Is it just me or is there special and unique feel about French movies which makes them irresistable?
My favourite French movie of recent years is ‘Priceless’ sometimes called by the French title of ‘Hors de Prix’ and stars my favourite actress Audrey Tautou. This is an absolutely scintillating movie and I know it may have been based on an American version earlier but this movie is just so funny and the acting amazing. I also became attached with Audrey Tautou’s co-actor in the movie, Gad Elmaleh who took the leading role in another hugely funny comedy called ‘The Valet’. I do like comedy films which make me laugh. Sadly, most many comedies are anything but funny.
The Oscars of 2012 have just elapsed and Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’, although nominated for best picture, picked up a deserved award for original Screenplay. (Actually, Gad Elmaleh was the end star in this movie) but his role was only cameo. I am a romanticist and I love Paris and I love even more any movie about Paris. ‘Midnight in Paris’ is a bit like going to a nice restaurant and being given a quality bottle of FRENCH red plonk. It was a delicious, delightful film and I watched it three times on consecutive nights.
‘Hugo’, another Oscar winner, was also set in Paris at a railway station and there was another 2011 movie which was sensitive and touching about life in Paris, quite simply called ‘Paris’. There was a recent movie called ‘Paris I Love You” but it was not in the French language and it just did not grab me.
Audrey Tautou takes me back to ‘Terms of Engagement’ and her stunning acting with Gerard Depardieu, whose versatility never fails to amaze me, but who can ever forget her innovative acting and Oscar star role in Amelie in the early 2001? Of course, Audrey Tautou also starred with Tom Hanks in ‘Da Vinci Code’ and that was predominantly filmed in Paris, but again, it is an American movie rather than a French movie in France in the French language.
I recently saw Henry IV of Navarre and watched it a couple of times. I like history stuff and Henry IV is an interesting character, no less so his wife Marguerite de Valois who may well have the cause of infatuation and proposal of Englishman Francis Bacon in his younger years. It is a bit raunchy but hey, this is sixteenth century France, though I know Navarre was not officially part of France then, as Shakespeare reminded us in ‘Love Labours Lost’
Films like ‘Babine’ cannot be overlooked for their entertainment value and originality. Perhaps the most sexual movie of French connection was ‘Perfume – Diary of a Murderer’ which I absolutely loved, but the ending was incredibly sexotic!
On a lower key level, many of our Disney favourites such as Hunchback of Notre Dame, Beauty and the Beast, Arisocats and Three Muskateers all have a connection with Paris in some shape or form and I am still waiting for a Director to come up with a Napoleon remake. Napoleon, I must confess, was my favourite General in world History.
Living in Indonesia, I have to look long and hard among the DVD copies for sale to find the French movies which are French movies at all and worth watching.
Who can forget ‘Belle de Jour’!
This turned out to be an impulsive post and I shall edit it further when I have thought of other French movies which I have enjoyed watching and forgotten to mention, which I surely have.