Five French Christmas movies you need to watch

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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 vin chaud.


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


Comments (1)

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Anonymous 2020/12/25 16:32
All the films of the Splendid café-théâtre were the guarantee of a fou rire session

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