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French Fancies for the Uninformed

ambulance serif;”>I’ve never really been much of a foreign film person. If I’m going to see a movie, treatment I don’t want to have to read it, and I definitely don’t want to end up losing interest halfway through because I can’t make up my mind on whether to read the translation or watch the actors. You can’t do both. Or at least I can’t.

 Foreign films were always reserved for the really cool, hipster kids who understood the abstract storylines and could somehow relate to that Polish lady who finds life again in bread-making. Uncultured as I am, for some reason, it all kind of went over my head. I left it to the cool kids, and went back to my rom-coms and high action flicks. 

Lately, however, I find myself being sucked into the world of French film. Having done French for the Leaving Cert, I always found the language poetic and musical, as opposed to its European neighbour, German, which sounds (at times) more rough and ready than romantic. Unfortunately, due to a frightfully short retention span, I have no advantage in having learned French at school, as despite six years of careful study, I’ve forgotten most of the lovely language, excluding how to say my name and hello (bonjour, je m’appelle Lisa!).

 All this said, the charm of the language and the definition of its culture in the movies has not been wasted on me, and has so moved me to step into the cultural abyss and broaden my horizons. Nothing says culture like dabbling in the language of love, and so I’ve picked my top three rather fantastic French fancies for you to feast on:

Jeux d’enfants (Love Me If You Dare)

This one I’ve actually seen already, but would happily watch again as the magnificent Marion Cotillard brings glamour to the role and real-life romance to the film, as she stars alongside her husband, Guillaume Canet. An enigmatic tale of childhood romance, Jeux d’enfants offers a quirky twist to the prospect of one true love.

Les émotifs anonymes (Romantics Anonymous)

Les émotifs anonymes was the first trailer I saw that I thought could maybe change my view of watching foreign film. It tells the story of Angelique and Jean-René, two people with the same crippling shyness who must learn to overcome their fears in order to express their feelings for one another and save Jean René’s business. Interesting fact: both actors actually suffer from severe shyness, and both attended real Romantics Anonymous meetings.

 Un amour de jeunesse (Goodbye First Love)

We get a dose of mixed cultures here in Mia Hansen-Løve’s Franco-German examination of first love. Described as a “fluent, confident and deeply felt” movie, this film will pluck the heartstrings of anyone who’s experienced a first love, young or old. Refreshing in that it doesn’t demean young love as being any less worthy of note than that love we experience when we are older, this outstanding film will have even the most uncultured of viewer searching for more.

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