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Top Rated French Movies: popular, classic, famous "must watch" Cinema Fançais

2. Gazon Maudit (French Twist, also Bushwhacked)

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A wonderful, clever, life affirming film.

Superficially a farce, the plot is more intricate than than you might expect, and Josiane Balasko pulls off the clever trick for a farce of making the story credible and the characters sympathetic.

The film is set in the South of France, near Avignon. Here we find Laurent (Alain Chabat), a womanising real estate agent, and his gorgeous Spanish wife, Loli (Victoria Abril) about to have their lives turned upside down by Marijo (Josiane Balasko), who comes to their house by accident and stays.

Soon, a captivating love triangle emerges, but a dynamic triangle like no other you have seen in any cinema.

All of the characters are perfectly cast and the unusually abrupt editing also works brilliantly.

Balasko wrote the film as well as directing and starring in it. She has produced a real pearl. Like many great films this one veers deliberately between high comedy and tragedy. In between the belly laughs, there is pathos in the Antoine character, in Lauren's comeuppance, and in Marijo's scene on the streets of Paris.

The film encapsulates the most notable difference between European and modern Hollywood films, namely that it is not always obvious how the plot is going to develop - and the unexpected yet plausible twists and turns provide the film's greatest attraction. See if you can guess the final plot twist.

If you do not fall in love with Loli, please seek immediate medical attention.


Genre: Comedy
Year: 1995
Runtime: 104 min
Country: France
Colour: Colour
Sound Mix: Dolby
Directed by Josiane Balasko
Written by Josiane Balasko & Patrick Aubrée
Produced by
Claude Berri, executive producer
Pierre Grunstein, producer Cinematography: Gérard de Battista
Film Editing by Claudine Merlin
Music by Manuel Malou

Victoria Abril, Loli Lafaye
Josiane Balasko, Marijo
Alain Chabat, Laurent Lafaye
Ticky Holgado, Antoine
Catherine Samie
Catherine Hiegel, Dany
Catherine Lachens, Sopha
Katrine Boorman, Emily Crumble
Telsche Boorman, Dorothy Crumble
Véronique Barrault, Vero
Sylvie Audcoeur, Ingrid
Michèle Bernier, Solange
Maureen Diot, Cristelle
Miguel Bosé, Diego, the Young Man
Jean-Luc Violet, Barman

(The haunting song "Mon Histoire" is sung by Dalida)

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The titles (in the US) of the best French films, sorted by title

  Title Year
8 Women2001
Music, Comedy, Crime, Mystery
François Ozon
A Heart in Winter1992
Romance, Drama, Music
Claude Sautet
Beauty and The Beast1946
Fantasy Drama, Romance
Jean Cocteau
Belle de Jour1967
Erotic Drama
Luis Buñuel
Betty Blue1986
Romace, Drama
Jean-Jacques Beineix
Birds Of A Feather1978
Edouard Molinaro
Bitter Moon1992
Sado-masochistic Erotic Drama
Roman Polanski
Drama, Romance
Jean-Luc Godard
Children of Paradise1945
Drama, Romance
Marcel Carne
10 Cyrano de Bergerac1990
Romance, Drama
Jean-Paul Rappeneau
11 Delicatessen1991
Sci-Fi Comedy
Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet
12 Diva1981
Action Thriller, Drama
Jean-Jacques Beineix
13 French Twist1995
Josiane Balasko
14 Hidden2005
Michael Haneke
15 Hiroshima, Mon Amour1959
Romance, Drama
Alain Resnais
16 Jean de Florette1986
Drama, Modernised Greek Tragedy
Claude Berri
17 Jesus of Montreal1989
Denys Arcand
18 Jules et Jim1961
Romance, Drama
François Truffaut
19 La Controverse de Valladolid1992
History (16thC), Drama
Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe
20 La Femme Nikita1990
Crime, Thriller, Romance, Drama
Luc Besson
21 Manon of the Spring1986
Drama, Romance, modernised Greek Tragedy
Claude Berri
22 Monsieur Hire1989
Crime Thriller, Romance, Drama
Patrice Leconte
23 My Life in Pink1997
Comedy Drama
Alain Berliner
24 One Swallow Brought Spring2001
Comedy, Romance, Drama
Christian Carion
25 Queen Margot1994
History (16thC) Drama, Biography, History, Romance
Patrice Chéreau
26 Ridicule1996
History (18thC) Drama
Patrice Leconte
27 Swimming Pool2003
Psychological Thriller, Mystery Drama
François Ozon
28 The 400 Blows1959
Crime Drama
François Truffaut
29 The Big Blue1988
Drama, Romance
Luc Besson
30 The City of Lost Children1995
Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro
31 The Closet2001
Comedy Drama
Francis Veber
32 The Discrete Charm of the Bougoisie1972
Surreal Black Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Luis Buñuel
33 The Dominici Affair1973
Crime Drama Mystery
Claude Bernard-Aubert
34 The Double Life of Veronique1991
Music, Fantasy, Romance, Psychological Drama
Krzysztof Kieslowski
35 The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain2001
Comedy, Romance, Drama
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
36 The Girl On The Bridge1999
Comedy, Romance, Fantasy, Drama
Patrice Leconte
37 The Hate1995
Crime, Drama
Mathieu Kassovitz
38 The Last Metro1980
Romance, History (WW2) Drama
François Truffaut
39 The Piano Teacher2001
Drama, Music
Michael Haneke
40 The Reader1988
Mildly Erotic Comedy Fantasy
Michel Deville
41 The Return of Martin Guerre1982
History (16thC) Drama, Biography, Crime, Mystery,
Daniel Vigne
42 The Visitors1993
Fantasy, Comedy
Jean-Marie Poiré
43 Three Colors: Blue1993
Drama, Music, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski
44 Three Colors: Red1994
Drama, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski
45 Three Colors: White1994
Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Romance
Krzysztof Kieslowski

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