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The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two

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The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Here's another selection of the best French films since the turn of the century and you really should see them, according to our friends at Lost in Frenchlation.


Here at The Local we've tackled the best films of the millennium before, but here's a new take on the topic from the masters of French film (with English subtitles), Lost in Frenchlation
Here are eight of the best French films to see before you die (or when you get some spare time).
Jeux d'enfants (Love me if you dare) - directed by Yann Samuell, 2003 
At age 7, Julien and Sophie start a game which will last for their lifetimes: "Cap/Pas cap" (Game on or not?). The game will determine every decision they make together, turning the rest of their lives into a series of tumultuous bets.
The chemistry between the stars Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard is clear, and the two ended up getting married in real life. Julien's monologue as he is driving before the accident is a must-see – every romantic French person knows it.
Paris, je t'aime (Paris, I love you) - directed by 22 directors including Gus Van Sant, Joel and Ethan Coen, Wes Craven, and Alfonso Cuaron, 2006 
This film is a collection of short movies from every neighborhood in Paris, culminating in a creative and unique puzzle. Each director brings their own perspective for this wonderful homage to the City of Lights. And what better way to start the movie than with Montmartre...
Le nom des gens (The names of love) - directed by Michel Leclerc, 2010
This is a film about a young and enthusiastic left-wing activist who employs an unorthodox method of recruiting people for her cause: sleeping with as many right-wingers as possible. It’s one of the most original French comedies around.
La guerre est déclarée (Declaration of war) - directed by Valérie Donzelli, 2011
Director Donzelli wrote the movie with the father of her son, Jérémie Elkaïm, and both actors star in the moving film which was inspired by their own personal experiences. It’s about a child who is diagnosed with a brain tumour and how his young parents, Roméo and Juliette, must come together to fight for his survival.
Both actors give poetic performances and the film looks at the family bond as a beautiful declaration of love rather than war. Be ready for the Vivaldi music (Four Seasons - Winter) to keep playing in your head for a while too...
Camille redouble (Camille rewinds) - directed by Noémie Lvovsky, 2012
Bitter-sweet comedy meets science-fiction as the main character (Lvovsky, the director) time travels back into her past as a 16-year-old the 80s. Fans of the 80s will love how Lvovsky pays an incredible amount of attention to detail with the use of era-appropriate accessories, clothes and expressions.
But be prepared, there are some heartbreaking scenes… you might need some tissues for this one.
De rouille et d'os (Rust and bone) - directed by Jacques Audiard, 2012
In his typical style, Oscar-nominated director Jacques Audiard uses very strong characters which must fight their way through life against challenging obstacles. The film is about a relationship between an emotionally handicapped man and a physically handicapped woman. Although their characters are polar-opposites, they can relate to one another because they both do not fit into mainstream society. The actors give remarkable performances having been led by an incredible director. It’s a masterpiece. 
Mon roi (My king) - directed by Maïwenn, 2015
This film sees Tony (Emmanuelle Bercot) reflecting on her passionate and volatile relationship with her ex-husband (Vincent Cassel) after she was involved in a skiing accident. The actors deliver incredible performances with Bercot taking home the Best Actress Award at Cannes. It's a powerful, at times violent story that is kept upbeat by one-liners from Tony’s hilarious brother. This movie is a must-see, but be warned that it is emotionally draining.
Divines - directed by Houda Benyamina, 2016
Divines is set in the often overlooked and harsh suburbs of Paris, but the underlying subjects of the film are friendship and hope. You might feel like the images or dialogues challenge you somewhat, but the movie still manages to be an amazing mixture of fun, laughter and tears. To put it bluntly, you’ll feel like you’ve just been punched in the face after watching Divines, but that’s a fair price to pay for experiencing this piece of genius. This is another one you’ll need the tissues for… Here’s to hoping that we have more films like this coming out of France.
By Manon Kerjean and Matt Bryan, co-founders of Lost in Frenchlation
Lost in Frenchlation hosts screenings of French films with English subtitles at independent cinemas throughout Paris. Their next screening, Divines, will be shown on Friday night in Montmartre.



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