Five French Movies to Celebrate Bastille Day

See also: Five Songs in Celebration of Bastille Day See also: The French 75: Not French, But It's So Good, Who Cares?

Bastille Day, the English name given to France's La Fête Nationale, is an annual shindig in honor of the storming of the Bastille Saint-Antoine on July 14, 1789.

And while the day's a chance to re-enact the drunken stupor of your study abroad, hum a tune by Édith Piaf, or casually drop into conversation how many times you've seen Amelie, it's also an opportunity to raise one for the French.

And while you do -- you can even try a pseudo-French cocktail -- you can search Hulu, Netflix, or BitTorrent for these five films. No, they don't include Audrey Tatou's iconic adventure (though you really should see it, along with Triplets of Belleville, Delicatessen, and sure, even Paris, Je t'aime). Instead, here are a few off of the well-popcorned path that are sure to impress even your Frenchest of friends.

5. 8 Femme(2002) 8 Women is a classic French comedy based on the play by Robert Thomas and directed by Francois Ozon. In the 1950s, eight french women gather at a large countryside chateau to celebrate Christmas when the master of of the house is discovered dead in his bed with a knife in his back. Musical Clue ensues.

4. L'élégance du Hérisson (2009) Released in the U.S. as "The Hedgehog", L'élégance du Hérisson is the story of Paloma, a very bright, serious, and absolutely bored 11-year-old who has decided to end her life on her 12th birthday (very French). As her birthday draws near, she has comical, philosophical, and beautiful conversations with like-minded characters in her apartment building that slowly start to change her mind and change her own view on her surroundings.

3. Le Goût des Autres (2000) Love triangles (or squares, trapezoids, or hexagons) are never a good idea. But when the stories of three women and three men, including an steel plant owner, his driver, and his body guard along with his wife, his tutor, and a barmaid collide, the definitions of marriage, love, and shapes begin to blur.

2. Le Dîner de Cons (1998) Every week, editor Pierre Brochant and his friends compete to see who can bring the biggest idiot to dinner. And after each dinner, the friends take a vote on who won. But one night, François Pignon shows up for dinner just as Brochant's wife leaves him and Brochant is forced to ask the "idiot" to help him fix a few dumb mistakes of his own.

1. "Asterix The Gaul." (1967) You can get your fill of French animated eye candy in the charming Triplets of Belleville or haunting Persepolis, but for a true, classic French animation, see Asterix the Gaul. The film was created in 1967, originally titled "Astérix le Gaulois," and tells the story of beloved French character Asterix as he and his comical gang battle the Roman legions.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton