérie Bonneton play off each other brilliantly in this situation comedy as a divorced couple who must travel together across Europe to get to their daughter’s wedding in Greece.

They try every sneaky trick in the book to double-cross each other, but keep being thrown together by circumstances beyond their control.

The screenplay hits all the right notes in a comedy formula to have you laughing right through the film. Read more.


Which are your favourite examples of easy watching in French film? We’d love you to share your thoughts in the comments box below.


Image credits
1. Popcorn, via Flickr
2. Folies Bergères, via YouTube
3. Attila Marcel, via YouTube
4. De vrais mensonges, via YouTube
5. La tête en friche, via YouTube
6. Eyjafjallajökull, via YouTube


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