We are living through strange times...
In the brave new world of coronavirus, when the lines that separate fiction from reality are growing alarmingly thin, you may find yourself searching for a feel-good movie to watch in the safety of your own home.
Also, we're all in lockdown and there's only so much gardening one can take.
There's a lot of things to love about France, unfortunately, with the prospect of the UK lockdown ending nowhere on the horizon, we can't really enjoy any of them. So it looks like we need to turn to the silver screen to get our daily fix of "La Douce France"
Below is a list of old classics, modern-day flicks, and suspenseful thrillers we've rounded up to help you brush up on your French, whet your appetite, or simply to escape reality, if only for a couple of hours.
8 Femmes (8 women)
Lavishly designed, beautifully shot and delightfully camp, this star-studded 'whodunnit' boast some of the most glamorous French female icons, as well as fabulous costumes and sumptuous decors. The plot is pretty straightforward: One morning, Marcel - the master of house - is found stabbed in his room. Eight women are his potential murderers. The house is isolated in a snowstorm, the phone is dead... Each has a motive. Each has a secret. One of them is guilty. Which one is it?
prete moi ta main (I Do)
Yes, French people also do feel-good, romantic comedies, and they do them quite well! Alain Chabat plays Luis, a 40-something perfume designer happy with his bachelor's life. Unfortunately for Luis, his 5 sisters and mother have decided that it's time for him to marry and settle down.
To get them off his back, he devise a clever plan: hire a stranger to play the ideal woman who will charm his demanding family and have her dissapear on their wedding day, leaving him broken hearted at the altar. But where can he find this rare gem? As luck would have it, Emma (the amazingly talented Charlotte Gainsbourg), the sister of his best friend and colleague, has just arrived in Paris and she's looking for a job. At first, everything goes well, but soon things start to unravel in unexpected ways.
la gloire de mon pere (my father's glory)
No movie list is complete without a turn-of-the-century period piece. Based on the childhood memories of Marcel Pagnol (author of Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources) 'La Gloire De Mon Pere' take the viewer on a journey through the hills of Provence circa 1900, as Marcel recount his summer vacation in a remote farmhouse nestled in the countryside. This quintessentially French movie is an ode to the simple pleasures of rural life.
Swimming Pool is a mind-bending thriller starring British actor Charlotte Rampling (it's also bilingual, so perfect if you're trying to learn French!). Rampling plays Sarah, a blazée London mystery author with a serious case of the writer's block. Seeking inspiration for her new novel, she moves to her publisher's home in the South of France. Unfortunately for Sarah, her plans for rest and relaxation are disrupted when Julie - John's rebellious French teenage daughter - unexpectedly moves in to get away from her wild citylife. Sarah's initial distaste of Julie's lifestyle turn into a strange fascination and the two eventually form an unlikely friendship - until things take a violent and dramatic turn.
Hors de prix (priceless)
We end our list with a French comedy starring Audrey Tautou and Gad Elmaleh. Tautou plays Irene, a Riviera-bound gold digger who preys on wealthy men to fund her lavish lifestyle. Through a set of wacky circumstances, Irene mistakenly seduce Jean, a timid bartender, thinking he's a wealthy suitor. Abandoned when she discovers his true identity, a love-struck Jean attempts to get Irene's attention leads to him setting himself up as a gigolo at the luxury hotel she is staying at…
And there you have it! Have you seen any of the films above? Which films would you add to the list? Let us know in the comment below!