The best French movies have continued to enthrall film enthusiasts all over the world. The French are known to be passionate about their film industry. Not only are movies a large part of French culture, but they play a big role in France's economy. Every year, the prestigious Cannes Film Festival is held at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes in the south of France, where the Golden Palm or La Palme d'Or is awarded, amongst other film-making prizes. Some of the greatest names in show biz attend the event, including Hollywood's top actors and actresses. As one of the biggest platforms for European films, some of the best French movies have been showcased at the festival de Cannes.
French films run the gamut of genres, including comedy, drama, action, thriller, suspense, romantic, and sports films. From classic and traditional to modern and trendy, here is a look at some of the best French movies across the decades:
Amélie: Amélie is an entertaining French film about a shy waitress who has a knack of bringing joy into the lives of those around her through her vivid imagination. Yet as much as she brightens the lives of others, her own happiness continues to elude her. The movie is said to explore the theme of escapism and how one can ultimately overcome it.
Au Revoir Les Enfants: This critically acclaimed French movie takes place during World War II and tells the touching story of a Catholic priest who hides Jewish students from the Nazis at a Catholic boarding during school. The story centers on the friendship and growing bond between one Jewish boy and his Catholic classmate. Directed by Louis Malle, and touching upon the timeless themes of bigotry, fear, and social perceptions, Au Revoir Les Enfants has earned its reputation as one of the best French movies of all times.
Belle de Jour: Released in 1967, this classic French film received rave review and tells the story of a woman, played by famed French actress Catherine Deneuve, who is in love with her doctor husband, but who spends her midweek afternoons as a prostitute, falling into bad company. Directed by Luis Bunuel's, the movie was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award.
Many of the best French movies can be found today in DVD or video format. For more French film recommendations, do a search online, or check out the most recent French films featured at the Cannes Film Festival.
The experts say that one of the best ways to learn a foreign language is to watch foreign films. So be sure to pay close attention to the French-speaking actors and see if you can pick up a new French phrase or two!