Amazon Prime has become an impressive repository of good movies from around the globe. Sans language barriers, Amazon adds outstanding cinematic experience every day to its list. France has always been the Mecca of art cinema and no surprise the streaming service maintains a sprawling list of French movies. Since the list is rather long for an easy catch, here is a list of 16 really good French movies on Amazon Prime Video available right now for streaming. ‘Bon visionnage!’ The list includes French romantic films, French drama films and even French horror films.
16. The Intouchables (2012)
Based on a true story, ‘The Intouchables‘ closely follows the complex relationship developed between a rich paraplegic and an Ex-con man who is on the wrong side of his luck. The complexities of interpersonal communication and exchange between two men, whose persona’s are miles apart, are wrapped in subtle comedic situations. Both of their lives are changed forever by the end of the movie. ‘The Intouchables’ is that kind of movie which you long to watch after a hectic day, laughing out loud and thinking about human vulnerabilities at the same time.
15. Avida (2006)
The French dark comedy ‘Avida’ follows the hilarious and absurd events after the kidnapping of a ‘wealthy’ dog goes wrong. When a deaf-mute partner with 2 ketamine junkies to kidnap a billionaire’s dog for ransom, the loose gang has no idea of what in the offing. The intelligent billionaire lady keeps a scheme for the kidnappers, to fulfil her bucket list before she dies! Featuring Benoît Delépine and Albert Dupontel, ‘Avida‘ gives us some hilarious moments that would make us laugh for a couple of days after watching the movie.
14. Wolves in the Snow (2002)
‘Wolves in the Snow’ is an intense family drama that turns out to be a crime drama as the narration progresses. Set in Montreal, the movie stars Marie-Josée Croze and Jean-Philippe Écoffey in the lead roles. ‘Wolf in the Snow’ opens up with a marital brawl between the couple Antoine and Lucie, at the end of which Antoine dies. After Antoine’s body has been disappeared mysteriously, Lucie finds herself trapped inside his labyrinth of lies. As far as she explores Antoine’s secret life, her life is interrupted by gangsters, money laundering mafia and bloody violence. Eventually, as a matter of survival, Lucie learns the art of living in a wilderness of the hunters and the preys, even to certain extend to enjoy the adrenalin rush in that life by the time the movie reaches its climax.
13. The Auction (2013)
Sébastien Pilote’s family drama ‘The Auction’ chronicles the sheep farmer Gaby, played by Gabriel Arcand. Gaby is among the last veteran farmers in Canada who hold on to their property despite the looming economic crisis. He is firm on his decision not to sell the property. But, things take a worse turn towards a crisis when Gaby’s daughter comes from Montreal to him asking for help to keep her house. Gaby must pick one from the choices available for him, the daughter or his sole property, the family farm. ‘The Auction’ takes us for a poetic and moving journey into the layers of father-daughter familial bond in the backdrop of start social and economic realities.
12. The Guardians (2017)
Set in the ruins of France in the World War 1 era, ‘The Guardians’ tells the story of a group of French rural women. They step forward to run the Paridier farm in the village when all their men are fighting a war in faraway lands. But, with the arrival of the U.S. Army, the village life turns upside down with new events and gossips start disrupting the rural serenity of the French Village. ‘The Guardians‘, which has been hailed as one of the good World War 1 movies, has Nathalie Baye and Laura Smet in the lead roles.
11. Irreversible (2002)
On an ordinary-seeming night, the beautiful Parisian woman Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass. ‘Irreversible’ starts a head-spinning rewind of the events beginning from the attack. The movie follows a reverse-chronological order of events as we see Alex’s lover hiring two criminals to hunt down the rapist. Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel play the unlucky couple in the movie which is written and directed by Gaspar Noé. The non-linear narrative and the cyclic nature of events evoke a philosophical sense of time in the viewer. But, the irreversible never indulge in the introspection but culminates as a perfect revenge drama.
10. Aliyah (2012)
‘Aliyah‘ features Alex, a young Parisian who is at the crossroads of his personal and professional lives. He makes a living by dealing drugs and most of his earnings go to his demanding brother, Isaac. When opportunity strikes in the form of his cousin, who is all set to open a restaurant in Tel Aviv, Alex decides to migrate. But, he had to deal with a complicated relationship and his problematic brother, two circumstances challenge his plans to change his destiny. The movie, which has Pio Marmaï and Cédric Kahn in the lead roles, explore relationships, urban life and human helplessness in the face of circumstances.
9. Frantz (2016)
François Ozon’s World War 1 drama ‘Frantz‘ tells the poignant story of friendship between a German and a French soldier. When the French war veteran Frantz visits a German village, which is still grieving Germany’s fall, the inhabitants start to ask questions. The mysterious French man becomes the talk of the town because of his visit to a martyred German soldiers grave. While rest of the villagers are dubious about his intentions, the deceased German soldier’s fiancee a young German woman finds a companion in Frantz. The movie explores love and loss of the time of war and life of those who survive the war.
8. Intimate Enemies (2007)
Florent Emilio Siri’s war movie ‘Intimate Enemies’ tells the unusual tale of brotherhood between a young French lieutenant who has been assigned to war-torn Algeria. Serving at a French outpost in Algeria, he befriends an Algerian boy. He also meets a disillusioned war veteran. While Algeria fights for her freedom from France, the new-found friendships test his moral and nationalistic credentials. ‘Intimate Enemies’ is a thinking piece of cinema for war movie lovers.
7. Cold War (2018)
Technically a polish film, ‘Cold War‘ is a Polish-French production that set the 2018 film festival circuit on fire. The movie is an intense love story in the backdrop of post-war Poland. A man and a woman, both hailing from different backgrounds have a rendezvous which ends up in disquiet and condemnation. A relationship between the two may seem almost impossible. But both fall for each other and what follows is a painful and poetic love story in the war-torn Poland of the 50s.
6. Little White Lies (2010)
When their friend met with a fatal accident, that doesn’t stop a group of friends to go on their annual vacation. As they start celebrating their off-days at a beach with drinks and laughter, their hidden secrets and suppressed personal grief start to ooze out. The traumatic event happened to their friend has its impact on every one of them and the unexpected developments test their relationships, convictions, friendship, and moral ambiguity. An underworld of little white lies reveals in front of the group as every person has their own sack to empty. ‘Little White Lies‘ features François Cluzet and Marion Cotillard in the lead.
5. Three Worlds (2012)
‘Three Worlds‘ revolves around a soon to be married young man, an accident victim and an accidental witness. Al is an ambitious young man who aims a promotion both in his social status and professional life. On the eve of his marriage with his boss’ wealthy daughter, he had a hit-and-run accident. He starts feeling guilty in the next morning and tries to inquire about the accident victim. But, he realizes the shocking truth that a woman, named Juliette, has witnessed his act of yesterday’s night from her balcony.
4. Dreams of Dust (2008)
Director Laurent Salgues’ much-acclaimed drama ‘Dreams of Dust’ chronicles the life of an African gold-mining community with all its trivialities. The members of the community, as labourers of the nearby mine, burrow long tunnels in the sand-land for tiny pieces of nuggets. They continue this for days and months until the tunnels collapse, only to start anew. This hellish loop of helplessness and pathetic existence is at the core of the movie. The director reminds us of the futility of existence and the meaning of dignity of life through the two central characters, the Nigerian farmer Mocktar, and his female counterpart, Coumba. Both of them are reeling under sudden and unexpected loss of their beloved and show unmatched will and courage to overcome the pain and suffering.
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3. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)
‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer‘, a German-French film, is set in 18th century Paris, and tells the tragic story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, who was known as an olfactory genius. The movie, which is directed by Tom Tykwer and starring Ben Whishaw, follows Jean-Baptiste’s rise and fall with a shocking climax sequence. Jean becomes obsessed with the idea of making the world’s finest perfume and he tries to preserve scents in the search for the ultimate perfume. He finds his raw material in the aroma of young womanhood and 12 young women are killed under suspicious circumstances in the city. As panic breaks out among parents who have daughters, Jean is inexorable in his quest for the final ingredient of his masterpiece.
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2. Laurence Anyways (2012)
Set during the late 1980s and early 1990s, this is a decade-long chronicle of doomed love between a woman named Fred (Frédérique) and a transgender woman named Laurence (then living as a man) who reveals her inner desire to become her true self; a woman. While the film’s pivotal focus is on Lawrence’s struggle to embrace her true self amidst the ridicule and disgust; a more thoughtful and unconventional angle is the generous focus on Fred, striving for breath and co-existence when her world is equally shattered by the decision made by the man she loves. A melancholy melodrama totally worth the slightly long runtime.
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1. Paris, Je T’Aime (2006)
‘Paris, Je T’Aime’ is an iconic feature that brought together twenty acclaimed filmmakers from around the world. They looked at Paris, the city through their different viewpoints and directed 18 short stories, each stand for the love towards the city of lights. All the 18 shorts are set in a different part of Paris with a different cast and director. ‘Faubourg Saint-Denis,’ has Tom Tykwer directs Natalie Portman who plays an American actress and Melchior Belson, a blind student as her devetoed fan.
Christopher Doyle follows a salesman, played by Barbet Schroeder in his segment titled, ‘Porte de Choisy, through the allies of Chinatown. In Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Parc Monceau’ Nick Nolte and Ludivine Sagnier play father and daughter. Gurinder Chadha narrates an interracial romance in the backdrop of Paris’s romantic beauty. Animator and filmmaker Sylvain Chomet tells the story of a pair living and breathing mimes in Eiffel Tower. In ‘Le Marais,’ Gus Van Sant directs Gaspard Ulliel who falls for a handsome gentleman, played by Elias McConnell. Isabel Coixet’s ‘Bastille’ explores the dilemma of a married man who is to make his final choice between his wife, played by Miranda Richardson, and his lover, played by Leonor Watling. In Nobuhiro Suwa’s ‘Place des Victoires,’ the legendary Juliette Binoche plays a grieving mother who is consoled by the cowboy, Willem Dafoe. Richard LaGravanese’s ‘Pigalle’ has a married man, played by Bob desperate wife, played by Fanny Ardant. Gérard Depardieu and Frédéric Auburtin direct Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara a couple in their last meeting for a final pre-divorce discussion in ‘Quartier Latin.’ ‘Tuileries,’ which is directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, has Steve Buscemi plays a man who learns a lesson about local etiquette in the Paris Metro. Walter Salles’s ‘Loin du 16ème’ follows a housekeeper, played by Catalina Sandino Moreno, who longs for a child but quench her motherly thirst by tends to the baby of her boss. Elijah Wood joins hands with director Vincenzo Natali for the vampire story ‘Quartier de la Madeleine.’ Wes Craven’s fantasy short ‘Père-Lachaise’ shows an engaged young man, played by Rufus Sewell, takes romantic anecdotes from the ghost of Oscar Wilde, played by Alex Payne. In Alexander Payne’s comedy ’14th Arrondissement, Margo Martindale plays a postal worker from Colorado who shares her thoughts on her visit to Paris. Oliver Schmitz’s ‘Place des Fêtes,’ Bruno Podalydès’ ‘Montmartre’ and ‘Quartier des Enfants Rouges’ by Olivier Assayas are the other segments in the omnibus movie. ‘Paris, Je T’Aime’ received critical acclaim when premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
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