Top 15 Essential French Drama Films that are apt for Gout!
Cinema has been almost a religion for years now. People get united and consider it as an international phenomenon of the millennium given how different countries are making different films for a while now. France, out of all have been making many guiding films for the cinema industry to follow and the reason behind that might be rawness and the transparency that their films have. Right from the Lumiere brothers to the New Wave, the potential of the movies have been raising, giving you a new theatrical experience. France has been pushing movies forward reminding us what we love the cinema in the first place. The country has been propelling the cinema into the 20th century and no country has managed to sustain the integrity or the potential in this century.
From the mind-blowing 3D experimental films to the sultry thrillers; you can find a truckload of films (especially the honest love stories) and all the films that are qualified on this list are predominantly of French language and are partially French-funded with exceptions. Here’s a list of best 15 French Drama Films to watch for you.
Best 15 French Drama Films to Watch:
#1 Lil’ Quinquin (2014):
Bruno Dumont is known to be the most provocative director of the French film industry and the reason behind it is that he has been distilling the scope of work and the miniseries that he has premiered during the Cannes Film Festival. He has screened his way and managed to make films that come entirely out of vision. Lil’ Quinquin is a tale of bumbling small-town investigators with lots of rural characters that are encountered in a long way. The mystery of the movie is around Bernard Pruvost, the frazzled police who tries to correlate the clues that are thrown his way. The movie starts with the murder of a woman inside the cow and gets bizarre but the patient and the elegant approach he has given shows the complicated world full of aimless rebellions. Quinquin, a teen raised in the farm with nothing but a vivid scorn for the law doesn’t actually have anything to do with anything but the one who stays extremely ambivalent about everything along with his surroundings. The captain is the only figure who is concerned about the justice but is extremely incompetent. While the Dumont’s characters are naturally flawed and who try to make their way in the tough situations, Quinquin takes the motif to a plane of mastery.
#2 Swimming Pool (2003):
A sultry neo-noir film as it is, the film is rich with ambiguity and atmosphere, directed by Francois Ozon. This film deals with Sarah Morton, a British novelist who lives in the countryside and who are struggling to fight her writer’s block. Swimming Pool appears as a casual film in the start till the time where Sarah gets into the palatial home of a publisher. Here, she gets all the creepiness in front of her when the daughter of the publisher launches sexual excursions in the home forcing her into a scenario that she never expected. On constant exposure, with time to time, Sarah Morton gets drawn to the sexual adventures of Julie, fascinated by the mystery enveloping them. The older woman in the picture considers the experience because it drives a spark in him, searching for it. The sensual plot of the movie building a thickening violence and also the third act complicating the quest for the potboiler. According to the viewers, we experience a lot of turmoil and the movies open to the interpretation of the lines in-between. Is there anything that is real about the movie or is it just a desire of Sarah conjuring to the thriller? The question in the picture remains unanswered and Ozon has pretty succeeded in delivering what the plot has in it.
#3 Of Gods and Men (2010):
The early scenes of this film will make you experience the sacredness of the monastic subjects. The eight monks that are residing in the mountain community is shown through a routine of rituals, the daily prayers, and echoes monotonously going through the hallowed chambers. Providing the spiritual and medical assistance to the Muslim neighbors, they are shown to inhibit the pretty peaceful world where tranquility plays the main picture. The monks find their existence in harmony supported by the bloodthirsty fundamentalists and as a result, the crux of the film starts forming. Based on the assassination of 7 monks that happened in Algeria, this Beauvois film takes liberty with the scrutinization of the simplicity. If you’re an atheist, you can strictly neglect the religious context in the movie and look up to it as the restrained personal conviction in the face of death. Every time you see a monk in this film contemplating to his fate, you can see a deeper method taking place beneath the surface conveying a pretty powerful idea to an extent that the tragedy is made pretty remarkable keeping the movie, a relevant subject till date and is an interesting watch for people who are looking for controversial films.
#4 The Man on the Train (2002):
Patrice Leconte is the name that has been widespread in the film industry for almost a decade, coming from 1982. Tagged as the most under-appreciated filmmaker, he has managed to give some authentic films and his career reached its peak with his “Girl on the Bridge” during 1999. However, it’s “The Man on the Train” which made blisters to it because of the most controversial plot it contains. If you look at the movie, the wonderful and wise story where there is an encounter between an aging bank thief and the retired teacher with the big score is boisterous to watch. However, the Man of the Train feels like it is the last film of the legendary director as it possesses a kind of wistful spirit that we usually see in most of the farewell films. Therefore, even if the farewell is not announced and we are kind of hoping that he would make more films, the film does see to contain a tinge of nostalgia. The friendship with two aging men is not an eye-treat, neither is it extremely sentimental but the fraternal love that they share over a weekend is nothing less than a touching love story.
#5 La Sapienza (2014):
The Sapience, translated for La Sapienza provides you a fodder that we find in an indie cliche drama. The story is about an estranged couple who desires to move to the countryside in order to raise their spirits by helping two troubled teens through their problems and to give them a new kind of hope. The movie is amusing as we see the importance of the arts, in the hands of Eugene Green, who is known for blending the storytelling with different kind of art and literary moments. Therefore, for a while, the movie really seems familiar as the writer-director projects a movie with poignancy as well as the scholarly inquiries about it. The title of the movie reflects the wisdom stretching to many centuries and is applied in the 17th-century Baroque moment. Talking about Francesco Borromini, the movie stays obsessed about it whose work almost becomes a character in the movie. Green has excelled in juxtaposing the past with the present and there are moments in the movie where you see that there’s a blend of emotional and intellectual experiences between people and a deadpan comedy that disarms the characters from the seriousness. Gorgeous in every frame, this movie is a cerebral narrative that manages to bring life in the process.
#6 The Class (2008):
A Palme d’Or winner, this movie is a Laurent Cantet’s surprise. Made as the first French film, the movie is known to get the Cannes Prize in the 20 years of the history for a proper reason. The movie shows an uncompromising look the educational system of the contemporary world and therefore, is not a classic French film. The movie shows you a searing exposure at the dreamy world as cliche as it sounds. Following the story of a passionate teacher the movie displays his juggle between educating the working class and as well as befriending these students in the process. Showing the dynamic of the classroom and the education of the students going off tracks, this movie is almost a portrait that displays the education as a constant process of negotiation but with time, it extends to the broader institution as angry kids are ostracized in it because of their unfortunate upbringing. The movie tells the stories of wayward teens, their journeys from Mali and their possible deportation as well giving you a clear picture of the character and how he deals with the transformation of the class. With the battle raging on, this teacher tries to win the fight of every student making the film worth watching.
#7 The Beat that My Heart Skipped (2005):
Jacques Audiard is one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the industry. If you’re familiar with the French films, you might have already known about the film “A Prophet” that got released back in 2009 and how the movie has helped him in establishing himself. Similar to the story of “Fingers”, made by James Toback in 1978; The Beat that my Heart Skipped is the remake that every remaking film director should watch. As the name suggests, this movie is indeed a classic and it justifies the idea of a remake, just right. A thriller that will take your breath away, this movie narrates the tale of a gifted musician whose life gets torn between the life of a dream and a crime on his journey of becoming a pianist. Audiard has successfully managed to draft his fourth feature film as it tells the story of a gangland with the precision of someone playing the stressful, sexy and the elegant “The Mephisto Waltz”. Marked as the best film since the Jean-Pierre Melville days, this film also boasts Duris’ performance and you will be left teary-eyed towards the end.
#8 Something in the Air (2012):
Just like the Olivier Assayas’ films, this one is focused on the idea of reconciling the past with the present. There is something spectacular about the film and therefore, this can be tagged as a cine-memoir. An unfailing, wide-eyed and the delicate saga, this movie is about a young floppy hairy man rooted from the political activism of the years. The film has an artistic awakening about the film which leads him to the cinema with the same title. The movie contains a reimagination of the post-generation with a group of kids that are as beautiful as the ideals and the thoughts that they contain. This movie might seem an autobiography but has a lesser strict paradigm about it making it supple and as well as entertaining. In one word, if you look at the movie, this movie is a painting and can be looked at it through a rose glass. If you observe the previous movies of Assayas’, this movie is a highly concentrated personal film that contains a conflict of defining interests and if you observe a primer, this is just as beautiful as all the films that are ever made.
#9 House of Tolerance (2011):
If you know the French industry, there are countless movies that are made about the prostitutes. However, this movie is completely different when it comes to them and the credit goes to Bertrand Bonello. Set in the bedrooms and the parlors of the Paris brothel, this film is sealed hermetically and at times, it will also resemble the famous “Flowers of Shanghai”. Both of the films never go out of the context and therefore, when you’re watching your film, you can get high yourself. Though this film is a fiction, it has a palpable atmosphere about itself and acts as a portal that takes you to the past. If you’re looking for a movie that gives you an individual pleasure, this movie is the perfect fit as it also spreads your attention among different types of prostitutes. The lead of the film goes through different girls and pays attention to the individual perils of each by analyzing and observing the girls. Bonello, therefore, carves a perverted atmosphere and makes a feminist masterpiece where the women are denied of everything but not their sexual power. In a direction, this movie is an empowerment tale and can give you the narcotized experience which builds an ending to the provocative and the bold scarring shots.
#10 Being 17 (2016):
Are you one of those people who can tolerate slow and sluggish screenplays? If that’s the case, this movie is a perfect fit for you. A hyper-naturalistic movie as it is, this movie isn’t the least that you expect and it shows the violence of a boy turning into a man.
A touching drama about raging hormones, bullying and sexual awakening — and the strongest film in many years by the post-New Wave French director André Téchiné.
Being 17 is written beautifully, where a boy is seen to be desperately in love with his bully. Celine Sciamma has managed to beautifully display the bond between two teen boys as they grow up between the mountains of Pyrenees. Damien is characterized as a vague and reckless white kid while Thomas is shown as the reflexively and reserved bi-racial student. At first, both of them seem to dislike each other but however, Thomas trips Damien, once in the middle of the class for no reason. As a result, the animus of both of them gets rooted in the self-doubts making the film extraordinary to watch. Their tangled landscapes and the lust shows the movie to be extravagant. You might find the movie’s resemblance to the latest ‘Call me by your Name”, because of the chemistry that has been shared between the male leads.
#11 A Christmas Tale (2008):
An understated drama just like other movies of Arnaud Desplechin, this movie has characters that struggle with troubled memories, neuroses and as well as thorny problems. This movie is the finest example of the fixation of the characters as it shifts between a series of different series through a family dynamic but still maintains a focus on the correlation. Catherine Deneuve in this film plays the role of a matriarch who looks over the network of children, in-laws, and grandchildren who flit in the circulating plot in their own mini-plots. As a result, you can call this movie a freewheeling cinematic experience. This movie is less about how the family comes up with the illnesses and is more about the how the relatives can actually create distance within the family and why it is important to stay together as a family in this sophisticated world full of juggles and why it is important to clear the chaos out. Therefore, if you’re looking for a full-fledged family drama which can bring the intensity in you, out this movie is a perfect fit given everything.
#12 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007):
This movie is said to be the one that Julian Schnabel has been born to make. An adaption of the novel, this movie shows the potential for the new medium that the film industry has. Jean Dominique’s life story as the memoir is shown where his last years as the editor of the fashion magazine has been explored. His months where he felt as if he’s trapped in his own body after suffering from a stroke at 45 are also shown, making it one hell of a authobiography and the best thing about this movie is that Bauby has narrated his entire story to the nurse just with the eyelids, making it not less than “The Theory of Everything”. As a film, this movie gives you the unforgettable and devastating but life-affirming look while showing you the fratility of the humans. The smallness of the human is provided through the perfect lens which is why we should start appreciating the infinity of the world around us. “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” is a movie that contains a staggering performance and it has the power to change your appreciation for life. If you know someone who’s suicidal becaue of losing hope in life, show this movie to them.
#13 Goodbye First Love (2011):
Mia Hansen’s second film has made the audience sweep their feat off because of the sensitivity it holds, wrapped in the future story. A movingly detached film as it is, the movie is lost in time and lumping it with the rest of the movies in the genre might seem extremely wrong. “Goodbye First Love” is a maturefilm right from the first frame even when the lead in the movie has to be grown a lot. However, the director is not interested in rehashing the tropes and therefore concentrates more on the protagonist and her adventures with a directness. Therefore, like Lolita this movie makes you feel as if you’re living it and the maturation of the girl adheres with the plot beyond the natural and indeed erratic trajectory. As she falls in love for the first time, she goes through a rollercoaster ride and gets back on the feet starting with a blast of zeal and ending with a silent needle drop. “Goodbye First Love”, therefore is a film full of volcanic passion and watching it will only make you feel cool and beautiful.
#14 Faces Places (2017):
The impermanant and the final cast in the movie will manage to project a shadow after you have watching this moving at the same time funny movie. The 88-year-old writer teams up with the street photographer and goes on a whimsical tour to the countryside of the France and you will love the writer of the plot for this. The main plan in the movie is to drive a bucolic village to the other vilage and invite the locals to pose for the photographers in the mobile photobooth that JR has created.
Hyper-realistic faces which fill a canvas, revealing every pore and blemish, are considered a cliche. But in Faces Places, French filmmaking veteran Agnes Varda and her compatriot and collaborator Jean-Paul Beaujon – otherwise known as JR – put up a convincing case to the contrary.
They make a beguilingly odd couple. He’s a 31-year-old city boy and creature of the internet in a pork pie hat and dark glasses. She’s 88 with two-tone hair – white and dark red – and she still writes letters. She also loves the country.
As a result, JR manages to create thousands of printouts of the portraits and post them in the environments. Varda who loves the idea is compelled to photograph these faces so that they are not just in the memory being a woman who is destined to leave her entire will on the movie. This movie is great because it shows the beauty of the artists as they commemorate alongw ith the farmers, laborers, the postmen and people who does all the other jobs as well. Varda and JR are not only validating their photography subjects but are asking them to help them with the idea that images are bigger than our bodies, as they affirm out existence in the form of two dimensional pictures.
#15 Summer Hours (2008):
Summer Hours is one of the audacious filmopgrahies made by Oliver Assayas as the working director till date. He is one of those filmmakers who managed to span through different genres and characters, and Summer Hours will always be tagged as the best illustration with all the chief skills embedded in it.
It’s the ideal setting for a textured look at the way that memory percolates across multiple generations even as it can seem frozen in time within the confines of a single location. While audiences who first encountered Assayas on beguiling projects such as “Personal Shopper” may find his narrative style opaque, “Summer Hours” lays everything out there, entirely through thoughtful exchanges about the nature of ownership and the personal dimensions that possessions accrue with time. Some viewers may find the movie’s story almost too simple for its own good, but its emotions resonate on a level that takes time (and multiple viewings) to fully absorb. Such is the singular brilliance of Assayas’ cinema
These kind of movies are naturally known to be existent only in the moment and is defined by several psychological struggles that afflict the characters. In any case, the plot is about Jeremie, Adrienne and Frederic who are known to assemble at the countryside home to decide what they should be doing of their possessions. This movie is an ideal setting for textured looks and the way, the memory percolates across the generations with a frozen time frame makes the movie authentic.
That being said, given above are the list of best French Films that one can watch. They are exotic and exuberant with a lot of things happening inside and outside the plot. They cover a wide range of plots and therefore, can be watched by people who are looking for any kind of movie. Be it a romantic drama or a suspense thriller, you can find a movie of your kind here and you can spend some qualitative time watching the movie.