Best French Films Streaming on Netflix Right Now

When I first wrote this post, I had a hard time narrowing down the list to 20 films. There were SO many great French films available either to stream or through good old fashioned DVDs. Well, that landscape has changed drastically in a few years ūüėČ But if you are looking for a quick escape to France without leaving the comfort of your couch, here is a (short) list of some French films I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find streaming on¬†Netflix.¬†

 

Le Fabuleux Destin d’Am√©lie Poulain ~ What can I say about this delightful whimsical film that hasn’t been said before? The French don’t do feel good films very well so Amelie definitely stands out with its romanticized version of Paris, quirky characters and happy ending. Previously, its director Jean-Pierre Jeunet had impressed critics worldwide with another film, the surreal and morbid comedy¬† Delicatessen, which you can also stream on Netflix right now.Le fabuleux destin d'amelie poulain

Bande de Filles ~ I had a hard time watching this movie which is probably the polar opposite of Amelie for its grim realism. Girlhood is the coming of age story of Marieme, a young black adolescent, who is struggling in school, dealing with an abusive brother and helps take care of her younger sisters while her mother cleans offices for a living. She befriends a group of 3 girls¬† and eventually evolves from a shy adolescent to a confident young woman, though she starts to push the limits of what she can do a little bit too far… It’s a grim film, but it’s fascinating.¬†¬†

Blue is the Warmest Color/La vie d’Ad√®le ~ There was a lot of drama surrounding this film. In awarding it the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Steven Spielberg and his jury also added the two main actresses to the director in the distinction. That’s not typical, and speaks to the amazing performances of¬†L√©a Seydoux and Ad√®le Exarchopoulos, as well as to the controversial methods of director Abdellatif Kechiche. Blue is another coming of age tale but this time its high school age protagonist falls in love in a slightly older woman, an artist with blue hair. Over the course of 179 minutes (the film is quite long!) she discovers desire, finds herself then loses herself and ultimately grows into adulthood. Warning: the film is long and the sex scenes are drawn out at times, and very graphic. This isn’t an early date movie or something you watch with your parents or children.

Blue is the warmest color

 

 

Bienvenue a Marly-Gomont ~¬†‚ÄúThe African Doctor‚ÄĚ is a quirky movie with a good sense of humor, a positive message and a lot of heart. It’s based on the real life experience of rapper Kamini, whose father Seyolo Zantoko, the only African graduate from his French medical school, turns down a position back in his home country to become the local physician in a small, rural French village.¬†¬†He is optimistically determined to give his children opportunities they wouldn’t have back where he grew up and blind to the struggles his family face in trying to integrate into the tight-knit, all white community.¬†

 

Gad Gone Wild ~ Unfortunately, none of Gad Elmaleh’s films (like Le Valet) are available on Netflix anymore… but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy watching the funnyman on Netflix. While not technically a film,¬†you can catch Gad in¬†Gad Gone Wild¬†, a special comedy routine that was recorded¬†in Montreal.
Chef’s Table, France ~ Not technically a film either, but an awesome collection of 4 food-focused documentaries that make a statement on the current state of French cooking by profiling chefs Alain Passard (Arpege), Michel Troisgros (Maison Troisgros), Adeline Grattard (Yam’Tcha) and Alexandre Couillon (La Marine).¬†
 

Les Bleus ~ Hailed as one of the best sports documentary on Netflix, Les Bleus looks¬†at French politics and society through the prism of the national football team. In particular, the documentary charts 20 turbulent years of the French national side, from the “bleu-blanc-beurre” team that united a country after winning the 1998 world cup to flopping completely in the subsequent World Cup and its more recent¬†resurgence of under Laurent Blanc¬†and Didier Deschamps. More than a documentary on football, it’s really about French society, hitting on issues of class, race and nationality. So add it to your queue!

 

There you have it! A pretty short list of French films that you should watch on Netflix. Where id all the movies go? Le sad. 

{This post is based on an original list first published on 12/27/2011 and was most recently updated on October 30 2017.}

40 thoughts on “Best French Films Streaming on Netflix Right Now

  1. I really loved the first OSS 117 – the second less but still good. You have missed La Tour Montparnasse Infernale which is brilliant! Agree about Amelie Poulain, too. Now I have to go back and think of other French films I love! Happy Holidays to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know… I like the Rio one, as much as the Le Caire one… I watched it on Air France form Paris to Atlanta a few years ago, thinking “Bon sang, Air France is really more expensive than American Airlines, but hey, we got free wine and individual TVs…”. Delusion of Grandeur (“La folie des Grandeurs”) is IMHO the best de Funes by far. With Montand on top. Got it finally ordered in Zone 1 DVD (may the Free Market gods curse DVD/Blue Ray zoning!!!!).
      “Monseigneur est… beau…
      Vous le pensez vraiment Blaze?
      Je flatte, Monseigneur…”

      Thanks to Laetitia for providing another final good reason to subscribe to Netflix

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  2. I debated having Amelie Poulain on the list and leaving out the Jean de Florette/Manon des Sources out… I guess it's good that I found more than 15 movies to list and had to narrow it down ūüėČ

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  3. Thank you for this list! I feel like I'm always falling back on my go-to's (Au Revoir les Enfants, Amelie, Le Placard) and it's great to have some new inspiration! wasn't I've Loved You So Long just heartbreaking?? Great list!

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  4. Hi Laetitia – just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy this list. Not only does it remind me of my first forays into French cinema – i first watched Jean de Florette/Manon des Sources back in middle school – but friends and I are slowly making our way through this list during a regular “french movie night”.

    I've recently started blogging and linked to this post from my latest piece: http://dreaminginfranglais.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/the-cure-for-election-day-a-summer-of-french-cinema/

    Megan (you may know me as @Meggo8)

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  5. I really liked OSS 117 as well, I wasn't expecting much going into it but it was a super fun movie.

    I can't believe how many French movies you guys get on Netflix down there! I get Canadian netflix and we have like one page. I'll have to check if we have any that are on your list, thanks for the suggestions!

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  6. Laetitia: I stumbled upon your blog looking for a French film to warm me up for my pending trip to Paris… Tomorrow! I am traveling with the French Embassy as part of a cultural exchange program with Congressional staff from DC and we are meeting with various officials within the French government. Thus far, I feel intellectually prepared for the meetings; however, tonight I must pack. I am actually more anxious about what I should be wearing in these meetings rather than what I should be saying. Do you have any suggestions on how to best pack for a “business professional” week in Paris? Any do’s and don’ts you think I should keep in mind? I appreciate any advice you have!

    Jess

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      • I’d like some pointers on business fashion on Paris. Gearing up for my own travels to Paris with my firm.

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      • Sofia – it’s pretty much the same as in the US, just a little more trendy and a little less conservative… though I guess it depends on the industry.

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  7. Am√©lie is a favorite. I have recently seen Romantics Anonymous, which is a very cute feel good romantic comedy, but as it involves two people with social anxiety, it feels more Fresh. But, I prefer the different quirky “rom-coms”. ūüėČ

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  8. Romantics Anonymous was cute indeed! Try The Day I Saw Your Heart. You might like it. How to get married and stay single definitely falls in the rom com category otherwise…

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  9. Thank u so much! I’m starting to learn french (on my own) so I thought I’d start watching french movies and you’ve given me a great selection! Merci

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  10. have been search for the film about a french woman painter starts out she is a housekeeper at a art collectors mothers home man sees the house keepers art and brings forth for the word to see what is the name of the film

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  11. I really like the Louis de Funes films. My favorite is “L’aile ou la cuisse?” but his others are great too. Too bad they aren’t on Netflix….

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  12. I’m thrilled for such a great list! Does anyone know any other French options for listening and reading French text? I’m going to France in a couple of months and I’m realizing that listening to as much French as possible is really helping me remember the language.

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  13. Thanks for this list! Found it while trying to find a list of French musicals and/or French comedies. Have bookmarked all of these. Les Chansons d’Amour should totally be on this list! Louis Garrell can get it!

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  14. Seducing Dr Lewis; Bon Cop, Bad Cop and Deux pere en flic – French Canadian films. Not sure if they’re on Netflix.

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  15. I find it interesting that you list no French candian/québécois movies. There is an abundant selection, perhaps not on Netflix, but definitely easy to find. ( Monsieur Lazhar (academy award winner), La grand seduction, CRAZY, Starbuck, etc.) Lots of good French movies, not all from France.

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    • I thought about putting Starbuck on there because it’s really good (and streaming on Netflix!). I actually do recommend it to everyone I talk to as a good french (language) film right now… I should add it to the list, great suggestions (can’t believe the french made a remake of it…)

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  17. I love Le Peuple Migrateur (Winged MIgration!).

    I agree with your picks of Amelie, Intouchables, and March of the Penguins. I haven’t seen The Warmest Color is Blue yet.

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