Updated: 30. Jan, 2023
Are you looking for new ways to improve your French? Technology has made it easier to get everything done and achieve near perfection in everything we do. Unlike some years ago, we now have complete access to newspapers, television shows, radio stations, and internet-based streaming services. So, if you enjoy watching movies, it might be time to take advantage of them and learn French while enjoying them.
Seeing French movies feels like a guilty pleasure. But you can learn French while watching an interesting drama. Textbooks and verb conjugations are still ways to learn a new language. However, one of the most effective and exciting methods to understand a different language is to watch movies in the language you are learning. While watching, you gain a sense of culture, language, and character all in one package. So, French films help us bridge the gap between textbooks and how French speakers actually speak.
In this article, we review the five best movies that can ultimately enhance your French skills.
There are several award-winning French movies that are accessible worldwide and are suitable for your leisure time. So, here are our top five movie recommendations for French language learners. These movies will improve your vocabulary, listening, accents, and pronunciation, and you will also learn new expressions.
Kirikou et la Sorciere is an adventure animated movie directed by Michel Ocelot. While the film is targeted at kids, the plot is a beautiful and simple story for all ages. The movie follows a newborn boy, Kirikou, on a journey to deliver his village from an evil witch. The film has some rich visuals alongside clear and simple spoken language.
In addition, the movie is also accompanied by useful vocabulary about family, emotions, feelings, culture, and nature, which makes it suited for French beginners and intermediate learners. However, as you watch the movie, look for grammar to familiarize yourself with French tenses. The movie is available to stream on Kanopy, Mubi, and Prime Video.
Les Choristes tells a story of a group of disobedient schoolboys who have turned a new leaf and become good. The film focuses on the influence of a new teacher, Clement Mathieu, and how the teacher tries to refocus the troubled boys. So, the teacher started a choir in his spare time in a bid to change the schoolboys. After that, Clement Mathieu builds a special relationship with a talented schoolboy, who the movie is focused on.
Les Choristes is uplifting, emotional, and a great way to introduce you to the world of French cinema. Since it’s a school setting, the language is primarily straightforward, simple, and conversational. However, there are complex moments that are easy to follow within the framework of the plot. Thus, with a clear plot line and a captivating endnote, Les Chroistes is an interesting movie that will leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.
Le fabuleux Destin d’Amelie, known in the English language simply as Amelie, is one of the biggest and most successful French movie stories. The movie was directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and it is the story of Amelie Poulain, a young lady who decided to help people find joy in their lives quietly while battling her own insecurities.
Amelie was set in Montmartre, Paris, and it is a positive look into modern French life and also celebrates the distinctions of human behavior. Notably, it is a beautiful story for every beginner and intermediate French learner who wants to enjoy a peaceful French atmosphere. It is an excellent movie for learning French, and the dialogues are easy to follow and understand.
The richness of the movies makes it easy to pick new words and phrases as you watch without realizing that you are learning already. You can always rewatch the scenes you enjoy the most to learn more and improve your skills. Amelie is available on different streaming platforms.
If you want to know what French family life is like, then Un air de Famille is a must-watch for you. This movie, directed by Cedric Klapisch, takes place in one night. However, as the morning drew closer, family tensions were exposed one by one, and eventually, the facade of normalcy crumbled.
The movie is centered around domestic tension and family drama. The dialogues in the movie are easy to follow as long as you are fully prepared to listen to arguments. If you enjoy family dramas and want to see the behind-the-scenes of a French family, then this movie is for you.
The movie, directed by Francis Veber, is based on a play and tells a story about a group of friends who compete to crown the stupidest person they can invite for dinner. However, this backfires for one friend as his guest innocently begins to mess up his host’s life.
The movie is a great comedy and not overly complicated. This means the dialogues are easy to follow for both intermediate and advanced French learners. Le diner de cons is available for rent on different streaming platforms and on Kanopy.
It is possible for any French learner to watch, enjoy French movies, and learn simultaneously. So why should you learn by watching French movies?
First, watching French movies is entertaining. Although committing yourself to strict grammar lessons might look like the fastest way to become conversational in French, engagement is important when it comes to learning a language. So, you will learn more when you are enjoying your lessons, something movies can achieve. Indeed, watching movies might seem like too much relaxation. But watching French shows is just another learning process.
Watching French movies also improves your pronunciation. Learning from books and pronouncing out loud is an effective way to learn sentence structure and vocabulary. However, if you want to improve your pronunciation, then you should learn from the masters. Watching French movies and listening to the actors speaking the language is a great way to master your pronunciation.
Watching French movies also builds your passive language skills. When you continually watch French movies, your brain becomes more accustomed to hearing French speech patterns, accents, and turn of phrase. Sometimes, you may not understand every word as you watch the movie, but your brain will unconsciously become familiar with the language. Becoming familiar with the language is an important step in moving toward comprehension and expression.
So, watching French movies is one of the effective and easiest ways to learn French on your own and improve your passive comprehension.
Movies and TV shows come in handy when it comes to learning French. There are several French movies in existence for different language-proficiency levels. This means you will always get a French movie to watch at whatever level you find yourself. So, if you have been looking for new ways to improve your French skills, then it is time to add French movies to your to-do list.
Like every other good thing, this method works best with other language learning methods. So, as you watch the movies, be prepared to practice the new words and phrases you learn. Keep this up, and you will be speaking French fluently like a pro in no time.