Editor’s note: This column originally ran July 12, 2010. Vive le France!
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From Mary Burgan
I have always wanted to be able to speak French. I’ve told myself that I’ll be ready to converse each of the few times I’ve landed in Paris. Then someone at the counter asks me a question and I panic and say, Parlez-vous anglais, s’il vous plaît?
That may be why I try to go to every French movie that comes out in America. I dream that if I go enough, I’ll master the language.
But mastering French is not the only reason to see French films. The best reason is that they are wonderful. I find French actresses–Deneuve, Huppert, Binoche, Béart, for example–extraordinarily beautiful and dynamic on the screen. (I can’t say the same about beauty for French actors because Montand, Depardieu, and Auteuil seem kind of homely and dull for my American taste. I make an exception for Alain Delon.)
In honor of Bastille Day on the 14th, I thought I would give a quick overview of French cinema — and give you my list of 10 French films that you should see.