Here are the 15 best French movies to watch that will inspire your next trip to France and to Paris! I’ve gathered the best French movies set in Paris you can watch on Netflix or on Amazon Prime Video. Whether you’re thinking of learning French or you want to get familiar with the French accent, those french movies below are perfect for that!
French romantic comedy, fantasy adventure, mystery thriller or biographical films, there’s a French movie for every mood and every occasion. Discover 15 movies set in Paris that will make you laugh, cry, get angry, and more importantly get you excited about a trip there!
15 French Movies That Will Inspire You To Visit Paris
1. La Vie En Rose
La Vie En Rose is a 2007 French biographical musical film about the life of French singer Édith Piaf. The film stars Marion Cotillard as Édith Piaf. Marion Cotillard’s performance earned her several accolades including the Academy Award, the BAFTA Award, the Golden Globe Award, and the César Award. The film tells the story of the life of Édith Piaf through several non-linear series of key events. The film begins with elements from her childhood, and at the end with events surrounding her death. Definitely one of the best French movies to watch before visiting Paris!
Amélie (Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain in French) is a 2001 French romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre. It tells the story of a shy waitress, played by Audrey Tautou, who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better. The film received critical acclaim and was a major box office success. It’s one of the biggest international successes for a French movie.
3. The Intouchables
The Intouchables is a 2011 French comedy-drama film directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano. The film won the César Award for Best Actor for Omar Sy and garnered seven nominations for the César Awards. The Intouchables is a story about a Parisian aristocrat quadriplegic who hires a young man to be his live-in caretaker. Although very different the two men bond and develop a close friendship. One of the best and funniest French movies to watch before going to Paris!
4. Midnight In Paris
Midnight in Paris is a 2011 fantasy comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen. The film follows Gil Pender, a screenwriter, who needs to confront the shortcomings of his relationship with his materialistic fiancée. The film stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, Marion Cotillard, and Michael Sheen. In 2012, the film won both the Oscar, the Golden Globe, and was nominated for three other Academy Awards.
Ratatouille is a 2007 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The title refers to the French dish ratatouille and also references the animal type of the main character, a rat. The plot follows a rat named Remy, who dreams of becoming a chef and tries to achieve his goal by forming an alliance with a Parisian restaurant’s garbage boy.
6. Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent is a 2014 French biographical drama film directed by Jalil Lespert. The film is based on the life of Yves Saint Laurent from 1958. It stars Pierre Niney, Guillaume Gallienne, Charlotte Le Bon, Laura Smet, Marie de Villepin, Xavier Lafitte, and Nikolai Kinski. The film received seven nominations at the 40th César Awards, winning Best Actor for Pierre Niney.
7. See You Up There
See You Up There is a 2017 French drama film adapted from the novel The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaitre. In November 1918, a few days before the Armistice, Edouard Péricourt saves Albert Maillard’s life. The two men have nothing in common but the war. Lieutenant Pradelle, by ordering a senseless assault, destroys their lives while binding them as companions in misfortune. On the ruins of the carnage of WWI, condemned to live, the two attempt to survive.
8. The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec is a 2010 French fantasy adventure feature film by Luc Besson. It is loosely based on the comic book series The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec by Jacques Tardi. Adèle Blanc-Sec, a journalist and travel writer of some fame, finds herself involved after returning from Egypt, where she was searching for Ramesses II’s mummified doctor Patmosis. She wants to revive the mummy with the help of Espérandieu so the doctor can save her sister Agathe, who is comatose following an unfortunate tennis incident involving a hatpin. One of the best family-friendly French movie set in Paris in the 1920s.
9. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a 2006 German psychological thriller film starring Ben Whishaw, Alan Rickman, Rachel Hurd-Wood, and Dustin Hoffman. The screenplay is based on Patrick Süskind’s 1985 novel Perfume. Set in 18th century France, the film tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an olfactory genius, and his homicidal quest for the perfect scent. The film begins with the sentencing of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille a notorious murderer. Between the reading of the sentence and the execution, the movie tells the story of his life in flashback.
10. OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies is a 2006 French spy comedy film directed by Michel Hazanavicius. It stars Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, and Aure Atika. In 1955, the film follows the exploits of the French secret agent OSS 117, as he’s going to Cairo to investigate the disappearance of his friend Jack Jefferson. Cairo, Nest of Spies is based on the OSS 117 novel series by Jean Bruce but acts as a parody of the spy genre rather than a faithful adaptation. It depicts OSS 117 as an idiotic Frenchman with narrow-minded views on race, religion, and gender roles.
11. La Haine
La Haine is a 1995 French black-and-white drama film written, and directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. It is about three young friends and their struggle to live in the banlieues of Paris. La Haine opens with news footage of urban riots in a banlieue in the commune of Chanteloup-les-Vignes near Paris. The riot is due to the attack of Abdel Ichacha, leading to an attack on the police station. The film depicts approximately twenty consecutive hours in the lives of three friends of Abdel, living in the aftermath of the riot.
12. Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette is a 2006 historical comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Kirsten Dunst. It is based on the life of Queen Marie Antoinette in the years leading up to the French Revolution. It won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design. Fourteen-year-old Maria Antonia is the beautiful, charming, and naïve Archduchess of Austria, youngest of Empress Maria-Theresa’s daughters. In 1770, she arrives at the Palace of Versailles to marry the future Louis XVI and to seal an alliance between the two rival countries.
13. Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge is a 2001 jukebox musical romantic drama film co-written by Baz Luhrmann. The film tells the story of a young English poet, Christian who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress Satine. It uses the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France. The film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Nicole Kidman.
14. The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American mystery thriller film based on Dan Brown’s best-selling novel. In the movie, Robert Langdon, a professor of religious symbology from Harvard University, is the prime suspect in the murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. In the body, the police find a disconcerting cipher and start an investigation. A British Grail historian named Sir Leigh Teabing tells them that the actual Holy Grail is explicitly encoded in Leonardo da Vinci’s wall painting, The Last Supper.
15. Paris, I Love You
Paris, I Love You is a 2006 anthology film starring an ensemble cast of actors of various nationalities. The two-hour film consists of eighteen short films set in different arrondissements. Those eighteen short films represent 18 different arrondissements of Paris.
5 Best French Family-Friendly Movies Set In Paris
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Bonjour! I’m Leonce, I’m French and I’m a Parisian expat currently living in the city center of Amsterdam (I previously lived in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, on the Ile-Saint-Louis). I created Leonce Chenal back in 2018 when I was living in London and missing my home country way too much. Because I truly believe you don’t have to be French or to live in France to experience the French art de vivre, Leonce Chenal is a French digital magazine to help you live your French life, wherever you are. Enjoy <3