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Saturday
Jul142012

Complete the Sentences. My Favorite French....

My favorite French movie is _________________ because ___________________ .  My favorite French actress is _____________ and she should _________________ .

You know what to do in the comments!

France is on my brain for five reasons today.

1. It's Bastille Day! Happy Bastille Day.

Tweet of the Day

2. The Tour de France is on

3. I saw Farewell My Queen (just opening in select cities) last night and it was happily excellent with a surprisingly strong lead performance from Léa Seydoux (Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Midnight in Paris) as a favored servant of the infamous Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger, also compelling). Here's my review. Go see it if it's in your city.

NOT your average fussy costume drama

4. Speaking of ladies of Versailles, the very buzzy documentary Queen of Versailles opens next week and I hear it's a must see though I haven't musted myself all the way to any screenings yet. [Please to note: "Queen of Versailles" in this case is aspirational and takes place in Orlando, Florida]

5. France is often on my mind because they produce at least one irreplaceable movie star queen a decade (Moreau, Adjani, Huppert, Deneuve, Binoche, etcetera) and usually a dozen other amazing ladies-in-waiting, too. Vive la France!

My tweet conversations last night after seeing the movie with Will, Joe, and Andrew ... (why aren't you following me? us?)

NOW... March toward the comments and stage your own revolution for a favorite film and actress before someone gets beheaded.

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Reader Comments (46)

My favorite French movie is SERIE NOIRE (1979), a masterpice starring the irreplaceable, ill-fated PATRICK DEWAERE. My favorite French actress is ANNIE GIRARDOT because of her powerhouse performances back in the 1970s, when I was getting acquainted with French cinema, and she should (scatch that; let's say my second favorite French actress is ISABELLE HUPPERT).

Sorry about the digression, Nathaniel, but while we are at it, my favorite Italian movie is LA FAMIGLIA (1987) or anything by Ettore Scolla. My favorite Italian actress is SOPHIA LOREN and should probably be ANNA MAGNANI.

My favorite Spanish movie is CRIA CUERVOS / RAISE RAVENS (1976). My favorite Spanish actress if CARMEN MAURA and should be CARMEN MAURA.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Marcos -- hey better more than less :)

I suppose i should complete my own sentence. My favorite French Film is TBA. Why can't I think of it? Too many to choose from? My favorite French actress is Catherine Deneuve. But i love french actresses so much I could basically make a top 50 :)

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

My favorite French film is The Soft Skin because Francoise Dorleac is in her best role. Also my favorite Truffaut. I have the OOP Tartan R2 DVD with a special Dorleac supplement. My favorite French actress is Isabelle Adjani and she should get together with me so we can French.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Nellhaus

My favorite French film is The 400 Blows because of Jean-Pierre Léaud's face when asked if he had ever had sexual intercourse. My favorite French actress is Catherine Denueve and she should have been nominated for Repulsion

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrumpet

My favorite French movie is Amelie - no, La Belle et La Bete - no, Jules et Jim - no, Les Parapluies du Cherbourg - no, A Christmas Tale - no, Le Diner de Cons - no, La Cage aux Folles - no, Last Year at Marienbad - no, Playtime - no, Fanfan la Tulipe - no, Le Samourai - no, The 400 Blows - no, Breathless - no, The Earrings of Madame de... - no, Au revoir, les enfants -no... GAH! I CANNOT CHOOSE! DON'T MAKE ME! because they are so wonderful in completely different ways and some aren't as good but hold very special places in my heart because my father was a French teacher and we bonded in my early years over them. My favorite French actress is Catherine Deneuve and she should continue aging gracefully and working with amazing directors new & old and never, ever die.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

My favorite French movie is Les Visiteurs du Soir because it is a fairy tale written by a poet, Jacques Prevert. My favorite French actress is Fanny Ardant, and she should make a late-blooming romance film with Jack Nicholson.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Is it weird that despite knowing very well she isn't French, that Kristin Scott Thomas jumped to mind?

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim B.

I knew you would love it.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Tim B -- not so weird really considering that KST is so fab in french movies so regularly

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Wow, Catherine Deneuve got so much love!!

My favorite French film (right at this moment) is Au Hasard Banthazar, such a quiet, emotional and beautiful film. My favorite French actress is Adjani, but Binoche, Huppert, Deneuve, Tautou, Gainsbourg came really close... Damn too many good actresses to choose from just one.

While at it, My favorite Italian movie is 8 1/2. My favorite Italian actress is Anna Magnani.

My favorite Spanish movie is All About My mother (and absolutely anything from Pedro Aldomovar), my favorite Spanish actress is Carmen Maura

My favorite German movie is Aguirre, the Wrath of God and my favorite German actress is Lilly Palmer

My favorite Swedish film is Wild Strawberries (along with dozen others from Bergman), and my favorite Swedish actress would be Ingrid Thulin

Well, that's about it.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertombeet

"Moreau, Adjani, Huppert, Deneuve, Binoche, etcetera"

Hmm......can you not think of any actress worthy of "legendary" this decade or do you just not want to say her name?

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

My favorite French movie is Diva because it looks fantastic, feels fantastic and is just about the most fun movie from the 1980s.

My favorite French actress is Isabelle Hupp... non, Catherine Den... non, Emmanuelle Béa... non, Fanny Ard... non, Charlotte Gain... non, Jeanne Mor... non, Simone Sig... non, Nathalie Ba... non, Julie Del... non Miou-... non, Juliette Bino... merde, this is too hard.

Or wait, could we consider Charlotte Rampling an honorary French actress? I just might be able to settle on her. But only barely.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

Um, can you actually be "legendary" if your career is under a decade old? Promising, maybe. Legendary? Only time will tell.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthe boyfriend

My favorite French film... Too hard to decide. But one of Jacques Tati's... Possibly 'Mon Oncle' or Ophuls, 'The Earrings of Madame de'. But I have fond admiration for 'Les 400 Coups', 'Jules et Jim', 'Les Parapluies de Cherbourg' and 'Amélie' (I know, cliché but... whatever.

My favorite French actress is... My Holy Trinity (hey, it's counted as one!): Deneuve, Binoche, Cotillard. And what's awesome it's that they're all on top of their game, giving beautiful performances each and every year.

I know Cotillard isn't supposed to be a 'cool' choice among Francophiles but I love her. My god, her 'Nine' performance seems to be in a totally different wavelenght from the rest of the cast. Like, WAAAAY above the rest. And I'm one of the few that - although I loved Julie Christie in 'Away From Her' - was stunned by Cotillard's 'La vie en rose' performance.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

That's true. I couldn't resist teasing Nathaniel R about a potential actress, heh. I know he has mixed feelings about her...and in my defense, the "etc." he added was rather tantalizing.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

My favorite French movie is Le Samourai because it's the coolest movie there is. It's a Tarantino movie 30 years before Tarantino, and Delon invented cool in that trenchcoat and fedora. I'd like to seem hipper and more cultured and say my favorite French actress is Jeanne Moreau, because her performance in Jules and Jim and an all time favorite for me, but it's probably Marion Cotillard. And what she should do is marry me. Marion Cotillard should marry me.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCasey Fiore

French films don't really resonant with me that much, but my favorite French film is Varda's Cleo from 5 to 7 because of its gorgeous composition and cinematography and the performance of Corinne Marchand. My favorite French actress is without a doubt Isabelle Huppert and she should keep being fierce and working with as many auteurs she can hunt down :)

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLars

Two French actresses I had in mind aren't French at all: Charlotte Rampling (English) and Geneviève Bujold (Canadian) — I guess that means I don't have any? Since Midnight in Paris doesn't count as a French film — I guess that means I don't have any? My foreign language education comes mainly from Spanish language affairs because of Almodovar — I love you Pedro.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

My favorite French film is The Phantom of Liberty because it's my favorite Luis Bunuel film, and that alone places it on the highest level of cinema. My favorite French actress is Juliette Binoche, and she should continue to seek work with the best directors in the world, which I'm sure she will. Seriously, does ANYONE have a more impressive list of directors they've worked for over the past few years? In the past 6 years alone, she's worked for Abbas Kiarostami, David Cronenberg, Michael Haneke, Hou Hsiao-hsien, and Olivier Assayas. That's just insane.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

my favorite french movie is "Paris when it Sizzles" because i love ann-margret. My favorite french actress is claudine longet because she was a hottie and got embroiled in a murder mystery.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjimmy

My favorite French movie is Les parapluies de Cherbourg because of it's stunning visuals, use of colors, tragic story line, and the sheer ballsiness of having absolutely no spoken dialogue (this was difficult for me to decide - I almost went with Les triplettes de Belleville, Les diaboliques, and La belle et la bête).
My favorite French actress is, quite predictably, Queen Catherine Deneuve, and she should (and has) reign supreme for all eternity. And she should also be my best friend. Because god knows I don't need to ask her to take more risks as an actress. She's been doing that for over 50 years.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRose

You must be thinking of me Nathaniel cuz I'm in Paris! :)

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkash

My favorite French film is: "Tenue de Soirée" because it's Directed by Bertrand Blier, stars Depardieu/Blanc/Miou-Miou & it's pure poetry.

My favorite french actress is: Isabelle Huppert (very closely followed by Charlotte Gainsbourg). Because she is smart & as fearless as Julianne Moore.
She should star in a film WITH Julianne!

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

My favorite French actress is Juliette Binoche because she has treated us to a string of wonderful performances in French and English throughout the '80s, '90s and '00s, and with Elles and Cosmopolis, she seems to be starting this decade with a bang. Also, it doesn't hurt that she is drop-dead gorgeous.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

My favorite French film is Les Enfants du Paradis because it is such a wise and comprehensive look at 19th century French society at all level.

My favorite French actress is Jeanne Moreau, and she should have been nominated for an Oscar during her career.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPete

My favorite French movie is The 400 Blows because I love Jean-Paul Leaud's performance in it. My favorite French actress is a tie between Marion Cottilard and Julie Delpy and they should star in a movie together.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan

My favorite French film (and maybe my favorite film, period) is The Green Ray, with Summer Hours as a runner-up.

Favorite French actress - Catherine Deneuve... though this particular week none of them have been on my mind, since I rewatched L'avventura and have been only able to think of Monica Vitti since.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJan

My favorite French movie is The Umbrellas of Cherbourg because of the music, the colors, and the DENEUVE! My favorite French actress is DENEUVE and she should be as treasured in the States as she is in France...as a matter of fact, all legendary actresses of a certain age should be so revered worldwide.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

My favorite French actress is Huppert, of course, and she should choose better her works. Less is more.
J'adore also Binoche, Sandrine Bonnaire, Cotillard, Emmanuelle Devos, Julie Gayet, Girardot, Dorléac, young Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Eva Green, Sandrine Kiberlain, Karin Viard, Marina Foïs, Anne Consigny, Chiara Mastroianni.
I don't have a favorite movie. It's impossible! :)

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersomebodyinbr

My favourite French film is Celine & Julie Go Boating because it is the most playful love-letter to cinema I have ever seen and all the meta stuff on the pleasures of spectatorship geeks me out to the power of ten.

My favourite French actress is Isabelle Huppert and she should never retire.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSally

My favorite French movie is Children of Paradise because it is awesome and seems to encapsulate everything great about France .

My favorite French actress is Isabelle Huppert and she should have at least a half dozen oscar nominations.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

I have many favorite French movies, but I decided to go with one that hasn't been mentioned yet:

My favorite French movie is The Class because it's a movie about a teacher that manages to avoid the usual cliches and also features a wonderfully diverse and vibrant cast of talented young people . My favorite French actress is Juliette Binoche, and she should make a romantic drama with Jacques Audiard, my favorite French director!.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz N.

My favorite French movie is Stolen Kisses because it is proof that film sequels can explore the same themes in different ways and even different genres yet remain true to their source. My favorite French actress is Anna Karina and she should stage a grand international comeback and become as revered globally as Denueve.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDame James

My favorite French movie is The Umbrellas of Cherbourg because I can't think of another movie capable of being so devastatingly sad while overwhelming us with so much music and colors and emotions and love. It's almost cruel in the way Demy builds a romantic music that's true to the sad nature of romanticism: sky-high emotions, no happy endings, larger than life narrative. My favorite French actress is Juliette Binoche and she should keep her pace of working with great directors by joining any movie directed by Arnaud Desplechin, who always get astonishing performances from actresses and actors. Love his style.

(Sydoux suprisingly strong? Have you seen Christophe Honoré's La Belle Personne? She is great in that movie)

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

My favorite French movie is The Man of My Life because it's a captivating examination of how and why people really fall in love told with beautiful imagery and excellent acting. My favorite French actress is a tie between Catherine Deneuve and Marion Cotillard, Catherine should never retire and Marion should find another great role as soon as possible, easier said than done although Rust and Bone looks promising.

I know it's really stretching it but if we went on birth place and not necessarily where they worked I'd go out on a limb and say Claudette Colbert was my favorite French actress since she was born in France but grew up in the states.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

My favorite French movie is THE CLASS because IT HITS TOO CLOSE TO HOME, IT'S SO REAL AND AUTHENTIC, NOTHING LIKE THE TYPICAL HOLLYWOOD TEACHER MOVIE .

My favorite French actress is CATHERINE DENEUVE and she should GET MORE SINGING ROLES

And talking about french... I just watched Polisse and I think someone in France should make it into a procedural tv series, btw Jérémie Elkaïm is like my new crush just watched Declaration of War too and I never realized he was the guy from Come Undone until I checked his resume

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChecko

My favorite French movie, by far, is Truffaut's "The Woman Next Door".

My favorite French actress is/was Romy Schneider and she should have been nominated for a best actress Oscar for "The Things of Life" and for "That Most Important Thing: Love".

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrippy Trellis

My favorite French film is too hard to choose: somewhere between Etre Et Avoir, Le Cercle Rouge, The Piano Teacher, Vivre Sa Vie, Cleo from 5 to 7, La Ceremonie, and Celine and Julie Go Boating my mind starts to swirl with all the others I've left out. They are my favorites because of reasons. ;)

Without a doubt, however, my favorite French actress is Isabelle Huppert. Respect to any others that come close, but they don't come close. ;) She should be made immortal. And be forced to do a Haneke film every 3 years.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJesse

My favorite French movie is Amelie because I remember leaving the theatre feeling elated, as though I'd fallen in love. My favorite French actress is Anne Parillaud, and she should have a resurgence.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohnnyBS

My favorite French movie is BREATHLESS because Jean Seberg is beautiful as hell and Jean-Paul Belmondo is sexy as hell in it. My favorite French actress is MARION COTILLARD and she should be given more lead roles in addition to her outstanding run of supporting roles these past few years (so excited for RUST & BONE & LOW LIFE).

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterallen

My favorite French movie is Jules and Jim because it's got that perfect balance of serious and slight-of-hand that makes French cinema so magical-plus the ending . My favorite French actress is, with apologies to Deneuve, Moreau, and Cotillard, Juliette Binoche, who was always be Hana the Nurse to me, but is a pure joy in everything from Unbearable Lightness to Cache to Certified Copy and she should continue making stunning, difficult French films and stay away from the "Dan in Real Life's" that Hollywood for some reason think are the only appropriate response to her earthy talent and beauty .

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

My favorite French film is "Tatie Danielle" because it makes me laugh. My favorite French actress is Juliette Binoche and she should just keep doing what she's doing.

I almost voted for "Jean De Florette/Manon of the Spring," and I'm suprised no one else has.

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWayne

My favorite French film is Celine and Julie Go Boating, because it is very playful and surreal, and a joyous love-letter to cinema. My favorite French actress is Isabelle Huppert (though I also love Nathalie Baye, Emmanuelle Devos, Sandrine Bonnaire and many, many others), and she should continue giving great performances for a long time.

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

My favorite French film is "L'Homme de Rio", because I don't think a better road movie has ever been made.
My favorite French actress is Leslie Caron.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolker

Was sad that I didn't see this post until today (I tend to surf the web at work but not necessarily on weekends) but so happy to see all the love for Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which is not only my favorite French movie but my favorite movie of all time. And Deneuve is my favorite French actress.

I'd also like to mention Grand Illusion and Les Enfants du Paradis, two giant classics of French cinema that I saw for the first time this year. And pretty much any movie by Bresson, Truffaut, Varda, Chabrol, or Demy (and a few Godards). My goodness, I love French cinema. Am now counting the hours, not just the days, until my vacation in the South of France starting on August 8!!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAR

I tried to think if I've seen any French movie that was actually life changing. Some have gotten awfully close such as Jean de Florette, Mon Oncle, My Father's Glory, all of the Eric Rohmer movies, etc. I think I might even give my top choice to a movie I've only seen once but I marveled at its execution considering the degree of difficulty at the time: Louis Malle's Murmur of the Heart. Today largely forgotten.

Favorite French actress? Back in the day surely Simone Signoret. Diabolique is very vivid in my mind. Today it would have to be both of the Isabelles. Queen Margot and Story of Women are probably my favorite movies of these two.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

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