French movies to Learn French at home (from the comfort of your couch!)

France is known for its cinema. So it’s no surprise that when learning French, students decide to use French movies to accompany their French language learning. 

Watching French movies is effective (and fun!) to learn French. Who doesn’t want fun and effective? 😉

These French movie recommendations can teach you grammar, sentence structure, and even slang, using words and expressions that French natives also use, something you rarely will find in a textbook. Plus, it’s a great way to learn French for free

More importantly, knowing those movies that every French person knows and understanding French movie culture will help you make friends with natives and enhance your cultural awareness. 

If you are taking the DELF B1 or above, French cultural awareness is fundamental.

Here’s a list of titles to help you learn French through Movies:

French Movie Recommendations for Beginners

Learning French as a beginner through movies will seem daunting. When your vocabulary is weak, it’s very difficult to understand what natives are saying. 

Although it is harder to use movies to learn French as a beginner, it is not impossible! A great place to start is cartoons

    • Kirikou et la Sorcière (1998)

    • Kirikou et les Bêtes Sauvages (2005)

I grew up watching the Kirikou movies. Every French person knows them, and both children and adults enjoy them. It shows how a little boy saves his village from an evil witch. Because it targets children, the vocabulary and grammar used is much easier than other live action movies.

    • Ratatouille

Although you have probably already watched it in your own language, Ratatouille is set in France and shows the beautiful Parisian architecture. What better to fully immerse in this iconic animation than to watch it in French? Just like Kirikou, it’s an animation movie mainly watched by kids, so the French Vocabulary used is more accessible to beginners. 

If you’re not really the cartoon and animation type, these are some live-action French movies for beginners. 

    • Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain

This whimsical romantic comedy follows the adventures of a shy waitress who decides to bring happiness to those around her. It features beautiful visuals and a charming story. It’s an iconic movie whose soundtrack is known everywhere in France and all over the world. 

    • Les Intouchables 

This heartwarming and humorous film tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a quadriplegic aristocrat and his caregiver. The dialogue is clear and the film offers insight into French culture. It broke all records when it first came out and it often comes up in French conversations. After it came out, many people started using the iconic line: “pas de bras, pas de chocolat”. 

no bs French verb workbook: finally understand french conjugations and verb variations 

French Movie Recommendations for Intermediate Learners

Intermediate learners get a bit more freedom in terms of the resources they can use. Because you know more sentence structures, more vocabulary, and overall are just more comfortable with the French language, it will be easier to pick up on new words and expressions. 

Plus, you can watch French movies that you are interested in, and watch them for the story rather than for just the language learning aspect.

This is more a list of my favourite French movies than anything else. They are available on Netflix so it will be very easy for you to find.

    • “Je ne suis pas un homme facile” (2018) 

In this French comedy, a chauvinistic man magically wakes up in a world where women hold the societal power, challenging his preconceived notions of gender roles.

    • “The Climb” (2017) 

This French drama revolves around the lives of two friends, one of whom faces a personal crisis while the other aspires to become a professional cyclist. Their friendship is tested as they navigate the challenges life throws at them.

    • “Divines” (2016) 

Divines is a gritty French drama that follows the story of a teenage girl from a low-income neighbourhood who becomes involved in the world of street dance and crime. The film explores themes of friendship, ambition, and identity.

    • Vie Scolaire (2019) 

Set in a French school, this comedy-drama focuses on the life of a dedicated school counselor as she navigates the challenges and chaos of her job, working with students from diverse backgrounds.

    • Nothing To Hide (2018) 

In this French comedy-drama, a group of friends attending a dinner party decides to share their text messages and phone calls with each other to prove their openness and honesty. However, the evening takes unexpected turns as secrets are revealed.

How To Learn French Through TV

You can learn French through movies and although it is hard, it is not impossible. It can be easily distracting if you don’t do it right. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to harness the power of movies to enhance your French skills:

1. Build Your Basic French Film Vocabulary:

    • Really what I mean by that is: learn basic sentences and structures that can often come back in movies. If you’re a complete beginner, don’t just start watching movies and hoping you become fluent. Instead, learn the basics, a few sentences, some verb conjugations. 

3. Focus on French Movie Dialogues:

    • Pay close attention to the dialogues in French movies. Listen to the way characters speak, their accents, and the expressions they use. This will help improve your comprehension and speaking skills.

4. Start with English Subtitles:

    • If you’re a beginner, opt for French movies with English subtitles. This allows you to follow the storyline while simultaneously hearing the spoken language. It’s a gentle introduction to French cinema and language.

5. Transition to French Subtitles:

  • As your confidence grows, switch to French movies with French subtitles. This step will challenge you to rely more on your listening skills and enhance your ability to connect spoken words with their written forms. I recommend doing this as soon as possible. You won’t understand everything, but that’s the point!

Learning French through TV, particularly via movies, can be a rewarding journey. It combines language learning with cultural exploration, making the process both educational and enjoyable. So grab your popcorn, select your favorite French film, and embark on a cinematic adventure that will also improve your language skills. Bonne chance! (Good luck!)


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