It's the National Day of France, aka Bastille Day. Thus we’re looking at some series and movies either set in France or in the French language that you can watch specially for the occasion.
Make Bastille Day parfait by checking these out on Netflix.
I Am Not an Easy Man
'I Am Not an Easy Man' on Netflix inspires a lot of laughs as it imagines what it would be like in a world where gender roles were reversed. Its protagonist is a selfish chauvinist who reaps all the benefits of a patriarchal society. That is until a bump to the head transports him to a world where women are in charge. It's an interesting concept with small details that really get you thinking.
If you enjoy shows like 'Sherlock' starring Benedict Cumberbatch, 'Lupin' is definitely one to watch. The series beat both 'Bridgerton' and 'The Queen’s Gambit' in viewing figures, which is a testament to how good it really is. Consisting of ten parts, the series stars Omar Sy as a professional thief who is determined to get revenge on the Pellegrini patriarch, after he framed his deceased father for a crime he didn't commit. The mish-mash of crime, thriller, comedy, and drama is sharp, zippy, and exciting, and will have you on the edge of your seat with its twists and turns. Prepare to become obsessed with the star Omay Sy, because he is brilliant in it, and such a charmer.
Blue is the Warmest Colour
High school student Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) feels unable to relate to her classmates. Her life completely changes when she meets the enigmatic Emma (Léa Seydoux), a blue-haired aspiring painter who she starts a relationship with and eventually moves in with. 'Blue is the Warmest Colour' captures sexual awakening and the heartache of love in a way that has rarely been captured on the big screen.
A woman who wakes in a cryogenic chamber with no recollection of how she got there must find a way out before running out of air. This French sci-fi high concept thriller will keep you guessing from start to finish and recalls 'Buried', starring Ryan Reynolds, from a few years back. Mélanie Laurent, who audiences will recognise from Quentin Tarantino's 'Inglorious Basterds', is fantastic in the leading role. The feature dropped on Netflix last May and you can read our 4-star review for it here.
Call My Agent!
Another French language series you might want to check out this Bastille Day is 'Call My Agent!' The show is set in a top Paris talent firm, where agents scramble to keep their star clients happy, and their business afloat. Critics have praised the dramedy as witty and fresh. It was announced of late that a UK remake is in the works. Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Huppert, Jean Dujardin, Jean Reno and even Sigourney Weaver have made cameo performances in the beloved series which has drawn fans from all over the globe since dropping on Netflix.
Not to be confused with the musical, 'Les Misérables' takes its story from the 2005 riots in Paris. A recent transplant to the impoverished suburb of Montfermeil joins the local anti-crime squad, but struggles to maintain order amidst the rising tensions between local gangs. The 2019 movie marked the feature directorial debut of Ladj Ly and received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. It won four prizes at the César awards (the French equivalent of the Oscars), including best film, last year.
'Emily in Paris' did get criticism upon release, and admittedly it definitely features some cringey French stereotypes. But if you can set its simplistic nature aside, there’s good fun to be had in the show. It follows Emily (played by Lily Collins) as she looks for love and opportunities in Paris. Her new job involves renovating the social media strategy of a French luxury marketing company. Lily Collins is perfectly cast, with her cute, friendly, enthusiastic nature. She proves to have a knack for comedy too. 'Emily in Paris' is formulaic but enjoyable escapism with glamourous clothes and stunning locations. It’ll be returning for a second season so here’s hoping there's a little more nuance this time around…