Bonjour tout le monde!
I hope that you’re all safe and well. I know there’s a lot of sadness, loss, fear, anxiety, and restlessness surrounding us at the moment. I’d love to hear how you are and if you have anything special you’re doing to cope. I’ve been working and doing my best to stay healthy (physically and mentally). I had a good morning today. Sensing that I needed to refill my tank if you will, I skipped the news. Instead, I did a quick meditation followed by yoga and a dance session. Then I made an egg-white and vegetable omelet, showered, and got settled at my desk. Starting the day off on a positive note did wonders for my mood.
I’ve found that it’s helpful to end the day with something enjoyable before bed as well. Whether it’s a good book or a movie, let your mind escape so you can have a restful sleep (that we all need to stay healthy!).
To give you some ideas, here are 20 movies that take place in Paris. I hope that they delight you and even inspire you to plan a trip to look forward to!
(In order of release date)
- Funny Face (1957). Stars Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, Kay Thompson. American, romantic comedy, musical. Jo (Hepburn) gets plucked from her bookstore assistant job by fashion magazine editor (Thompson) and fashion photographer (Astaire) and brought to Paris to be a model. Audrey. Paris. Fashion. Check, check, and check!
- Charade (1963). Stars Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. American, romantic thriller. Regina Lampert (Hepburn) tries to solve the mystery of her husband’s murder with a handsome and charming new friend (Grant). P.S. As in Funny Face, Hubert de Givenchy designed Hepburn’s wardrobe for the film!
- The Aristocats (1970). This Disney animated movie follows the adventures of a retired opera singer’s cats after they are kidnapped by her butler. (He overhears that she is planning on leaving everything to the cats and not him.)
- Before Sunrise (1995). Before Sunset (2004). Before Midnight (2013). Stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Drama. In Before Sunrise, American Jesse (Hawke) and French Céline (Delpy) meet on a train to Vienna and only have one night together. They meet again nine years later for a day in Paris. While Before Sunset is the only film of the series that takes place in Paris, I think you need to see the entire series to enjoy it and get to know the characters.
- Three Colors: Blue (1993). Julie (Juliette Binoche) tries to begin a new way of life after losing her husband and child. Three Colors: White (1994). A Polish immigrant marries a French woman and moves to Paris. One the marriage breaks down, he plots revenge against his ex-wife. There is one other film in the series that takes place in Geneva: Three Colors: Red (1994). All three films are highly regarded.
- Amélie (2001). Stars Audrey Tautou. Romantic comedy. Amélie looks to help people and find love in Paris. A classic. You will fall in love with her!
- Le Divorce (2003). Stars Kate Hudson, Naomi Watts. French-American romantic dramedy. American Isabel (Hudson) visits Paris to see her sister, Roxeanne (Watts), who is married to a Frenchman. This film is a fun examination of the differences between American and French cultures.
- Paris, Je t’aime (2006). Stars include Natalie Portman, Juliette Binoche, Steve Buscemi, Willem Dafoe, Elijah Wood, Emily Mortimer, Gena Rowlands, Gérard Depardieu, and more. A series of short films that each take place in one of the 20 districts (arrondissements) of Paris. (So there are 20 shorts.) My personal favorite is “14e arrondissement”. It is one of the best scenes about Paris of all time. I bawl my eyes out whenever I watch it. Margo Martindale is so moving. I saw her once in Los Angeles and I almost cried just seeing her. If you watch it, let me know if you see all the beauty in the story, too. Ok, I just watched it again. And I’m crying right now. The end perfectly captures how I feel about Paris. Now go watch it!
- Ratatouille (2007). Animated comedy. Remy, a rat with a passion for cooking, dreams of being a French chef. He aligns himself with an employee at a Parisian restaurant and comedy ensues.
- Coco avant Chanel (2009). (Coco Before Chanel.) Stars Audrey Tautou. Biographical drama. The story of Coco Chanel. Need I say more?
- Julie and Julia (2009). Stars Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. American comedy-drama. Based on the true story of blogger, Julie Powell, who cooks her way through Julia Child’s first cookbook. The story is intertwined with Julia Child’s life in Paris.
- Hugo (2011). Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz and directed by Martin Scorsese. Drama and adventure. An orphan lives in the walls of a Parisian train station (Gare Montparnasse) in the 1930s.
- Intouchables (2011). Stars François Cluzet, Omar Sy. French, dramedy. An aristocrat in Paris becomes a quadriplegic after an accident and hires a young man from the banlieue (suburbs) to act as his caregiver. An unlikely friendship is formed. Omar Sy won a César Award for his performance.
- Midnight in Paris (2011). Stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and Marion Cotillard. Directed by Woody Allen. Fantasy, comedy. Gil (Wilson) is a screenwriter who is working on a novel. He visits Paris with his fiancee, Inez (McAdams). Since she doesn’t share his love of Paris in the rain, he takes to exploring the city on his own. He finds himself transported to 1920s Paris. And I have to say I’m a little jealous of his ability to go back and forth from present to 20s Paris. You’ll have to watch to see what happens!
- A Monster in Paris (2011). French 3D animated musical. A monster is in love with a beautiful singer in 1910 Paris.
- Frances Ha (2012). Stars Greta Gerwig. Dramedy, romance. This dancer is chasing her dreams in New York and briefly in Paris. I can relate to her willingness to go to Paris just for a few days just to go! Greta Gerwig’s performance was nominated for a Golden Globe.
- 9 Mois Ferme (2013). (9-Month Stretch.) Stars Sandrine Kiberlain, Albert Dupontel. French comedy. A sanctimonious judge discovers she is pregnant…and a criminal is the dad! I saw this at COLCOA in 2013.
- Leap (2016). 3D musical adventure. An orphan girl runs away to Paris to become a ballet dancer at the Palais Garnier.
- Mission: Impossible-Fallout (2018). Stars Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill. Action. Ethan Hunt is looking for plutonium in a mission gone awry.
And if you’re in the mood for a TV show instead of a movie, I highly recommend the French series, Dix Pour Cent. It’s called Call My Agent! on Netflix. Don’t worry if your French isn’t good or is non-existent…it has subtitles. The series follows the chaos of being a talent agent in Paris. Also, the second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel opens in Paris and is a delight to watch.
I’ll be adding to this list regularly so check back for updates if you want some movie recommendations! (I’ll also let you know when I add films to the list on Instagram and Facebook if you follow me there.)