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Top 5: Films set in Paris

Paris stands as one of the liveliest cultural hubs in the world—here are five of the best films set in this shining metropolis

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5) The Aristocats

What better way to serenade to the eternal city than with a bunch of singing felines? Disney’s classic The Aristocats is a sweet film about a crazy cat lady who has her family of cats stolen by her scheming butler.  A wonderful celebration of song and life in the city of love. The animated realisations of the city, and the blossoming romance between pampered puss Duchess and Thomas O’Malley, “the alley cat” will make any heart swoon.

4) Bob Le Flambeur

This French New Wave film from the 1950s is totally unheard of, but a masterpiece nonetheless. Quite literally translated as ‘Bob the Gambler’, it’s a tense heist movie about a broke gambler who gets together his team of cool, urbane criminals to rob a casino in the South of France.

3) La Haine

A familiar one for those of you who studied French at A-level, La Haine is an angry revenge tale of three banlieue youths, whom, after the wake of violent riots in Paris, plot to kill a policeman. Everything about this film screams edge—from the black and white cinematography that highlights Paris’ rich and poor, to the taut 24-hour narrative—you will be on the edge of your seat until the explosive dénouement.

2) Last Tango in Paris

For those of you who like a saucier film, this stars classic actor Marlon Brando as a depressed American who shacks up with a young French woman in a Parisian apartment. The film was notorious for its graphic depictions of sex (including a questionable butter scene), and provoked outrage from conservative 1970s Britain when it was released.

1) The Beat That My Heart Skipped

French tour de force Romain Duris stars as thuggish gangster Thomas, who must choose between a life of cocaine and crime working for his father’s gang, or escape to a successful life through his talent as a classical pianist. With a fantastic use of sound and editing, Jacques Audiard’s breathtaking snapshot of the life of a French gangster will stay with you for life.