The Best Movies About France to Watch Before Your Trip

It is always the right time to be planning a trip to France! We have gathered the best movies about France to watch before your trip. One of the most enjoyable ways to prepare for your French adventures is to explore the country through films. French cinema is world renowned and we’ve included some of the best in this collection, all with English subtitles. We have rounded out our list with some fantastic movies in English that were filmed in France. They will all help enhance your future trips and keep you entertained from home while you craft your itinerary

I have asked fellow travel writers to share the films they most recommend to friends who are preparing for trips to France. All of these films are available to stream on Amazon Prime and many are also available on Netflix, Kanopy, and other streaming services.  Queue up your top picks and enjoy your French travels from home!

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Table of Contents

The Best Movies Set In France

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly

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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Language: French (2007) PG-13

This mesmerizing drama was directed by famed American painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel. Based on Jean-Dominique Bauby’s bestselling memoir, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly received four Oscar nominations and ranks in the BBC’s 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century.

At 43, Jean-Dominique Bauby has it all: wealth, health, and a glamorous life as the Parisian editor of Elle magazine when he is suddenly paralyzed by a massive stroke. He wakes up after weeks in a coma in a hospital in the northern French seaside town of Berck. 

Bauby can hear and see perfectly but cannot move or speak, a condition known as locked-in syndrome. The only thing Bauby can do is blink his left eyelid. With great effort, he learns to blink in an alphabet code and thus dictate his extraordinary memoir.

Rather than being depressing, the film is joyful and inspiring. It takes us through a moving tour of Bauby’s memories and imagination. The settings include Paris and Lourdes and the windswept dunes and wide sandy beaches of France’s northern coast.

Internationally known actor Mathieu Almaric plays Bauby. Max Von Sydow delivers a riveting performance as his frail, heartbroken father.

Watch this poignant and fascinating film for beautiful visuals not just of Paris, but of Lourdes and France’s northern beaches. It is also a favorite among French learners.

 Contributed by Ingrid at Second-Half Travels.

The Chorus (English Subtitled)

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Les Choristes

Language: French (2004) PG- 13

Les Choristes is a heart-warming film set in France about the healing power of music and the change a teacher can bring to the lives of their students. The film has even been nominated as the French entry in the Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film. 

Les Choristes (also known as The Chorus) is a French film about a kind and gifted music teacher who brings a change in the students at a severely administered boys’ boarding school. He works positively with the effect of music on the lives of students. The film was set at the Chateau de Ravel in Puy-de-Dome, France. 

The film is directed by Christophe Bartatier and it stars Gerard Jugnot as Clement Mathieu and Francois Berleand as Rachin. This beautifully directed movie shows that music can bring a great change in people’s lives. Since the film is surrounded by music and the relationship between teacher and students, the music lovers and teachers will especially enjoy it.

Les Choristes reflects the French melancholie and gives you a better understanding of what France looked like 40 years ago. Indeed, the country has changed a lot over the last decades and Les Choristes will be a sentimental journey back to France’s past. It is a must-watch movie before visiting France on a vacation.  

Contributed by Paulina at Paulina on the Road

French Kiss

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French Kiss

Language: English (1995) PG-13

French Kiss is the perfect rainy Sunday afternoon 90’s rom-com. Set in stunning and uber-romantic Paris and the South of France, we follow neurotic Kate (Meg Ryan) whose fiancé has just declared that he has fallen in love with another woman. Kate journeys to France in an effort to win him back, meeting Luc (Kevin Kline) a wily rogue who agrees to help her win Kate’s fiancé back. Of course, Luc has an ulterior motive, but will his heart win over his dastardly plans?

Whilst the story is wonderful and whimsical, the real showstopper is the scenery. With locations in Paris and Provence, viewers can enjoy lush scenes in vineyards and rustic French country homes. Provence is known for its fields of purple lavender and superb Rosé wines that are produced in the region. The film concludes in Cannes, a city mostly known for its very famous film festival. Cannes sits on the Mediterranean Sea and has a wonderful promenade lined with opulent hotels and restaurants.

French Kiss treats viewers to a journey from Paris to the South of France and, of course, to two strangers who fall in love. If you love 90’s rom-coms and France, I can’t think of a more perfect movie than French Kiss.

Contributed by Missy at Travels with Missy 

Mr. and Mrs. Andelman

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Mr and Mme Adelman

Language: French (2017) R

Mr and Mme Adelman is a clever, witty, and complex film about a captivating couple. We journey with them from their first meeting until a death 45 years later. It is daring in that it tells a story of over four decades with plenty of unexpected twists, laugh-out-loud scenes, and fascinating character development. 

The film was written by co-stars and real-life couple Doria Tillier and Nicolas Bedos, so there is an authenticity and connection that brings the film to life. Bedos also directs the film, and his character might strike some as too like the real-life director.

Spanning 45 years, we see the drama of the couple’s relationship unfold against the backdrop of French news and culture from 1971 through to the present. There is chemistry, beauty, and excitement in their early years; drugs, children, and confusion as the years go on; and a much more mature and tender love by the end of the film.  All of this is intertwined with the life of a famous writer– their inspirations and how they are received by the mercurial public. Expect to be surprised and moved as you watch. 

If you are traveling to France, you will enjoy seeing the modern history that is laced throughout the film and it may inspire you to learn about major events and people. You will also enjoy scenes in Paris and Étretat that will inspire you to want to visit. 

Erica at Trip Scholars

The Best Movies Set In Paris

Les Miserables (2012)

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Les Misérables

Language: English (2012) PG-13

Victor Hugo’s Les Miserable is one of the greatest novels of the 19th century, some may have read the book in school but most probably know the story about human struggle because of the West End musical and the 2012 movie starring Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, and Anne Hathaway, who won a Best Supporting Oscar for her portrayal of Fantine. 

The story starts when Jean Valjean is released from prison and skips parole. Valjean is a kind man who has rotten luck and is relentlessly pursued by Javert, a policeman who is determined to bring him back to prison. Even though Valjean is able to reinvent himself time and time again, he is not safe from Valjean. Intertwined in the plot is Fantine, a factory worker who eventually resorts to prostitution to support her daughter, Cosette, who is being cared for by the Thenadier family. Eventually, Fantine dies and Valjean buys Cosette’s freedom before they run to Paris to get away from Javert. Fast forward a couple of years to the time of the June Rebellion of 1832 where the plot intensifies and takes unexpected turns. 

Les Misérables talks about a point in French history where Parisians rose up against the monarchy. In Paris, visitors can go to the Musée des Égouts de Paris (Paris Sewer Museum) to imagine where Valjean hid from Javert during the revolution or visit the Luxembourg Gardens, where Cosette met Marius whom she marries, or sit on one of the benches in the Champ de Mars like Valjean and take in the scenery. 

Contributed by Bernadette at Explorer Chick

June 18, 2024 4:42 pm


Language: French (2001) R

Amelie is the kind of movie that will make you want to travel to Paris as soon as you watch it. The movie tells the story of Amelie (actress Audrey Tatou), a 20-something girl who lives and works in Montmartre. She spends her days on a mission to make the lives of those surrounding her better – from her father, who she pushes to be more adventurous; to her co-worker, who she manages to match with a client of the café where she works. She also goes on a mission to play tricks and pranks to people who misbehave in the neighborhood – such as the greengrocer who regularly humiliates his disabled employee. 

Most importantly, Amelie is on a mission to find who the mystery man who abandoned a book of passport-size photos by a photo booth is. Finding him marks the beginning of romance, with motorbike rides around the city. 

Amelie is a great, feel-good movie and the soundtrack is fabulous. Watching it, you will be able to admire some of the most iconic places in Montmartre, which you will be able to visit, too!

Contributed by Claudia Tavani at My Adventures Across The World

Julie & Julia

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Julie and Julia

Language: English (2009) PG-13

Julie and Julia highlights beautiful and tasty food from France. French cuisine combines unique techniques with the fresh ingredients that come from local farms and markets. The movie shows the joy of cooking and eating delicious French food.

In the film, Julie Powell decides to cook her way through Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in one year. While Julie learns how to make French dishes with the help and guidance from Julia Child’s book, we learn about both Julias’ lives. 

The movie beautifully presents Julia Child’s love and admiration for French food. Together with the Julias, we learn about Paris in the fifties and how to cook 365 dishes in 365 days.

This movie can teach you about French culture and give you some pointers on what to order at restaurants or dishes to try at home. It will also tell you the secret of delicious French dishes… butter!

Contributed by Ania from The Travelling Twins

Breathless (English Subtitled)

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Language: French (1960) NR 

No collection of French films would be complete without including Breathless. It is often recognized as one of the top twenty films ever made and was powerfully influential. It is the first feature length film written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard; it was the breakthrough film for Jean-Paul Belmondo, who stars as Michel; and it co-stars Jean Seberg in one of her most appreciated roles as Patricia. Breathless is one of the early and influential French New Wave films and helped to change the industry.

Michel is a thief who flees from Marseilles to Paris and kills a police officer on his way. He hides out with Patricia, who is an aspiring American journalist. The story takes them around quintessentially hip 1960 Paris with a standout beatnik jazz soundtrack. Breathless broke all of the rules when it was released and made way for the cinema we are all familiar with today. To fully appreciate the film, we need to see it within historical context. The jump cuts, the lingering scenes that don’t drive the plot, the filming with hand-held cameras– they were all revolutionary. 

It is a great film to watch before your trip to France because it highlights the powerful French influence on cinematography. It will also leave you longing to wander down the Champs-Élysées and the other Parisian landmarks that fill the scenes. 

Erica at Trip Scholars

La Haine (English Subtitled)

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La Haine

Language: French (1995) NR

La Haine is a must watch film for everyone who wants to see beyond sentimentalized and romantic views of Paris. The title is taken from a line of one of the main characters, Hubert, “la haine attire la haine!”, “hatred breeds hatred!” We follow three friends in the 24 hours after the police have severely wounded a young Arab man from the projects of Paris and the city erupts in riots.

La Haine was written, co-edited, and directed by 28 year old Mathieu Kassovitz, who won the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival for the movie. It was shot in stark black and white with superb direction and an excellent soundtrack. The talented young director and cast bring a vitality and clarity to the film that makes it unforgettable. The three friends are Vinz (Vincent Cassel), a Jewish young man bursting with frustration; Hubert (Hubert Kounde), a reflective Black boxer; and Said (Said Taghmaoui), a street-smart younger Arab– all trying to find their way in a decaying society.

The film grapples with racism, poverty, police brutality, and immigration in a realistic way. It highlights the underbelly of Paris in 1995 and the underserved people living in the projects. It is also thought provoking in light of modern challenges around the world. Watching it before your trip to Paris will give you a deeper understanding of the real struggles of many Parisians.

The Intouchables

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The Intouchables

Language: French (2011) R

The Intouchables is a heartwarming and, in some instances, funny movie about a unique friendship. The movie is set in Paris and follows the story of Philippe, a wealthy man who had a terrible accident and is now bound to a wheelchair. He is looking for a new personal carer to help him with daily tasks. 

The other main character is Driss, a young man who just got out of prison after six months and must look for a job. He is not motivated to work but must apply, so he picks the carer job, thinking he won’t be accepted. However, Philippe is intrigued by Driss and decides to give him a chance and hire him. 

He appreciates that Driss doesn’t pity him but rather treats him like a real person. Although there are some initial difficulties the two soon become close friends and manage to learn a lot from each other. The Intouchables is inspired by a true story and is the perfect comedy that can also be a little bit sad. 

It is worth watching before your trip because it looks critically at Paris’s different social classes and many problems that the city faces.

Contributed by Victoria at Guide your Travel

The Best Romantic Movies Set in Paris

Hunting And Gathering (Ensemble C'est Tout) (English Subtitled)

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Hunting and Gathering

Language: French (2007) NR

Hunting & Gathering is the adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name by award winning French writer, Anna Gavalda. It is a one of the great romantic French movies to watch for everyone traveling to Paris who wants to get a glimpse of its people.

The film is telling the story of four Parisians: Franck, an overworked cook; his grandmother, Paulette; Camille, an anorexic artist working in a cleaning crew; and Philibert, a socially awkward offspring of an impoverished noble family. 

The bunch, who couldn’t be more different, end up as roommates in the worn-out apartment of Philibert. Each of the group is deeply troubled by their own struggles, and their initial hostility slowly evolves into a remedy against their personal loneliness. 

Everyone who is visiting Paris for the first time and who wants to draw more out of France’s capital than just visiting the sights should watch this movie. It has a wonderful cast including Audrey Tautou, who you probably know from the iconic French movie Amélie, in the role of Camille. Even though the film is set in Paris, it is not a film about Paris. It’s a film about four Parisians, each representing a very different lifestyle that shows a piece of the Parisian reality. 

Contributed by Lena at Salut From Paris

Midnight in Paris

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Midnight in Paris

For a romantic and charming film directed by Woody Allen set in Paris, France, I recommend Midnight in Paris. Not only is it a lighthearted and endearing film, but it’s also educational, exploring Paris’s artistic history.

It follows Gil, played by Owen Wilson, on a small trip to Paris with his fiancée, played by Rachel McAdams. Gil is utterly enamored with Paris, and dreams of escaping his life in America to live in a tiny Paris attic with a skylight, like his literary and artistic heroes did in the 1920s.

One night, while he wanders around Paris at midnight, he discovers that he’s able to travel back in time to the 20s. He proceeds to meet renowned artists and his literary idols, including Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Cole Porter, and Man Ray.

This film is what inspired me to start my 1-month Europe itinerary in Paris. Not only does the cinematography cast Paris in a dreamy and enchanting light, but it also showcases some great places to check out, including Sacré-Coeur, the Seine riverside walk, Restaurant Polidor, and the Palace of Versailles.

Overall, I wholeheartedly recommend “Midnight in Paris” for those interested in visiting France, as it will both educate you on Paris’s history and inspire you to visit some great sightseeing spots around the city!

Contributed by Mia at Walk a While with Me

Moulin Rouge

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Moulin Rouge

“So exciting, the audience will stomp and cheer,” the song ‘Spectacular, Spectacular’ in Moulin Rouge promises, and this 2001 Baz Luhrmann extravaganza definitely delivers. The movie follows young Christian, who moves to Montmartre in turn-of-the-century Paris in search of freedom, beauty, truth and love. He falls in love with Satine, a performer and courtesan from the famed Moulin Rouge nightclub. Filled with reimagined pop music, this tragic musical dramedy is a love poem dedicated to Paris and the romantics who made the city what it is today.

Travelers to France can follow in Christian’s footsteps and take the train from London to Paris as he did in the beginning of the film. Once in Paris, head to one of the most beloved neighborhoods in Paris, Montmartre. Aside from being the picturesque backdrop for Moulin Rouge, this artistic village was once home to such giants as Picasso, Matisse, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (an artist featured as a character in the movie). 

Stop by the film’s namesake, the Moulin Rouge, a real-life cabaret which opened in 1889 and is known for the can-can dance style it introduced to the world. Performances are available daily, so you can immerse yourself in the Belle Époque cabaret world of Moulin Rouge. And if the romance of the film inspired you, don’t miss Le Mur des Je t’Aime (the I Love You Wall) for a sappy photo opp in front of the tiled wall splayed with “I love you” written in over 250 languages.

Contributed by Mary at Wanderu

The Best Movies About Versailles

Marie Antoinette

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Marie Antoinette

Language: English (2006) PG-13

The film Marie Antoinette captures the essence and opulence of 18th century France, particularly in the royal courts. A light lesson on politics during this period is balanced with fantastical dresses, luxurious living, lavish architecture and drama.

Marie Antoinette is played by sweet and innocent Kirsten Dunst, while Louis XVI is portrayed by Jason Schwartzman. All together with the edgy and alternative direction of Sophia Copolla, the film has an addictive plot, start to finish. Great for teenagers and young adults looking for a dramatic and catchy retelling of historic events.

The film follows the naive and young Marie Antoinette at the age of 15-19 as she navigates politics in the 18th century. Marie is married off to Louis XVI of France and lives out her days at the opulent Versailles Palace. Scandal, gossip and intrigue ensue as Marie finds her place amongst royalty.

The Marie Antoinette movie is based at Versailles Palace, one of the most famous landmarks in France. Built by Louis XIV, the Sun God, in 1661, Versailles was the seat of power and money for over a century.

If you plan on visiting the Palace of Versailles outside of Paris proper, the film does a great job of portraying the decadence of the halls and galleries of Versailles and showcasing many parts of the grounds and interiors.

Haley of Haley Blackall Travel

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The Best Films Set in the French Countryside

Back to Burgundy

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Back to Burgundy (Ce Qui Nous Lie)

Language: French (2017) NR

Have you ever wanted to become a winemaker in France? Or thought about getting into business with your family? Back to Burgundy gives you a realistic, yet somehow still appealing, account of the struggles of running a vineyard with your siblings. 

In the film, oldest son Jean returns to his childhood home in Burgundy when his father falls ill. After a conflict with his father years back, he moved to Australia to start a vineyard there. He’s estranged from his brother and sister, who have remained in their little town. When their father dies, they must decide to continue with the business or sell. All have their own demons to battle as they try to figure out how to revive the vineyard and pay their massive debt.  

Against the backdrop of Burgundy and the changing seasons, the siblings find a way to trust each other again and work together. Despite their struggles with money, romantic partners, in-laws, competitors, and each other, they manage to produce a great wine.  

This French family drama shows that you can always come home again. It’s a heartwarming story, stacked with a great cast, gorgeous views of the French countryside, and copious amounts of red wine. If you love wine and want to be transported to France, this is a great movie to watch. 

Contributed by Sophie at Just Heading Out

A Year In Burgundy
A Year in Champagne (English Subtitled)
A Year in Port

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A Year in Burgundy (2013), A Year in Champagne (2015), A Year in Port (2016)

Languages: English and French, 13+

Pour yourself a glass and join renowned wine importer Martine Saunier as she visits with her favorite wine-making families from France. Each of the three films spans a year in Burgundy, Champagne, or Port.  We get to know the families, their struggles, and their successes through the seasons. You will appreciate wine more after watching any of these films and will be well prepared to enjoy local wines on your trip to France.

The three documentaries follow mostly small vintners as we gain understanding of the terroir and personal history of families who make each wine. We also appreciate the amazing amount of tenacity and creativity that goes into every bottle. We learn about the ancient methods of growing grapes and making wine in each region. 

The cinematography is beautiful and will make you want to travel to the French countryside to see the vineyards in person. If you are moved to want to work on a French vineyard, consider adding volunteering or working for a season into your travel plans!

Erica at Trip Scholars

The Best Movies Set in Provence

A Good Year

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A Good Year

Language: English (2006) PG-13

A Good Year is a gentle, feel-good film with a hint of romance, a large helping of nostalgia, and some gorgeous scenery from around Provence and the South of France.

The main character of the film is Max (Russell Crowe), a British man who works in the soulless and harsh London financial world.  His Uncle dies and leaves his vineyard and house in Provence to him and so he travels there to sell the property.  What begins as another financial transaction turns into a trip down memory lane as he remembers his childhood and becomes attached to the area and the inhabitants.  There are some hiccups in the sale as an intriguing woman turns up claiming to be his uncle’s daughter and Max’s interest in another woman makes him begin to wonder whether he wants to sell the property at all.

If you’re thinking about a trip to the French countryside and exploring vineyards, whether that’s in Burgundy, Champagne, or Provence, you probably have images of traditional villages, romantic atmosphere and hazy sunlight flooding the area.  This film will show you all that, get you excited for it and make you wonder whether you might actually like to buy a French property and live a life with good wine, food and weather!  If you’re just planning to visit the coastline of the Cote D’Azur or even Monaco then it will inspire you to travel inland to the villages to explore more.

Contributed by Kristy at Lost in Landmarks

My Father's Glory (La Gloire De Mon Pere) (English Dubbed)

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My Father’s Glory

Language: French (1990) G

My Father’s Glory is a great film to watch for people dreaming of visiting Provence, in Southern France. This is the first of a series of two films based on Marcel Pagnol’s childhood in Marseille. Marcel Pagnol was a French novelist, playwright, and filmmaker. Regarded as an auteur, Marcel Pagnol became in 1946 the first filmmaker elected to the Académie Française. 

The film is set in Marseille and the surrounding countryside in the 1900’s and it is based on Pagnol’s autobiography of the same name. Young Marcel grows up in the big city, under the strict rules of his father. In summertime, the family moves to the countryside and there Marcel meets a boy of his same age named Lili. The two boys soon become good friends. Lili shares with Marcel – a city boy – all the secrets of the countryside.

The film stars Philippe Caubière, Nathalie Roussel, and Didier Pain, three popular French actors of that time. It is a lovely, easy-going film perfect to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon as you dream of your trip to the south of France. It is also a trip back in time to beautiful Marseille after the First World War.

Contributed by Elisa from France Bucket List

For more great films set in Provence try Manon des Sources, Jean de Florette, and Marius Et Jeannette.

The Best Movies Set in the French Riviera


Language: French (2012) R 

Renoir is a biopic inspired by the artist himself, impressionistic in lighting, characters, and plot. Many scenes feel like sumptuous film versions of his paintings, with the gorgeous lighting of the French Riviera taking center stage. 

The story centers around Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet) at the end of his life as he paints his final model, free spirited Andree Heuschling (Christa Theret). It takes place in 1915 at his idyllic country estate along the Cote D’Azur which serves as a backdrop for many paintings and scenes in the film. His middle son Jean (Vincent Ruttiers) returns home to recover from injuries as a soldier in WWI. Both father and son become enchanted with the strong and beautiful Andree. 

Inspired by real life events, the film captures Jean and Andree early in their lives, before Andree becomes a film actress and Jean becomes one of the greatest directors of all time. Tip: Add Jean Renoir’s classics La Grande Illusion (1937) and The Rules of the Game (1939) to your watch list. 

If you appreciate a strong plot and riveting action, find another movie. This storyline dapples in scenes the way Renoir dappled light across his canvas. The not-fully developed characters in the film mirror the soft impressions and dramatic brushstrokes of the people in his paintings. This is a film to watch on the largest screen you have, the beauty of the film is what makes it a standout. 

This is a great movie to add to your playlist before your trip to France. If you are traveling to the French Riviera, you will delight in the stunning scenes of the area. When you are on your trip, be sure to visit the Musee Renoir to see the actual estate he lived in. If you are traveling to Paris, this film will help you appreciate his significant collection at Musée d’Orsay even more. 

Erica at Trip Scholars

For more great films set the French Riviera try To Catch a Thief, And God Created Woman, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

The Best Movies Set in the Dordogne


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Language: English (2000) PG-13

If you want to be swept away into the charm of the Dordogne through a lovely story, enjoy, Choloclat. Some scenes are filmed in Beynac and the traditional Gabares boats of the Dordogne River play a key role in the film. In the movie they are dressed up to host Johnny Depp and his band of river rats, but historically they helped with shipping goods from towns on the river down to the port in Bordeaux. You can even ride on one when you visit on your trip to view the castles and towns along the river. Be sure to have some good chocolate on hand to enjoy while you watch Judi Dench, Juliette Binoche, and the rest of this talented cast!

Erica at Trip Scholars

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The Best French Kids Movies

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Animated)

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Language: English (1996) G

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is perhaps one of the best animated Disney movies set in a real place. The majority of the film takes place at the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. 

Based on the classic novel by the same name, the movie, produced and released by Walt Disney, follows the story of Quasimodo, a bellringer with a disability, who spends much of his life locked away in the bell tower at the church. Out of fear of ridicule and rejection, Quasimodo avoids going out in public, making friends with the gargoyles that adorn the church.

The animated musical drama is one of the more serious and darker Disney cartoons ever released. It addresses some very tough issues like loneliness, rejection, bullying, unacceptance based on appearance, and even persecution, lust, and murder.  While the movie may be G-rated, it is perhaps best suited for older children rather than toddlers or kids under the age of 6 due to the difficult nature of some of the topics. However, the film teaches an important lesson on acceptance and can serve as a great conversation starter with children. 

In the end, Quasimodo gains acceptance and is hailed a hero in Paris and after saving the life of an immigrant woman who had befriended him.

The animation captures Notre Dame and Paris beautifully and is a great way to introduce children to Paris prior to a trip to France.

Contributed by Melissa from Parenthood and Passports


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Language: English (2007) G 

One of the best movies about France to watch before going to France is Ratatouille. This is a comedy animation film that is suitable for all ages. What makes this a great movie is that it is a lot of fun and is set in Paris. 

The movie is about a rat named Remy who has a dream of becoming a chef, as opposed to the other rats that appear in this movie. He ends up at the kitchen of a restaurant in Paris where he sees the garbage boy of the restaurant trying to fix a soup. Remy secretly fixes the soup instead, but the garbage boy spots him. The owner of the restaurant wants to fire the garbage boy for altering the soup, but the soup turns out to be a success. The garbage boy may keep his job if he can make the soup again. 

 Remy and the garbage boy decide to work together in secret. This collaboration was a success, and Remy starts working together with the garbage boy from now on, and through this Remy can fulfill his dream of being a chef. 

Through this movie you get a good impression of the food of Paris and the atmosphere of the city, which makes you want to visit Paris even more! It is a great kid’s movie set in Paris but also enjoyable for adults.

Contributed by Dymphe at Dymabroad

For more great kids films set in France try The Red Balloon,  Hugo, and The Painter.

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The Best Movies About France

We hope you have found some films to inspire your travels to France!  What are your favorite film recommendations for people traveling to France? Leave your suggestions in the comments to help other readers. Or tell me what you thought of any of the films in the article. 

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21 thoughts on “The Best Movies About France to Watch Before Your Trip”

  1. What a great list!! Les Mis is my favorite musical ever so I think I’ve seen every version, multiple times haha. And Julia and Julia and Midnight in Paris are so good too! I love how you split the movies up by region. There are lots of these I still need to see.

    • Thanks, Maggie! I’d love to know if you have any other Les Mis recommendations, it sounds like you are the person to ask! I always enjoy watching films related to where I’m traveling to, and there are so many options in France– I thought it would be nice for people to get to watch movies set in particular areas. I’m glad you liked it!

  2. i’s loving this list!!… actually i had forgotten how much i adore “Amelie,” and i’ll definitely have to rewatch that film before my next trip to france! i’m also excited to check out “Mr and Mrs Adelman.”

  3. I love the idea about watching movies about France before a visit. Always gives me ideas of places to visit and sets the mood for the visit. A great variety in the movies you have chose. Sure makes me wish France was on my travel plans.

    • Me too, Linda! I always learn a lot watching in advance and it is a great way to build anticipation and excitement– even if a place is still years away in our travel plans. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the collection!

  4. I have only seen a couple of these movies and they were quite fun. I think I would like to see Julie and Julia. It sounds quite culturally immersive.

  5. Well, I know what I’m queuing up on all my streaming platforms now! This is such a great list of movies to watch and a few I haven’t seen before! Super!

  6. Chocolat is my all-time fav French film. My daughter and I used to watch every year at Easter. I can’t wait to watch some of the movies in your list. Thank you!

  7. I always liked “American Dreamer” with JoBeth Williams and Tom Conti. It is a clever rom/com set in Paris with an excursion to Vaux le Vicompte.

  8. Love this idea of watching films before visiting France so that you can get a feel for the place!Les Miserables is my favorite, but Ratatouille is probably second.

  9. Happy to report that I’ve seen at least eight of these movies! I love movies that are set in Europe, so I’ll definitely take a look at a couple more from your list.

  10. I love French movies, even if it means watching with subtitles. Priceless was one of my favorites, so I was hoping to see it on this list, haha! But somehow I think Americans show more of the french beauty, so those are always nice to watch as well 😍

  11. I love this list! Les Misérables is my favorite musical and Ratatouille is my favorite Pixar movie! I think I’ve watched around 10 of them, but I can’t wait to watch the rest! 😍


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