French Scent

Hello everyone! For my first post I opted for letting you get a glimpse of my taste in movies, and especially French movies. I gathered my Top 5 favorite French movies of all times and here they are!


5. “Un Chien Andalou” (1929) – is a silent surrealist short film by the Spanish director Luis Buñuel and artist Salvador Dalí. The film has no plot in the conventional sense of the word. The chronology of the film is disjointed, jumping from the initial “once upon a time” to “eight years later” without the events or characters changing very much (via Wikipedia “Un Chien Andalou”).

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4. “Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas” (2013) – is a French-German drama film directed by Arnaud des Pallières based on Heinrich von Kleist’s novella Michael Kohlhaas, which again is based on the story of Hans Kohlhase. During the 16th century, horse dealer Michael Kohlhaas is taking his horses to market. As he passes through a local baron’s lands, the baron seizes two of his horses, even though the right to extract tolls has been abolished in the country. When Kohlhaas discovers that his loyal servant was attacked by the baron’s guard dogs, and that his horses have been injured and abused, he attempts to sue for monetary compensation, but his lawsuit is dismissed because the baron has a kinsman at court. Later, Kohlhaas’s wife dies from injuries suffered at the hands of the baron’s men. Kohlhaas leads a revolt to attack the Baron’s house and then to induce the authorities to administer satisfactory justice (via Wikipedia “Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas”

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3. “Entre les Murs” (2008) – is a French drama film directed by Laurent Cantet. It is based on the 2006 novel of the same name by François Bégaudeau. The novel is a semi-autobiographical account of Bégaudeau’s experiences as a French language and literature teacher in a middle school in the 20th arrondissement of Paris. The film stars Bégaudeau himself in the role of the teacher. The film received the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, making it the first French film to do so since 1987, when Maurice Pialat won the award for Under the Sun of Satan (via Wikipedia “The Class (2008 film)”).

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2. “Les Choristes” (2004) – is a 2004 German-Swiss-French drama film directed by Christophe Barratier. The plot involves the widely successful orchestra conductor Pierre Morhange (Jacques Perrin), who returns to France when his mother dies. He reminisces about his childhood inspirations when he and his former classmate Pépinot (Didier Flamand) read the diary of their old music teacher Clément Mathieu (Gérard Jugnot). In 1949, a young Morhange is the badly behaved son of single mother Violette (Marie Bunel). He attends the boarding institution for “difficult” boys, Fond de L’Étang (“Bottom of the Well”), presided over by strict headmaster Monsieur Rachin (François Berléand). New teacher Clement Mathieu brightens up the school and assembles a choir, leading to the discovery of Morhange’s musical and physical talents and a transformation in the children (via Wikipedia “The Chorus (2004 film)”).

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1. “Coco Avant Chanel” (2009) – is a French film about the early life of famed French fashion designer Coco Chanel. French actress Audrey Tautou stars as Chanel. Several years after leaving the orphanage where her father abandoned her, a young Gabrielle Chanel finds herself working in a provincial bar. She is both a seamstress for the performers and a singer, earning the nickname ‘Coco’ from the song she sings nightly with her sister. A liaison with the charismatic Baron Balsan (Benoît Poelvoorde) gives her an entry into French high society, and a chance to develop her gift for designing increasingly popular hats. Coco falls in love with English businessman Arthur Capel (Alessandro Nivola), unaware that he is betrothed to a woman in England. Capel believes in Coco’s talent making hats and her refusal to follow the whims of fashion; as he says to Coco, “There’s no one else like you”. As Coco’s business flourishes and life is going well, Capel dies in a car accident; she is devastated. However, Coco still has the business that Capel helped her start as a reminder of their love (via Wikipedia “Coco Before Chanel”).

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