Five French Christmas movies you need to watch

Instead of watching Home Alone for the thousandth time, here are five classic French films to enjoy with a glass of vin chaud.

Five French Christmas movies you need to watch
Photo: Wonderlane/Flickr
Instead of watching Home Alone for the thousandth time, here are five classic French films to enjoy with a glass of mulled wine (or three). 
Merry Christmas (Joyeux Noël) – 2005
This beautiful film is about the Christmas truce between French, British and German soldiers in December 1914. By French director Christian Carion, Joyeux Noël is a guaranteed tear-jerker to leave you feeling all warm, fuzzy and Christmassy.
Starring Diane Kruger and directed by Frenchman Christian Carion, it was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards.

Trailer (in English)
A Christmas Tale (Un Conte de Noël) – 2008
Not your typical Christmas comedy-drama. Starring Catherine Deneuve, this one tells the story of the troubled Vuillard family. Torn apart by a heart-breaking past, the family is reunited by their mother’s need for a bone-marrow transplant just in time for Christmas.
The film won all kinds of awards in France, and was even nominated for the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival. It also made a splash abroad, featuring in the top ten films of the year in papers including the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times. 
Trailer below (with English subtitles)
Santa Claus is a Stinker (Le Père Noël est une Ordure) – 1982
Ask any French person to name a Christmas film and they’ll probably mention this one first.
“It’s THE cult French comedy that is shown on TV every year at Christmas since it was released in the eighties,” says Manon Kerjean, who runs the Lost in Frenchlation movie screenings in Paris.

“It’s an absolute classic and makes everyone laugh. I dare you not to laugh.”
Trailer below only available in French
French Fried Vacation 2 (Les Bronzés Font du Ski) – 1979
Another French favourite, Les Bronzés Font du Ski follows the shenanigans of eight tourists on a skiing holiday.
“It stars the same actors as Le Père Noël est une Ordure, the theatre troupe ‘Le Splendid’. I recommend nearly every film they played in,” says Kerjean,

Trailer below only available in French
Santa Claus has Blue Eyes (Le Père Noël a les yeux bleus) -1966
A proper black and white film to cosy up to, this classic stars French icon Jean-Pierre Léaud as strapped-for-cash romantic Daniel, who takes a job dressing up as Santa Claus to earn enough money to buy a trendy duffle coat to attract girls. Not as well-known as the other films here, but still a golden oldie.
By Charlotte Mason

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French films with English subtitles to watch in November

As days get shorter and temperatures drop, November is a great month to enjoy a warm and comforting moment at the cinema. Here’s a round up of the French movies with English subtitles to see in Paris this month.

Cinema in France
Photo: Loic Venance/AFP

The cinema group Lost in Frenchlation runs regular screenings of French films in the capital, with English subtitles to help non-native speakers follow the action. The club kicks off every screening with drinks at the cinema’s bar one hour before the movie, so it’s also a fun way to meet people if you’re new to Paris.

These are the events they have coming up in November.

Friday, November 5th

Boîte Noire – What happened on board the Dubai-Paris flight before it crashed in the Alps? In this thriller Matthieu, a young and talented black box analyst played by Pierre Niney (star of Yves Saint-Laurent among other movies) is determined to solve the reason behind this deadly crash, no matter the costs. 

The screening will take place at the Club de l’étoile cinema at 8pm. But you can arrive early for drinks at the bar from 7pm. 

Tickets are €10 full price, €8 for students and all other concessions, and can be reserved here.

Sunday, November 14th

Tralala – In the mood for music? This new delightful French musical brings you into the life of Tralala (played by Mathieu Amalric), a 48 years old, homeless and worn-out street singer, who one day gets mistaken for someone else. Tralala sees an opportunity to get a better life by taking on a new personality. He now has a brother, nephews, ex-girlfriends, and maybe even a daughter. But where is the lie? Where is the truth? And who is he, deep down?

The night will start with drinks from 6pm followed by the screening at 7pm at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema. There is also a two-hour cinema-themed walk where you’ll be taken on a “musicals movie tour” in the heart of Paris, which begins at 4pm.

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here. Tickets for the walking tour cost €20 and must be reserved online here.

Thursday, November 18th

Illusions Perdues – Based on the great novel series by Honoré de Balzac between 1837 and 1843, this historical drama captures the writer Lucien’s life and dilemmas who dreams about a great career of writing and moves to the city to get a job at a newspaper. As a young poet entering the field of journalism, he is constantly challenged by his desire to write dramatic and eye-catching stories for the press. But are they all true?

The evening will kick off with drinks at L’Entrepôt cinema bar at 7pm, followed by the movie screening at 8pm. Tickets are available online here, and cost €8.50 full price; €7 for students and all other concessions.

Sunday, November 21st

Eiffel – Having just finished working on the Statue of Liberty, Gustave Eiffel (played by Romain Duris) is tasked with creating a spectacular monument for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. It’s ultimately his love story with Adrienne Bourgès (Emma Mackey) that will inspire him to come up with the idea for the Eiffel Tower.

After a first screening last month, Lost in Frenchlation is organising a new one at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema, with pre-screening drinks at the cinema bar. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here

Thursday, November 25th

Les Héroïques – Michel is a former junkie and overgrown child who only dreams of motorbikes and of hanging out with his 17-year-old son Léo and his friends. But at 50 years old, he now has to handle the baby he just had with his ex, and try not to make the same mistakes he has done in the past. 

The film will be followed by a Q&A with the director Maxime Roy who will discuss his very first feature. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here.

Full details of Lost in Frenchlation’s events can be found on their website or Facebook page. In France, a health pass is required in order to go to the cinema.