Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Films about Aging in French or France

Photo by Peter Mello
Because it's Bastille Day today, I started thinking about all the age-related films I've seen with some kind of French connection.

So I went through my big list of films and selected films based on these criteria:

* Films entirely in French

* Films with significant French dialogue

* Films set entirely in France

* Films partially set in France

I didn't realize how many films fit these criteria until I started looking. Viva La France!

I'm listing them in reverse chronology, with the more recent films listed first.

This post made the Top 10 posts of 2015. Click HERE to see the other 9!

A Hundred-Food Journey (2014).  Helen Mirren headlines this film set in Southern France with starring actors of various nationalities depicting managers, staff, and family affiliated with a highly regarded classical French restaurant and an up-and-coming Indian restaurant.  Chiefly in English with some French and Hindi spoken in the film. Trailer.

Le Week-End (2014). A long-married British couple (Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan) vacations in Paris where they are having a lot of trouble managing their resources -- financial and emotional.  Dialogue is primarily in English with some French. Trailer.

My Old Lady (2014).  British and American actors play the leads with a lot of supporting French actors in this English-language film set in France. Trailer.

On My Way (2014).  Catherine Deneuve plays a woman in late midlife wondering if she has a future. She goes on a road trip and explores her identity as she forms new relationships and revisits older relationships.  Trailer.

Bicycling with Moliere (2013).  A pair of life-long friends work together (and fight together) in a small town in rural France while preparing to perform The Misanthrope. Trailer.

Just a Sigh (2013). This film has a main course of English with a lot of French on the side. It takes place chiefly in Paris where a struggling French actress meets a British professor traveling to a funeral. These two are in midlife and re-examining the whole of their lives as they connect intensely and awkwardly.   Trailer.

Last Love (2013).  Michael Caine plays a widower living in France and is oven very lost.  The dialogue is chiefly in French, but it's set in France and most of the atmospheric dialogue is in French. Trailer.

Amour (2012).  The bulk of this film is shot inside the couple's home, but it's a French-language film and depicts some elements of French culture without landscapes, landmarks and street scenes. Full Review

All Together (2011).  An ensemble cast set in France.  It's much more open about depicting sexual situations than your average US dramedy.  Jane Fonda and Geraldine Chaplin speak only in French throughout the film.  Trailer.

The Intouchables (2011). Set in France, a wealthy French man hires an African immigrant to care for him.  Primarily French language with some English. Trailer.

My Afternoons with Marguerette (2010).  Gerard Depardieu stars as a midlife man with a lot of difficulties who finds a friend in Marguerette (Gisele Casadesus), who has a lot of wisdom and strengths but is facing age-related challenges. Trailer.

Beaches of Agnes (2008). French director Agnes Varda creates a memoir through film making.  It's got an experimental style and contains some nudity.  Trailer.

Summer Hours (2008).  Juliette Binoche plays one of three siblings helping their mother as the aging women sets her affairs in order.  Set in France with primarily French dialogue but with some English spoken.  Trailer.

The Barbarian Invasions (2003).  Set in Quebec, the film contains a mix of French and English dialogue. A roguish man in Canada and his adult son from London have to reconnect because the older man is living with escalating health problems.  A set of the father's friends support in a Big Chill type reunion.  Trailer.

Since Otar Left (2003). This delightful and insightful film is set primarily in Georgia (the country) but with some scenes in France.  It features three Russian-speaking women from three different generations each exploring what resources they have for improving their lives. Some French spoken.   Trailer.

The Butterfly (2002). In this French-language film, an older man sets off on a solo quest in the mountains of SE France to find a rare butterfly only to discover a neighbor's little girl has stowed away.Trailer.

A Foreign Field (1993).  Several older World War 2 veterans (including one played by Alec Guinness) return to France to reminisce about their time in the war and how their lives have unfolded in unexpected ways.  These English-speaking vets have to find ways to communicate, connect, and reconnect with the French natives.  This was part of a BBC television series Screen One that also used released films from the same material. I found this on Netflix under A Foreign Field.  


Films about Aging in Japan
2014 Films with Aging Themes
Films about Aging: A-L 
Films about Aging: M-Z


  1. I used to love going to see French films but haven't seen one for a while. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. I hope that you find one that you enjoy, Rebecca.

  2. I remember loving the film Chocolat.
    I haven't seen most of these and not only am I grateful for the list, but also for the synopsis to help me decide where to start

    1. Oh, that's good one, and Judi Dench plays a great character in that film. Thanks for correlating that with these "French connected" films!

  3. I love this list. I love foreign films and French might be my favorite. Just listening to the language is wonderful. Thanks


    1. Oh, I hope that at least one of these is very well suited to your taste / interests. Have a wonderful day.

  4. I'm taking this list to my French Class with me. It's spectacular. INTOUCHABLE is one of my favorite films ever....greatl list. Happy Bastille Day (i'm a day late...but I thought French thoughts all day yesterday!)