Stress Awareness Month: 6 tips to help you mange symptoms (and avoid burnout)
Stress Awareness Month: 6 tips to help you mange symptoms (and avoid burnout)

Jennifer McShane

Lizzo slides into Chris Evans’ DMs and his reaction is everything
Lizzo slides into Chris Evans’ DMs and his reaction is everything

Shayna Sappington

What’s on: What to watch, stream, read and listen to this April
What’s on: What to watch, stream, read and listen to this April

Holly O'Neill

Soggy veg at the bottom of your fridge? Tips to make sure your produce lasts until your next shopping trip
Soggy veg at the bottom of your fridge? Tips to make sure your produce lasts...

Megan Burns

Lidl Ireland to provide free sanitary products in effort to combat period poverty
Lidl Ireland to provide free sanitary products in effort to combat period poverty

Sarah Finnan

Sea swimming essentials every first-timer should have on their list
Sea swimming essentials every first-timer should have on their list

Sarah Finnan

Niamh O’Sullivan shares a glimpse inside her home office in Co Kildare
Niamh O’Sullivan shares a glimpse inside her home office in Co Kildare

Grace McGettigan

Image / Editorial

Looking for a different watch during lockdown? Try these 5 French films


by Jennifer McShane
19th Nov 2020
blank

For a different sort of a watch if you need a Netflix break


French cinema has a decades-old reputation for being some of the most sophisticated, elegant and groundbreaking of filmmaking from all over the world, and that reputation is not at all close to being tarnished in 2019. The last decade alone has seen many French films win the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or. If you have yet to venture into French cinema, start with these, and you’ll never look back.

The Diving Bell And The Butterfly

Julian Schnabel’s profound and sublimely affecting biopic of Jean-Dominique Bauby is a must-watch. Mathieu Amalric plays the title role of the former Elle magazine editor who was struck down by locked-in syndrome; paralysed from the neck down and only able to communicate with blinks from his left eye.

This film is based on the remarkable book of the same name, which Bauby wrote soon after the tragic event happened, painstakingly dictating it a letter at a time using nothing but blinks. The director seamlessly weaves us through the events from Bauby’s perspective with striking visuals, an incredible score and acting of the highest calibre throughout the movie. The film received four Academy Award nominations, and we guarantee you won’t get through it without shedding quite a few tears.

Leaving

Kristin Scott Thomas’ career in French cinema remains vastly underrated and it’s why two of her finest performances are included in this list. The first is her performance in Leaving as Suzanne, who returns to work 15 years after devoting her life to her husband Samuel and their two children. She is happy enough if a little bored by their middle-class lifestyle and her life is thrown into turmoil when she comes into contact with Ivan, a builder and the two begin an affair that has consequences for all involved. You’ll never see the ending coming. It’s a beautifully melancholy film.

Amour

Amour is director Michael Haneke’s impeccable study of the decline of an elderly woman, Anne (played by Emmanuelle Riva), and the desperate efforts of her husband, Georges (played by Jean-Louis Trintignant) to keep things together as her condition worsens. This is far from what you would term feel-good cinema but is a deeply moving insight into the complexities of a loving relationship transcending through time.

This is a slow-mover but the film is held together by the suburb leading performances of its two actors. The final scene is utterly heart wrenching and will stay with you for hours after. It deservedly won the Palm d’ Or and received five Academy Award nominations.

I’ve Loved You So Long

Kristin Scott Thomas gives a career-defining performance in this moving, devastating mystery drama about a woman who is released back into society after spending 15 years in prison. The how and why is slowly revealed over the course of the film, and Thomas is utterly perfect in the lead role. We won’t spoil anything; you simply have to watch it. To this day, it remains beggars belief as to why Thomas was not given an Oscar for what is her finest performance.

Rust And Bone

This is an underrated, remarkable and raw film centring on the affliction of Stephanie, played superbly by Marion Cotillard. We won’t share the details of this affliction here, but things escalate as she begins to fall in love with the moody Ali, played by Matthias Schoenaerts as the two forms an unlikely bond in the most trying of circumstances. The film is unflinching, moving and tender at the unlikeliest of times. It’s another must-see. It is also my favourite female depiction of disability on-screen.


RelatedBookmark it: This must-watch TV series is finally coming to Amazon Prime
RelatedWhy Netflix’s White Lines is your next brilliant binge-watch
Related14 old movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime & Disney + that make perfect afternoon watching

Also Read

blank
EDITORIAL
The unexpected benefit lockdown is having on our children

By Amanda Cassidy

Rosanna Davidson and her twin boys
premium REAL-LIFE STORIES, PARENTHOOD
Rosanna Davidson: ‘I had sort of accepted that I was a girl who couldn’t have a baby herself’

For Mother's Day Lia Hynes sits down with Rosanna Davidson, whose exceptional journey into motherhood has given many hope.

By Lia Hynes

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
TV presenter Kate Garraway’s husband ‘may never ‘have any kind of life’ after Covid battle

By Jennifer McShane

Monica Lewinsky
RELATIONSHIPS
Monica Lewinsky will soon get to talk of scandal on her terms

It was on this day, January 17th, 1998, when news...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
Eclipsed: The powerful, all-female play exposing a Magdalene Laundry you need to see

‘Eclipsed’ director Kate Canning told Jennifer McShane of the challenges...

By Jennifer McShane

Has society become more tolerant of the idea of dating interracially?
premium IMAGE WRITES, REAL-LIFE STORIES, RELATIONSHIPS
Interracial dating: “People kept asking ‘where is she from?'”

With diversity on the rise, what struggles do interracial couples continue to face today? Filomena Kaguako speaks to three couples about their experiences.

By Filomena Kaguako

blank
EDITORIAL
Is marketplace feminism stealing the limelight from real female-driven issues?

‘Femertising’ is big business. Brands are increasingly taking advantage of...

By Amanda Cassidy