French cinema is often considered as one of the best in the world. French films stand out because of its subjects and its innovative style and treatment. They offer you a refreshing change from the usual Hollywood and Bollywood films.
Here is a list of some prominent French films that would probably change your idea about films and filmmaking.
1. The Artist (2011)
It is one of the most popular French films of recent times. This silent film created a lot of noise when it won the Academy Award for the best picture.
This black and white film stood out not only because of its treatment but also because of its subject.
The film shows both romance and tension between two stars and how the arrival of the talking-pictures change their fates.
2. Intouchables (2011)
This film beautifully explores the relationship of two friends. The story is about a rich differentially abled person and a black guy.
The film is worth watching because of the way it handles subjects like race and disability.
Another reason that makes this film significant is the fact that Omar Sy, who played the character of Driss, became the first black man ever to win the César Award for Best Actor.
3. Mommy (2014)
It is one of the finest French films in recent times.
This French language film was actually released in Canada but its touching subject and brilliant direction make it a must watch.
The film was praised for its realistic representation of life. The film deals with a widowed mother and her struggle to raise a violent teen boy and how her meeting with a neighbour changes their lives.
4. Breathless (1960)
Goddard is often considered as one of the best directors this world has ever seen. Veteran filmmakers like Woody Allen and Satyajit Ray are also a fan of his style of direction.
Breathless is often considered as his best work.
The story is about a petty thief who quite unintentionally kills a policeman and escapes with his girlfriend to Italy. His escape is what forms the crux of his film.
5. Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)
It is one of the most hard-hitting films you would ever see about a Jew’s experience during the Nazi regime.
The film beautifully explores the friendship between Julien, who is catholic student and Jean who is a Jew.
This emotional film deserves to be a part of your must-watch list.
6. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)
It was initially planned as a documentary but later became a film with a lot of fictional elements.
The film stands out not only in its subject matter but also because of its cinematic technique.
It was probably the first film to use flashback on the screen so effectively.
7. La Guerre Est Déclarée (2011)
La Guerre Est Declaree or Declaration of War is an emotional film that deals with the life of a couple and their son, who suffers from cancer.
The film was France’s official submission for the 2008 Academy Awards.
8. Polisse (2011)
This film is often considered as one of the best crime fiction french films to be ever made.
The film deals with sensitive issues like immigration and child abuse.
Although the film deals with serious issues, yet the film has a lot of humour in it.
9. Amelie (2001)
This is probably one French film which most of you have watched or at least know about.
The film beautifully explores the everyday life of a young girl called Amelie. The story of how a simple girl helps other people find happiness in their lives, makes you fall in love with her.
10. Les Choristes (2004)
This heart-warming musical was nominated for two Oscars.
The film talks about a guy, who after staying years abroad, finally returns for his mother’s funeral and how he once again regroups with his old friends forms the main plot of the film.
The film is filled with emotion, music and nostalgia.
11. Bienvenue Chez Les Ch’tis (2008)
This film holds the record for the highest grossing french film ever.
This light hearted comedy film about a dissatisfied postman is a must watch.
If you want to have a good laugh, then this is the film for you.
12. Un Prophète (2009)
This film is considered as one of the most hard-hitting films of recent times and it’s take on Islam is quite refreshing.
The film deals with the life of a petty criminal and his life changes after he meets and connects with a Muslim community in the jail.
The film won a BAFTA and was also nominated for an Oscar.
13. Amour (2012)
No film has depicted old-age romance like this film. This simple story of an elderly couple would definitely move you.
It not only won the Oscar for the Best Foreign Film but also the best actress award for the 86-year-old protagonist.
14. La Mome (2007)
This is the film that made Marion Cotillard the star she is today. This film not only brought her praise but also an academy award.
The film deals with the life of famous French singer Edith Piaf.
The English title ‘La Vie En Rose’ is actually the name of one of Piaf’s most famous songs.
15. Blue Is The Warmest Colour (2013)
The movie created a lot of noise when it was first released. The movie revolves around a lesbian couple.
It talks about a girl, who after a failed relationship with a guy finally finds her true love in the companionship of another girl.
16. La Passion De Jeanne d’Arc (1928)
It is undoubted, one of the finest french films ever made and it still remains one of the most popular french films ever made.
This film deals with the true story of Joan, her beliefs, and tortures she had to face because of it. Even today this film has the power to move you.
After watching these films I am sure that your definition of a good film would change for good.