4 Movies Every Francophile Should Get For Christmas


Still on the hunt for the perfect Christmas gift – or want to purchase one for yourself? If you didn’t see anything you liked in my guide to 39 French gifts for the Francophile in your life, you may want to check out this guide to the best movies set in France. (There’s a TV show in there as well, full disclosure.) Now remember, these are about France – I figure I’d leave it to sister site Parislogue to cover that much-loved, much-filmed city.

Chocolat

When a single mother and her six-year-old daughter move to rural France and open a chocolate shop – with Sunday hours – across the street from the local church, they are met with some skepticism. But as soon as they coax the townspeople into enjoying their delicious products, they are warmly welcomed.

That’s what IMDB says, and it’s true, of course. But it’s really about delicious food filmed lovingly, Johnny Depp (also filmed livingly), and a rebel with an excellent cause – amour. What else could you want from a film? Chocolat is a delightful movie that will leave you hungry for all manner of things.

A Year in Provence

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This is a series based on Peter Mayle’s book A Year in Provence, which, if you haven’t read it, stop what you are doing, buy it, pour yourself some pastis or red wine, and read it immediately. And then buy Toujours Provence, his sequel, which is equally wonderful. Then you can go ahead and watch this DVD to see it all come to life.

It’s slow-paced and warm-hearted, and you’ll need to see it twice because the first time you’ll be distracted by the breathtaking scenery. I really enjoyed where this story takes the viewer.

Le Grand Bleu: The Big Blue

When this film came out, they released the original version, which rocks. And they also released an English version – meaning, they filmed the entire film a second time, in English – and that version sucks. You want the original French version, and the director’s cut (which this link and the one in the title above will take you to).

This is another slow-paced film, and almost none of it takes place in France. But the French version shows the inherent… Frenchness in each of the two main characters, even though they couldn’t be more different than each other. It’s also one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. And the best part, ladies? Your guy will love this film – and you get to look at the delicious Jean-Marc Barr for a couple of hours. He’s frighteningly handsome.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Are you planning a trip to France, and you’re on the fence about whether or not to visit Normandy? Buy this DVD, and you’ll see why it’s one of the most popular French regions for tourists. And Catherine Deneuve is divine, as always.

Photo: ChocolatThe Umbrellas, Le Grand Bleu, A year in provence