What to Watch in January
Each month, FrenchFlicks selects the best French films available on Canal+ International and Studiocanal through DIRECTV. In January, you’ll have plenty to choose from, including flicks showcasing all star ensemble casts, retro crime thrillers and an original and buoyant look at Cuba's music scene.
FILMS (Tuesdays and Fridays at 8 PM EST)* :
CE SOIR JE DORS CHEZ TOI (2007) on 01/08/2019
Alex (Jean-Paul Rouve) feels as if he's sitting on top of the world -- he's enjoying a successful career as a writer, and he's in love with a beautiful woman, Laeticia (Melanie Doutey) who seems to be just as infatuated with him. But as Alex's romance with Melanie progresses, she gently but firmly insists on a more permanent relationship, and asks him to move in with her. Commitment-phobic Alex is convinced this is the first step towards marriage, and insists on keeping his own flat.
Why FrenchFlicks likes it - The feel good vibes carry over from the holidays in this cheeky heartfelt romance in which the beautiful Laeticia tries to win over her charming if not slightly neurotic beau.
18 ANS APRÈS (2003) on 01/11/2019
Marie (and her three fathers) are taking A-levels. Marie passes. She spends the summer in the country with her mother, Sylvia, who has returned from America with her Californian husband who has two sons. Marie falls in and out of love for the first time in front of her alarmed fathers, who see Marie's innocence slipping away at frightening speed, and their relationships with the two women become even more complicated.
Why FrenchFlicks likes it - For uproarious laughs that only family dysfunctional families can provide, tune into this unique comedy with twists, turns and snappy performances.
CUBA FELIZ (2000) on 01/15/2019
Seventy-six-year-old Cuban street musician Miguel Del Morales, known as El Gallo (The Rooster), travels around Cuba with his guitar, making music in the homes of friends, in bars, and on street corners, in courtyards and stairwells. His rich voice, colored by a lifetime of cigarettes and rum, weathered by the sun and rain, bespeaks the joys and sufferings of his countrymen. An urban troubadour, Del Morales has been called "a living memory of Cuban bolero."
Why FrenchFlicks likes it - And now for a colorful adventure a little further south. Cuba Feliz is a gritty, soulful and magical trip that is so powerful, you may not even need a vacation this summer.
LE GRAND APPARTEMENT (2006) on 01/18/2019
Thanks to the law of 1948 and to her grandmother, the nominal tenant who is always absent, Francesca Cigalone and all her tribe live on a shoestring in a very big apartment. Which is not to the liking of supercilious owner Charlotte Falingard, who has been intent for some time on having them evicted for obvious speculative reasons. But suing Francesca is no bed of roses. The lady is tenacious. Moreover she once studied law...
Why FrenchFlicks likes it - Another classic with a merry band of characters, Mathieu Almaric stars in this melding of the eccentric, the narcissistic, the senile and everything in between.
C'EST LE BOUQUET (2002) on 01/22/2018
A strange phone call sets in motion a series of traumatic events in writer/director Jeanne Labrune's self-described "fantasy," C'est le Bouquet! Catherine (Sandrine Kiberlain of Alias Betty) and Raphaël (Jean-Pierre Darroussin of The Town Is Quiet) seem a reasonably happy middle-class Parisian couple until early one morning, when an old acquaintance, Emmanuel Kirsch (co-writer and one-time Godard collaborator Richard Debuisne) calls Catherine out of the blue and asks how much she got for a piece of real estate she sold 15 years earlier
Why FrenchFlicks likes it - C'est le Bouquet is precisely the type of situational piece of hilarity in which Sandrine Kiberlain would star. And that's a good thing. It's quirky, toe curling and keeps you glued to the screen to discover what happens next.
ANTHONY ZIMMER (2005) on 01/25/2019
In Nice, the international police force and the Russian mafia are chasing Anthony Zimmer, an intelligent man responsible for laundry of dirty money in France. Zimmer had extensive plastic surgery, and his new face and voice are completely unknown. The only means to reach Zimmer is through his beloved mistress Chiara, who is under surveillance of the police and the mobsters.
Why FrenchFlicks likes it - For the thrill seekers, Anthony Zimmer is here at your service in the form of a true Samson and Delilah twister. Earning a César Award nom in 2006, it stars two intensely captivating leads, Yvan Attal and Sophie Marceau.
LA VIE EST UN MIRACLE (2004) 01/29/2019
What could be better for a village than a scenic railway to bring in the tourists? What could be worse for tourism than war? Luka builds the railway and shuts his eyes to war. Then Luka's wife runs off with a musician and his son is called up to the army. Luka's life is a war zone. Then he meets Sabaha..
Why FrenchFlicks Likes It – This story of life in chaos in a sweet simple town is sure to inspire you to take a trip to the countryside and ride a donkey, sip some local wine and stare out into the mountainside. It’s also a bundle of laughs, unexpected romance and is bursting with the perfect amount of camp.
LE PAPILLON (2002) 02/01/2019
In this family-friendly movie, Julien, a collector of butterflies, seeks to find the rare Isabelle Butterfly at the request of his now deceased brother. Before he begins his journey to the Alps for this year's search, he meets 8 year old Elsa, a girl with a very unattending mother. Julien agrees to bring Elsa along on his search, not knowing that Elsa's mother never approved or knew about this.
Why FrenchFlicks Likes It – A good film to watch with the grandkids, this film reminds us how much beauty our elders can unveil about the world around us, and how youngsters can sharpen our perspectives.
LE MOUTARDE ME MONTE AU NEZ (1974)
Genre : Comedy
Director : Claude Zidi
Pierre Durois is a bumbling school teacher with an eye for the older female students; his father is a reputable surgeon who is running for Mayor. There's a film shooting crew in town and the paparazzi are around too. Zaney antics follow with typical French coincidences to heighten the comic elements.
Why FrenchFlicks likes it - Slapstick comedy at its finest. You can’t help but feel for the loveable Pierre, played by Pierre Richard, who is in his element as the quintessential bumbling romantic fool. The ravishing Jane Birkin (mother of Charlotte Gainsbourg) stars alongside him.
L'AUBERGE ROUGE (1923)
Genre : Comedy
Director : Claude Autant-Lara
A group of travelers, including a monk, stay in a lonely inn in the mountains. The host confesses to the monk his habit of serving a soporific soup to the guests, to rob their possessions and to bury them in the backyard. The story unfolds as the monk tries to save the guest's lives without violating the holy secrecy of the confession.
Why FrenchFlicks likes it – No one does murder mystery like the French! Originally intended to be based on the short story of the same name written by Honoré de Balzac in the mid 19th century, funding ran out and the project turned into something completely its own.
DU RIFIFI À PANAME (1966)
Genre : Crime, Drama
Director: Denys Patelliere[nbsp
In Paris, a gold smuggler is at war with other local gangsters who want piece of the action. Then the mob shows up and makes things worse. Also, an undercover US Treasury Department agent is trying to infiltrate the smuggler's business.
Why FrenchFlicks Likes It – To see the highly revered Jean Gabin in action, look to this film for a taste of the ultimate French crime thriller in its hey day, with its sleek design, expressive characters and sultry heroines.
*All films are in French without subtitles.