The 100 best French films: 20-11



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Van Gogh (1991)

Dir Maurice Pialat (Jacques Dutronc, Alexandra London, Bernard Le Coq)

This stunningly photographed and skilfully acted film uses an accretion of naturalistic detail to present an emotionally restrained but utterly compelling account of the last three


The Green Ray (1983)

Dir Eric Rohmer (Marie Rivière, Vincent Gauthier, Rosette, Béatrice Romand)

It's July, and Delphine (Rivière), a young Parisian secretary, is suddenly at a loss regarding her holiday; a friend has just backed out of a trip to Greece, her other


Au hasard Balthazar (1966)

Dir Robert Bresson (Anne Wiazemsky, Jean-Claude Guilbert, François Lafarge)

Animal as saint: Bresson's stark, enigmatic parable, a donkey (named after one of the Three Wise Men) is both a witness to and the victim of mankind's cruelty, stupidity -


Les Valseuses (1974)

Dir Bertrand Blier (Gérard Depardieu, Patrick Dewaere, Miou-Miou)

A huge hit in seventies France, this offbeat comedy follows two youths waving a finger at society. Their pursuits include car theft, robbery, three-way sex, and general impulsive


Mon oncle (1958)

Dir Jacques Tati (Jacques Tati, Jean-Pierre Zola, Adrienne Servantie)

Tati's first film in colour. Yes, his contrast of the glorious awfulness of the Arpels' automated Modernistic house with Hulot's disordered Bohemianism is simplistic. Yes, Hulot as


La Grande Illusion (1937)

Dir: Jean Renoir (Jean Gabin, Marcel Dalio, Pierre Fresnay, Eric von Stroheim

As relevant as ever, Jean Renoir’s 1937 masterpiece, ‘La Grande Illusion’, is a film about common values and decency – the ability in all of us to act with respect


The Wages of Fear (1953)

Dir Henri-Georges Clouzot (Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Folco Lulli)

Throughout his professional life, France's Henri-Georges Clouzot suffered comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock - the former's critical reputation languished for it, and he took it hard.


Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967)

Director: Jacques Demy

From ‘Jour de Fête’ to ‘Céline and Julie Go Boating’, there’s an enchanting minor strain in French cinema devoted to visually reproducing the heady sensation of going to the cinema. And so it is with Jacques Demy’s


Day for Night (1973)

Dir François Truffaut (Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Jean-Pierre Aumont)

If we’re to learn anything from François Truffaut’s delicately cynical, New Hollywood-style satire from 1973 on the joys and pains of movie making, it’s that we


L'Armée des ombres (1969)

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville

Discretion is the better part of valour, they say. And you couldn’t imagine a more discreet tribute to the heroes of the wartime French Resistance than this terrific late-’60s thriller by the ex-Maquis member


Users say


terrible list. terrible taste in movies.