As we near the end of 2023, “best of” roundups are some of my favorite ways to catch the great films, TV shows, and books that may have slipped through the cracks of a chaotic year. Andrea Meyer has indulged us with a collection of the best French movies of 2023, so check to see if your favorite made the list, or if there may be new favorites lurking in store.
Andrea also interviewed the inimitable Isabelle Huppert, who is in two French films out in the States this month. La Syndicaliste (titled The Sitting Duck in English) is based on the true story of a union representative and whistleblower fighting corruption in France in the early 2010s. Meanwhile her other film, Mon Crime (The Crime is Mine), is a campy 1930s-inspired romp about a struggling actress and her best friend/lawyer, who wring fame and fortune out of a murder accusation. (This lighthearted film from François Ozon would be great for an evening in that doesn’t leave you with an aftertaste of French existential angst.)
This Thursday, December 7th kicks off Hanukkah (often spelled Hanoucca in French). The Festival of Lights will be coming to the City of Lights with a series of menorah lighting ceremonies throughout the city, starting with the Place de la République on December 7 at 7:30pm.
If you’re celebrating at home, feel free to try a French take on some Jewish traditions with gruyère latkes from Melissa Clark’s Dinner in French. (If you don’t have the book, the idea is simple: use your preferred latke recipe, but add 5 ounces of gruyère per pound of potatoes. For an extra French twist, fry them in duck fat and serve with crème fraîche in place of sour cream.) There’s also this great recipe for Brisket Bourguinon from Kendra Vaculin.
A new 4K restoration of Jean-Luc Godard’s science fiction and Film Noir thriller ALPHAVILLE will premiere in NYC on Friday, December 15 at the IFC Center.
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