15 Best French Movies on Hulu

15 Best French Movies on Hulu

May 22, 2024

Share:

twitter
facebook
reddit
pinterest
link

It would be easy to stereotype the typical French film as “weird.” But the French have long earned the right to experiment and to have their experiments influence the rest of the global film industry, given their cinematic history dating back to the very, very first movies ever made. And a great streaming service to find French productions or co-productions that try doing things a little differently is Hulu, whose selection is already typically more offbeat and more independent than its most closely affiliated streamers like Disney Plus. Below we’ve put together a list of little-known but high-quality movies on Hulu that you may or may not have known were French, too.

11. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)

7.9

Country

France, United Kingdom

Director

Declan Lowney

Actors

Alan Rothwell, Anna Maxwell Martin, Anna Stockton, Colm Meaney

Moods

Character-driven, Easy, Funny

TV’s Alan Partridge — Steve Coogan’s brilliant skewering of small-time celebrity vanity — gets the big-screen treatment in this suitably parochial action thriller. The premise feels like the kind of ridiculous scenario the radio DJ would fantasize about in between songs: Pat (Colm Meaney), an ex-employee of North Norfolk Digital, returns to the station armed and takes his former colleagues hostage, refusing to negotiate with anyone but Alan. Those familiar with Coogan’s painfully self-absorbed character will foresee that going straight to his already delusions-of-grandeur-filled head, and it does; as one character puts it, he’s like a puffed-up robin.

Much of the hilarity comes from the way Alan’s obvious glee at the heroic position he’s found himself in distracts him from actually saving the day, but there is equally sharply drawn satire in the supporting characters, too. Favorites from the TV series, like Alan’s put-upon assistant Lynn (Felicity Montagu) — herself a brilliant feat of perceptive comedy — make welcome returns here, but, like Alan, their eccentricities are made accessible enough that Partridge virgins won’t feel their ignorance. With all the original writers back onboard (including Armando Iannucci, the comedy genius behind The Death of Stalin and Veep), Alpha Papa is another reliably hilarious entry in the Partridge canon. Back of the net.

12. Two Lovers (2008)

7.8

Country

France, United States of America

Director

James Gray

Actors

Alex Felix, Anne Joyce, Bianca Giancoli, Bob Ari

Moods

A-list actors, Romantic

This is the most practical romantic movie I have seen though many would disagree with its ending. It’s a triangular love story that trades cashable means of storytelling with a much more sensible approach. After a failed relationship, Leonard Kraditor (Joaquin Phoenix) returns to live with his parents only to find himself torn again between an exciting neighbor and a woman his parents set him up with. Phoenix delivers an impeccable performance as it goes without saying but Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw really steal the show as the two love interests. They both deliver honest and very interesting portrayals. All in all, Two Lovers is a complex and very well-acted film that goes as far as examining the notion of love, and what we look for in people, through seemingly a simple story.

13. Triangle Of Sadness (2022)

7.8

Country

Denmark, France, Germany

Director

Ruben Östlund

Actors

Alex Schulman, Alicia Eriksson, Amanda Schulman, Amanda Walker

Moods

Dark, Discussion-sparking, Funny

Among the sea of class satires released in the last year, Triangle of Sadness is one of the better ones. Directed by Ruben Östlund (The Square, Force Majeure), the film follows an ultra-rich group of people who get stranded on an island after their luxury cruise ship sinks. The social pyramid that has long favored them suddenly turns upside down when a crew member (a glowing Dolly de Leon) effectively runs the group of sheltered castaways.

Triangle of Sadness may not be as sharp as Östlund’s previous work, and it may not add anything particularly new to the saturated discussions of social class, but it remains a darkly humorous and engaging watch, masterfully helmed by a strong script and ensemble.

14. The Traitor (2020)

7.7

Country

Brazil, France, Germany

Director

Marco Bellocchio

Actors

Alessio Praticò, André Lamoglia, Antonio Orlando, Aurora Peres

Moods

True-crime, True-story-based

This slow Italian drama tells the true story of Mafia boss Tommaso Buscetta, who became the highest-profile Mafia informant at the time of his arrest in the 1980s.

Tommaso, while supervising a criminal network in Sicily, moved to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to attempt a more legal and quieter life. His role catches up with him and he is quickly arrested.

As a biopic, it rarely depicts violence or glorifies organized crime. Instead, it attempts to document the life of a Mafia boss more realistically: a life of always looking over one’s shoulder and of constant loss. Eventually, the movie focuses on what it would take for a man like Tommaso to flip, and what that would cost him.

The Mafia topic might feel overdone, but watching this, it’s startling to realize how few thorough character studies have come out in film.

15. Smoking Causes Coughing (2022)

7.7

Country

France

Director

Quentin Dupieux

Actors

Adèle Exarchopoulos, Alain Chabat, Anaïs Demoustier, Anthony Sonigo

Moods

Easy, Funny, Grown-up Comedy

At 80 minutes, Smoking Causes Coughing is another slice of perfectly paced absurdist fun from Quentin Dupieux, the zany mind behind Rubber (in which a car tire turns serial killer) and Deerskin, the tale of a motorcycle jacket that wants to rule the world. This time around, the protagonists aren’t inanimate objects: they’re Tobacco Force, a Power Rangers-style band of lightly idiotic superheroes who harness the toxic power of cigarettes to defeat Earth’s enemies, and are each named after one of their harmful components (Benzene, Nicotine, Mercury, Ammonia, and Methanol). They’re led by Chief Didier, a rat who inexplicably dribbles green goo — and, even more inexplicably, casts an intense erotic spell over Tobacco Force’s female members.

Smoking Causes Coughing leans deliriously, hilariously far into its absurdist premise. Citing a lack of “group cohesion,” Chief Didier sends the Force to the woods on a team-building retreat. While they swap “scary” stories over a campfire, however, a reptilian galactic supervillain plots to put Earth “out of its misery” because it’s a “sick planet” (can’t really argue with that). Full of insane plot twists and without a tired trope in sight, Smoking Causes Coughing never approaches the realm of predictability — no small achievement in this era of superhero fatigue.

Comments

Add a comment

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw

© 2024 A Good Movie to Watch. Altona Studio, LLC, all rights reserved.