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.}

French Movies at the 2014 AFI-EU Film Showcase

2014 AFI-EU Film Showcase The 2014 AFI-EU Film Showcase opens today at¬†AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland. Presented by the American Film Institute (AFI) in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States and EU Member States, the festival showcases the best in current European filmmaking and this year’s selection includes¬†more than 50 films shown throughout the month of December (the 27th edition of the festival runs from December 3-21, 2014.)

French and French-language films are well represented, as always:

  • The Dardenne brothers’ “Two days, one night” (showing Fri, Dec 12, 7:30 and Sun, Dec 14, 3:40), Belgium’s official selection for the Oscars
  • Girlhood (Thu, Dec 4, 9:45pm and Sat, Dec 6, 10pm)
  • Marie’s Story (Sun, Dec 7, 5:30pm and Mon, Dec 8, 9:15pm)
  • If you don’t I will (Sun, Dec 14, 1:30pm and Tue, Dec 16, 7:30pm)
  • Anne Fontaine’s Gemma Bovery which is premiering on the festival’s closing night and is a clever nod on Flaubert’s Madame Bovary¬†(Dec 20, 8pm.) The screening will be following by a reception sponsored by the European Union Delegation to the United States.
  • Jackie in the Kingdom of Women (Sat, Dec 20, 10:10pm and Sun, Dec 21, 7:45pm)
Gemma Bovery, with Fabrice Luchini and Gemma Arterton

Gemma Bovery, with Fabrice Luchini and Gemma Arterton

On Saturdays December 6, 13 and 20, from 5-7pm, the theater is also offering wine samples from the countries showcased that particular day. That means French wine on the 20th! On the 14th, don’t miss a special free screening of 3 short films on December 14 at 5:45pm. The films include Castello Cavalcanti by¬†Wes Anderson and a French language movie called Les L√©zards.

Click here for more information on the 2014 AFI-EU Film Showcase and to view a full schedule.

Angelika Pop-UP at Union Market

Angelika Pop Up at union Market

The Angelika Film Center in New York City‚Äôs SoHo neighborhood is¬†a cultural institution¬†for arthouse cinema.¬†Its affiliate at the Mosaic District in Fairfax is FABULOUS! It’s an elegant, state of the art, 8 screens theater where you can nibble on tadoori popcorn and reserve your seat in advance. If it weren’t so far in Fairfax, I’d go there all the time! Luckily, soon enough, there will be an Angelika movie theater near Union Market, right here in downtown, DC. Until then (then being 2015), Union Market is giving us a little¬†preview¬†of what it will be like with an Angelika pop-up.

The pop-up opens this weekend with screening of Queen Margot, a French period¬†drama featuring Daniel Auteuil and Isabelle Adjani about the tension between the Catholics and the Protestant Huguenots fighting to control France in the late 16th Century. ¬†You can watch the trailer here, but it’s basically full of love and murders… and blood. (Screenings 6/13 ‚Äď 6/19 at¬†12:30pm, 3:45pm, 7pm as well as a 10:15p Friday and Saturday. Tickets here). It’s also showing Supermensh (more details here) and has a slew of great independent art-house films coming up for the rest of the summer.

French Films at the 24th Washington Jewish Film Festival

The Washington Jewish Film Festival kicks off its 24th year this week. Between February 27 and March 9, 64 films from 18 countries will be shown in the District. While the festival is honouring legendary Israeli film maker Avi Nesher and showcasing Polish cinema, there are (as always) a number of great French films on the agenda.

French Films at Jewish Film Festival

A complete schedule of the festival can be found on at wjff.org. One of the films I’m personally curious about is The Jewish Cardinal, about former Archbishop of Paris Jean-Marie Lustiger. Known as the Jewish priest,¬†he maintained his Jewish identity despite converting to Catholicism at a young age and rising through the ranks of the Church. I’m also looking forward to John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo featuring Woody Allen and Vanessa Paradis. ¬†Turturro, who directed and acts in the film, will be interviewed by WJLA-TV/ABC7 after the March 7th screening. I also think the closing night film “Cupcakes” sound adorable as does “Snuggle With the Stars,” a pajama-party at the Navy Memorial’s underground theater to watch the Oscars¬ģ broadcast on a giant 2-story HD screen, while sipping champagne and munching on snack food and pizza.

My french Film Festival Point Com

 

MyFrenchFilmFestival.com was quite a success last year with 750,000 film viewings in different 189 countries so it’s not a surprise that the leading worldwide French film festival on the Internet is back on our computers. The 4th edition of MyFrenchFilmFestival.com takes place between 17th¬†January and 17th¬†February and feature¬†10 features and 10 shorts in 13 different languages. ¬†That’s all great, but my favourite part of the whole festival? The poster! I find it quite brilliant of course ūüėČfrench film festival, french films, french movies, french, french culture, how to watch french films online, movie festivals

 

You can download the film on iTunes for a fee but if you’re in DC, you can also screen them for free at Malmaison and Napoleon Bistro and Lounge. Starting on February 3rd, Napoleon will screen Augustine and¬†Le jour des Corneilles (2/3 at 7PM),¬†Au galop and¬†Comme un Lion (2/4 at 7PM) and¬†J’enrage de son Absence and Mobile Home (2/5 at 7PM). After that the festival continues at Malmaison with¬†La Vierge, les Coptes et Moi and¬†Mariage √† Mendoza (2/6 at 7PM) and all of the short films on the 8th.

I haven’t seen or heard much about any of the films (Augustine does screen on Netflix right now though) so I can’t really tell you much about them. Let me know if you see any of them and they are any good though!!