The holiday season! The greatest time to curl up with a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate – and to study French! Today we will discuss films you might watch this holiday season to improve your French from the comfort of your couch.

1. Le père noël est une ordure

First stop is “Le père Noël est une ordure” (the English translation: Santa Claus is a Stinker). Indeed I cannot talk about French Christmas films without mentioning this one. It is a cute film in France and will be on the telly every year without fail.

This story was originally a theatre play before being turned into a film in 1982. The actors created a theatre company together called “Le Splendid” before moving on to making films together later.

The film follows the adventure of a man called Pierre and his colleague Thérèse during their Christmas night shift for a charity called “SOS amitié” (literally SOS friendship).

Kind of crazy, kind of hilarious, and definitely not your typical Christmas film. A must-see!

2. Santa & Cie

Literally, Santa & Co. More recently, this film also features some very well-known French actors like Alain Chabat, Audrey Tautou, and Pio Marmaï. It is a comedy with a little bit of adventure sprinkled in, great for the whole family.

All of Santa’s 92,000 elves become ill at the same time in the middle of the Christmas preparations. In order to save the situation, his wife sends him to Earth to get vitamin C for the remedy she needs to prepare. He ends up in Paris in the middle of the night where everyone thinks he’s crazy…

Funny and cute, this movie will be a great way to learn more vocabulary about Christmas.

3. Joyeux Noël

A change in atmosphere with this next film. “Joyeux Noel ” is centered around the First World War. You will probably recognize a few faces if you enjoy French films like Guillaume Canet, Dany Boon, or even Diane Kruger.

The film depicts the Christmas truce of 1914 through the eyes of German, French, and Scottish soldiers. While mainly in French, you will also be able to hear English and German being spoken throughout the film, which makes for a very interesting and culturally rich experience.

This film is also a good way to remember or even learn about history, and it does a great job reminding us that despite our differences we are in fact all the same.

4. Un Conte de Noël

Our next film is a comedy-drama called ” Un Conte de Noël”. The film was nominated for the “Palme d’Or” at Cannes (the biggest award you can get during the festival) and won a few different “Césars” (the equivalent of the Oscars in France).

It is centered around a family whose troublesome dynamic is made worse when they gather together over the festive period because of their mother’s health-related problems. You will probably recognize the famous actress Catherine Deneuve who plays the mother.

A closeup on complicated relationships and some philosophical musings? Now that’s quite typical of the French cinema!

Gripping and exhilarating, it is far from your classic cheesy Christmas movie.

5. Le père Noël

Our next film, “Le père Noël”, is the story of a burglar dressed up as Santa Claus to rob houses in order to pay his debts. One night he lands on the balcony of a little boy’s bedroom wanting to rob the parents’ house. The child, unfortunately, convinced that he is the real Santa, starts following him everywhere. It is the start of a very long night for this fake Santa…

The actor Tahar Rahim and the little boy Victor Cabal will be sure to melt your heart during this holiday season.

Tender and funny, this film is a great way to revise French slang.

6. Les bronzés font du ski

We started with them and we will finish with them – another cult comedy by the actors of “Le Splendid” (actually the second one of a series called “Les Bronzés”). This one is “Les Bronzés font du ski”. (The title in English is French Fried Vacation).

Pretty much every French person on the planet (at least those over 20 years old) can quote at least one line from the movie, it is that well-known.

We get to follow a group of friends going on vacation together at a ski resort and all the crazy things they get up to like getting lost in the mountains, etc.

Watching this film is sure to cheer you up during a cold winter evening!

The wrapping up

There are a lot more films than what we have just talked about, so if you have a favorite that I have not mentioned or if you decide to watch one of these movies, please let us know what you think on social media.

Happy holidays!