17 Films that will transport you to France

If we can’t travel to France, lets experience France via the movies. Here are our favourite films that capture the beauty, charm and stunning locations of France including Paris, the Loire Valley, the Dordogne, Provence and the French Riviera!

1. An American in Paris (1951)

Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter in Paris, is "discovered" by an influential heiress with an interest in more than Jerry's art. Jerry in turn falls for Lise, a young French girl already engaged to a cabaret singer. Jerry jokes, sings and dances with his best friend, an acerbic would-be concert pianist, while romantic complications abound.

  • France locations: Paris
  • Starring: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron


2. Amelie (2001)

Amélie is a shy waitress in a Montmartre café. After returning a long-lost childhood treasure to a former occupant of her apartment, and seeing the effect it has on him, she decides to set out on a mission to make others happy and in the meantime pursues a quirky guy who collects discarded photo booth pictures.

  • France locations: Paris
  • Starring: Audrey Tautou

 

3. La Vie En Rose (2007)

Born into poverty and raised in a brothel, Édith Piaf manages to achieve worldwide fame. Though her extraordinary voice and charisma open many doors that lead to friendships and romances, she experiences great personal loss, drug addiction and an early death.

  • France locations: Paris
  • Starring: Marion Cotillard

 

4. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Professor Robert Langdon is in Paris on business when he's summoned to The Louvre. A dead body has been found, setting Langdon off on an adventure as he attempts to unravel an ancient code and uncover the greatest mystery of all time.

  • France locations: Paris
  • Starring: Tom Hanks Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno

 

5. Chocolat (2000)

When single mother Vianne Rocher and her daughter, Anouk move to rural France and open a chocolate shop, with Sunday hours, across the street from the local church, they are met with some skepticism. But as soon as they coax the townspeople into enjoying their delicious products, they are warmly welcomed.

  • France locations: Sarlat, Dordogne; Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, Cote-d’Or; Noyers-sur-Serein, Yonne; Beynac, Dordogne; Thionville, Moselle
  • Starring: Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina

 

6. A Good Year (2006) 

A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.

  • France locations: Provence; Vaucluse
  • Starring: Russell Crowe, Abbie Cornish, Albert Finney

 

7. Marie Antoinette (2006)

The retelling of France's iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen, and ultimately the fall of Versailles. Note this film has been created for the ‘younger generation’, however features lots of wonderful footage of Versailles.

  • France locations: Paris, Chateau de Versailles, Fontainebleau, Chateau de Millemont, Chateau de Chantilly
  • Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwatzman


8. Les Misérables (2012)

A musical set in 19th-century France. Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives forever.

  • France locations: None, all filmed in studio
  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway


9. To Catch A Thief (1955) 

A series of ingenious jewellery robberies takes place on the French Riviera. The police suspect John Robbie, an expert thief who was known as "The Cat" before he retired from crime. Robbie enlists the help of an insurance man to guess where the real thief will strike next.

  • France locations: Cote D’Azur, Cannes, French Riviera, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Saint Jeannet
  • Starring: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly

 

10. Before Sunset (2004)

Nine years after they first met, Jesse and Celine meet again when Jesse arrives in Paris for a reading of his new book. As they have only a few hours until his plane leaves, they stroll through Paris, talking about their experiences, views and whether they still love each other.

  • France locations: Paris
  • Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

 

11. Two For The Road (1967)

The ten-year marriage of Mark and Joanna Wallace is on the rocks. In flashback they recall their first meeting, memorable moments in their courtship, their travels through Europe, and their increasing tensions that led to both of them having extra-marital affairs.

  • France locations: Saint-Tropez, Chateau de Chantilly, French Riviera, Nice, Paris
  • Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Albert Finney



12. Paris Can Wait (2016) 

Anne is at a crossroads in her life. Long married to a successful, driven but inattentive movie producer, she unexpectedly finds herself taking a car trip from Cannes to Paris with a business associate of her husband. What should be a seven-hour drive turns into a carefree two-day adventure replete with diversions involving picturesque sights, fine food and wine, humor, wisdom and romance, reawakening Anne's senses and giving her a new lust for life.

  • France locations: Aix en Provence, Paris, Cannes, Vaucluse, Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur
  • Starring: Diane Lane, Arnaud Viard, Alec Baldwin



13. Funny Face (1957)

An impromptu fashion shoot at a book store brings about a new fashion model discovery in the shop clerk. 

  • France locations: Paris
  • Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire


14. French Kiss (1995)

A woman flies to France to confront her straying fiancée but gets into trouble when the charming crook seated next to her uses her for smuggling.

  • France locations: Paris, Vaucluse, Cannes
  • Starring: Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline



15. Girl on a Bicycle (2013)

Paolo, an Italian who drives a Paris tour bus, has just proposed to his true love, the German stewardess, Greta, when the young French beauty, Cécile pulls up beside his bus on her bicycle - and, in short order, Paolo, following some very bad advice from his friend, Derek, finds himself with a German fiancée, a French "wife", two Australian children who call him "Papa", and his life upside-down.

  • France locations: Paris
  • Starring: Vincenzo Amato, Nora Tschirner, Louise Monot


16. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

Two con men try to settle their rivalry by betting on who can swindle a young American heiress out of fifty thousand dollars first.

  • France locations: Alpes-Maritimes, Cote d’Azur
  • Starring: Michael Caine, Steve Martin

 

17. Midnight in Paris (2011)

Gil Pender is a screenwriter and aspiring novelist. Holidaying in Paris with his fiancee, he has taken to touring the city alone. On one such late-night excursion, Gil encounters a group of strange yet familiar revellers, who sweep him along, apparently back in time, for a night with some of the Jazz Age's icons of art and literature. The more time Gil spends with these cultural heroes of the past, the more dissatisfied he becomes with the present.

  • France locations: Paris
  • Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams

 

Feeling inspired to travel to France? Take a look at our superb range of tour exploring France!

 

Movie plot summaries courtesy of IMDb.

 

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Michele Zavaglia

Michele Zavaglia is the Marketing Manager at Albatross Tours.