En Mass Spring 2014

Le Cinéma Français

Alternative Titles: Adventures in Francophone Films other than “Amélie”

Author’s Note: Even those who don’t really know foreign films know that the French are renown for their cinema. Remember the New Wave? Cannes Film Festival? Well, I’m no aficionado by any means, but I have seen some really lovely, fairly current films that if you’re ever looking to broaden your horizons (or at least have something to say if it ever comes up in a conversation), check out these!

1. Jeux d’Enfants


This is such a charming, fantastical story told like a child’s fairy tale until they become adults and the themes are heartbreakingly realistic. It asks the question “when you love someone, what does it look like when you hurt them?” to an extreme. The English title also gives a hint: Love Me If You Dare.  It’s beautiful to watch and has a particularly intriguing ending.

Out of Five Stars: 4 1/2. Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet are perfect together.

2. Populaire


Guys, it’s on Netflix! This is maybe one of my favorite movies I’ve seen in a long time. The movie focuses on a plucky secretary in 50s France who goes on to compete in national typing races with her boss as her coach. The actress, Deborah Francois, is so wonderfully charming and the story just tells itself.

Out of Five: 4. It’s definitely a rewatch, too.

3. Un Long Dimanche de Fiançailles


The English title of this epic romance is “A Very Long Engagement”. When we talk about French movies it’s only fitting to throw in at least one with Audrey Tautou. It tells the story of a naive and young couple separated by World War 1 and their desperate attempt to reunite.

Out of Five: 3 1/2

4. Les Emotifs Anonymes


In “Romantics Anonymous”, a timid chocolate connaisseur goes to work at a new chocolate factory run by another secret inner-romantic. It’s charming, well-told, and I would say, watch it just for the chocolate alone!

Out of Five: 3

5. Guerre des Boutons


In “The Button War”, set in rural France during the German Occupation in World War II, young children deal with the impossibly evil nature of the world they live in by constructing a rivalry with another gang of boys. When their “war” mirrors the larger conflict, they have to learn what humanity should be. It’s a wonderful film that is always teetering between naivety and harsh reality, while maintaining a refreshing level of sincerity.

Out of five: 3 1/2


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