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This joyous and very successful movie (French, with English subtitles) tells the story of Philippe, a wealthy quadraplegic aristocrat (François Cluzet) crippled in a paragliding accident, whose life is transformed by the arrival of Driss (Omar Sy), a hip Senegalese ex-con from the projects.

Intouchables is based on the true story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and his French-Algerian caregiver Abdel Sellou, a story captured in Abdel's book “You Changed My Life”, which tells us much more about the caregiver's own life and how it was transformed by the relationship.

It is the happiest of the movies in the Relationships and Personal Journeys section of my movies web page, which features some great stories about lives that have been damaged in one way or another and then become fixed, or at least improved.

If you haven't already seen it, Intouchables might be one of the best movies that you never heard of.

Click the image if you would like to read more about the movie and the true story that inspired it.






One of the last remaining trees...
(My screenshots - click either image above for the Wikipedia article on this movie)


(Screenshots above from Rotten Tomatoes - click either image to see more)

If you like French animation (see here on my web site), you may remember the time when Sylvain Chomet's Les Triplettes de Belleville (The Triplets of Belleville, a.k.a. Belleville Rendezvous) gave the world a wake-up call that there was more to great animation than Disney and Miyazaki.

This movie is very different and equally original (and equally Gallic, and equally unsuitable for small children). It's an adventurous eco-fable, set in an alt-reality steampunk world where almost all of the trees in Europe have been burnt for charcoal and the air is severely polluted. It has been summarized accurately as “a sophisticated, riveting adventure about the power of scientific innovation in society”.

Currently free to watch in the UK if you subscribe to Amazon Prime Video, this is a multi-award-winning treat not to be missed.


If life is getting you down...

[Try clicking the entertainment tag. Just a suggestion!]



If I had to choose just one picture to convey the flavour of expressioniste (Aline)'s wonderful pages (an impossible task) then this still from Albert Lamorisse's 1965 classic Le Ballon Rouge might be it (see here for her post with more stills).

And if I had to choose just one phrase to sum up her pages, it would be the "joie de vivre" which she kindly spreads to all of us. Whether it's her love of all things French, or beautiful fashion, or sunny pictures, or her delight in good food, or any of a hundred other things, I always (reluctantly) come away from her pages feeling much happier about life than when I arrived.

If you like this...

[Enjoy some more "joie de vivre"!]
[French films]




Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo at Cannes...


...and Bérénice Bejo in London (image from here)...

...two amazingly good-looking people who have shot to international fame in that wonderful movie The Artist

If you haven't seen the film yet, may I highly recommend it. It is good old-fashioned entertainment, telling the story of George Valentin, a silent movie star being edged out by the talkies, and Peppy Miller, a beautiful, sparky newcomer who becomes a talkies star, and whom he is too proud to follow.

Although it is a silent movie (with music!), the movie has the same appeal as those great classics starring Gene Kelly or Fred and Ginger. Among many reasons for seeing it is Peppy's smile, which will light up your entire day.

(Bérénice, BTW, was born in Buenos Aires, a place known for its beautiful women. She moved to France when she was quite young.)


If you like this, try...

[The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec]


That French Je-Ne-Sais-Quoi...

The lovely Anouk Aimée in Un Homme et une Femme

I have a weakness for all things French, including some of their great movies. Click the image above, or go here to see a small sample of what we miss out on when we avoid movies with subtitles.



This wonderfully entertaining 2010 movie, the first by French director Luc Besson after a gap of 6 years, is a nice blend of Amélie and Raiders of the Lost Ark, with many original and witty touches of its own.

The French actress and television presenter Louise Bourgoin, whom I had not seen before, makes a cracking heroine, and the other characters (human and otherwise) include some priceless gems of absurdity (you will never again be able to watch a film like The Mummy without cracking up!)

Luc Besson is probably best known for Léon and The Fifth Element. This movie, which could not be more different, shows what an astonishing range this director has.

A good full review, based on an interview with Luc Besson, will be found here.

Thanks to my younger daughter (who bought me the DVD as an early Christmas present) for this great find!


(Original post: May 18th, 2011)



These are some scenes from the wonderful animation The Illusionist by Sylvain Chomet, featured on my Movies page, which has just had a second major update. Since the previous update on April 11th it has approximately doubled in size, with many more sections and updates to existing sections.

If you like movies (and the flavour of my pages here), and/or you are interested in the technology of movie-making, then I hope that you will find it an interesting and useful resource.


(Original post: March 2nd, 2011)

This sparkling romantic comedy ("Priceless" in English) was shown recently on UK TV, thankfully in French with subtitles. Audrey Tautou's gold-digger, determined not to fall in love, reminds many people of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany's, and Gad Elmaleh's performance as her equally determined and long-suffering lover is also a delight.

If you have never seen it, I recommend that you catch this one (the DVD is only £5 from play.com!).


If you like French "joie de vivre", you might like these previous posts...

[Samba Saravah (from the movie Un Homme et Une Femme)]
[October in Aix-en-Provence]
[Corsican Cats]

and...

[My movies page]





Samba Saravah is a musical sequence from Claude Lelouch's movie Un Homme Et Une Femme, one of my all-time favourites.

It's hard to believe now that when this film appeared in England in 1966, the censors gave it an X certificate. Times have certainly changed...

It's essential to see this movie in French, with subtitles if necessary. The French language (and this movie) has a rhythm, a style and a soul to it that just doesn't translate into English.

Every time that I hear this music, the words go on dancing in my head for hours afterwards:

“…Mais quelque soit le sentiment qu’elle exprime,
Elle est blanche de formes et de rimes.
Blanche de formes et de rimes,
Elle est nègre, bien nègre dans son coeur…”


You will find all the words of this song (with a translation) here. Click the picture above to play the video - it will open in a separate window.

I had to add a couple of pictures of the beautiful Anouk Aimée...








If you like this, you'll find more on this movie here:

[My movies page]