5. À bout portant (2010)
"À bout portant" (Known in the English-speaking world as "Point Blank") is one the best action films I have seen in recent years, the vivid action scenes combined with the appealing script and the rich characters make for a film that doesn't have a dull moment. Written and directed by Fred Cavaye, it follows the story of a male nurse who has to help a criminal escape from the hospital in order to save his wife who's being held hostage. What made this film for me is the fact that no CGI is used, there are no highly choreographed fights or pointless chases, it's just pure raw action that keeps your interested peaked.
4. Entre les murs (2008)
Known in the English speaking world as "The Class", Entre les murs is the biographical account of François Bégaudeau in which he describes his experiences as a literature teacher in a middle school in Paris. Entre les murs won the 2008 Cannes festival, making it the first French film to win it in 20 years. This film features exceptional characters that feel real and a strong script that really draws you into the film. This film is truly an achievement in the genre of realism and at times it even felt like I was watching a scripted documentary. Some critics have gone as far as calling it the best "Teacher Movie" ever made and deemed it mandatory viewing for anyone who has ever wanted to become a teacher.
3. The Artist (2011)
"The Artist" is definitely not a film for everyone, It is a black and white, silent musical that depicts the story of a silent film superstar that struggles to make the transition to spoken films. "The Artist" won 5 Oscars, including best Film and best Actor and it put France back on everyone's radar after becoming the first French film to win Best Film at the Academy Awards. "The Artist" features outstanding performances by Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo and a fantastic script that shines bright with quirkiness and uniqueness.
2. La Vie En Rose (2007)
The biographical account of Edith's Piaf turbulent road to become a diva is the film that made Marion Cotillard the superstar that she is today, Cotillard won the Academy Award for her performance, marking the first time an Oscar had been given for a French-language role. This film features an incredible soundtrack, an amazing performance by Cotillard, excellent cinematography and photography work and sets that really make you feel like you're walking the streets of 1940's Paris. Simply a must-watch for everyone.
1. Le Scaphandre et Le Papillon (2007)
This is possibly in the top 5 of my favorite movies ever. "Le Scaphandre et Le Papillon" is the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby. A successful editor for a French fashion magazine who suffers a massive stroke and is left unable to communicate. Bauby and his nurse develop a system in which he's able to communicate by blinking, the only action he can perform and he goes on to write his autobiography with the help of the nurse. This film has beautiful, and I really mean gorgeous cinematography and photography work. The amazing script is enhanced by Mathieu Amalric's performance but also by the technical elements which are simply flawless. If you have not watched this film yet do yourself a favor and shut down your computer and I really do mean now and go watch it, you won't regret it.
Honorific mentions: Copie Conforme, Intouchables, L'Herisson, Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
5. À bout portant (2010)