Whether it’s culture, romance or its famous cuisine, Paris offers travellers a unique experience. Visit the famous Eiffel Tower or hang out in local bistros – whatever you choose to do, this vibrant, modern city captures the very essence of French culture. But if you’re not quite sure whether Paris is the destination for you, let these wonderful movies help you decide.
This cinematic masterpiece by Jean-Pierre Jeunet focusses on the internal musings of its title character – a somewhat timid waitress called Amélie. It’s this character’s introverted nature that seems to narrow the visual focus of this film into her Montmartre neighbourhood. While she goes about helping others to fix their lives, you’re given an extremely localized snapshot of the real Parisian lifestyle – an interesting and alluring way of life that you’ll no doubt want to explore for yourself.
Glamour, decadence and downright sexiness are brought to life in Moulin Rouge – a film that conjures up all the raw passion of this famous French cabaret. A stylish musical starring Nicole Kidman and Kylie Minogue, this film will make you fall in love with the Paris nightlife and that old-world cabaret charm.
The Da Vinci Code
This mystery adventure film, adapted from the best-selling book by Dan Brown, features some of the most beautiful locations across Paris. From the wondrous artworks of The Louvre to the tranquil 17th century church of Saint-Sulpice, The Da Vinci Code is an action-packed tourist information film that showcases just some of the city’s most striking architecture.
Midnight in Paris
In recent years, Owen Wilson has become synonymous with outlandish comedy in films such as Drillbit Taylor and Wedding Crashers. But this romantic comedy is a far more subtle performance and a wonderful view of Paris at night-time – Owen Wilson playing a writer who moves to Paris with his wife and finds his midnight walks through the city to be the ultimate inspiration for his work.
Jean Luc-Godard’s directorial debut is credited as the film that put the French New Wave movement on the map. It remains one of the most defining moments in French cinema history. It was one of the first French films to break away from the confines of the studio by shooting on the bustling boulevards of Paris. The youthful and chic depiction of Paris is one that we are so familiar with today, yet to audience in the 60s it was an entirely new appreciation of the city.
Perfect for those travelling as a family, Ratatouille captures the very essence of Paris within this light-hearted, animated tale. Following the story of Remy, a loveable mouse who dreams of becoming a chef, Ratatouille manages to evoke the tastes and smells of the most gorgeous French cuisine, leaving you salivating at the thought of all that wonderful food.
Of course, there are plenty more films set in and around Paris, from Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, to Paris Je T’aime (a tribute by some twenty directors to the city they love). So immerse yourself in these romantic, cultured and fascinating worlds – it won’t be long before you find your own way to this beautiful city.