Thursday, March 21, 2013

French Film Round Up

oh, on adore le cinema

The 21st annual French Film Festival started today in Richmond! Co-sponsored by VCU and the University of Richmond, French films and shorts will be playing all weekend at the Byrd. Plus, many of the actors, actress, and directors will be there to talk about their films and give master classes. If any are still available, you can get passes here; but usually they go pretty fast. If that's a little out of your price range (or driving range), don't worry! Netflix has some great French movies available on Instant Play that you can watch whether you want to brush up on your comprehension or just see some really good films. Check out my picks below:

This is the quintessential study abroad movie-a little cheesy but so good none the less. Xavier is a French student who takes part in the Erasmus program and goes to Barcelona where he lives in an apartment with other kids from all over Europe. If you're not heartsick for your college friends after this movie, your soul might be broken. The vocabulary is good if you're just brushing up on your conversation skills. (P.S. The sequel Russian Dolls is on Instant Play too!)

Justin and I just watched this the other night, and it was absolutely riveting. I'm usually pretty good at figuring out plots half way through the movie, but this one had me guessing til the very end. The plot centers around a pediatrician after the case of his wife's murder is suddenly reopened. The vocabulary was a little advanced; but the film is so intriguing, you won't mind the subtitles.

This is actually on my Watch List, so I haven't seen it yet. But, I'm sure everyone remembers all the buzz surrounding this Oscar darling. It's a silent movie about the death of the silent film industry, so it should be perfect for any film majors out there.

This is also on my Watch List, but the William & Mary Global Film Festival showed it last year as part of their Film and the City theme. The story follows a little girl who learns that her cat is leading a double life at night. The vocabulary should be fairly elementary because its a children's movie, but I've heard the story is still charming for adults. This one was also nominated for an Oscar in 2012.

If you're into police thrillers, you definitely have to check this one out. Though the setting is small, the story packs a hard punch. All the action essentially takes place in one evening and in one place, and it focuses on the relationship between a father and his son. The vocabulary is great if you're trying to pick up some slang.

This documentary has been on my Watch List ever since I saw it on display at the Alliance Francaise in Washington, D.C. It's actually in English and tells the story of several world-class pastry chefs competing for the Meilleur Ouvrier de France, the greatest honor in the pastry world. Sounds like a good excuse to curl up with a few eclairs and bottle of champagne this weekend!

Last but not least, I've been dying to see this movie ever since I missed it at the Kimball Theater when I was at William & Mary; so I was stoked to see it on Instant Play. The story centers around an American journalist who looks into the secrets of the Vel d'Hiv Roundup of Jews in occupied Paris during 1942. I think this is the American trailer, so I'm not sure what the vocabulary level is; but, I do know that Kristin Scott Thomas won a Cesar (like the French Oscars) for her performance.

If you have any French movie recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

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