French Language Blog

L’Auberge Espagnole …un film à voir Posted by on Jan 28, 2009 in Culture

I mentioned in an earlier post that one of my very favorite films of all time is a French film that was released in 2002 and I would recommend it to everyone, especially anyone who has ever studied abroad or even just anyone who wishes to remember their college years.  Nominated for several French César awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress, it has everything – comedy, romance and drama.  If you think you’re up to it, definitely watch it in the original French version to get the real effect sought by writer/director Cédric Klapisch and because the film features first-person narration from the main character’s perspective.

His name is Xavier (played by Romain Duris) and he is a very serious, twenty-something French university student who realizes that a year abroad would enhance his resume greatly and so, decides to part from his beautiful girlfriend (played by Audrey Tatou of Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain fame) temporarily (promising to return to her the same as before leaving) and wacky mother to head off to Barcelona where he finds a room in an apartment with six other European students.  His roommates are all from different Western European countries, speak different languages and have varying Spanish language skills.  There’s Lars, the Danish guy, who is played by Christian Pagh; Wendy, the British girl, who is played by Kelly Reilly; Isabelle from Belgium who is played by Cécile de France, the winner of a Most Promising Actress César award for her performance in this film; Alessandro, the Italian, who is played by Federico d’Anna; Soledad, the Spaniard, who is played by Cristina Brondo; and Tobias, the German, who is played by Barnaby Metschurat.  Despite the language barriers, they all find plenty in common and learn lessons about love, friendship and life and make memories that will last a lifetime.  Like the characters, you will hear French, English, Spanish and bits of Danish, German, Italian and Catalan in the film regardless of the language you choose to watch it in.
The title of the film literally means ‘Spanish hostel’, but in French, it is an idiomatic expression for a ‘hodgepodge of ingredients’ or ‘potluck’.  It can also mean a ‘busy, chaotic place’. 

Here is the trailer for the original French version of the film:

Here is the trailer for the English version of the film:

Donnez-vous vos opinions!  Feel free to give us your thoughts about this film or another French film in a comment.  You can even try writing your film review in French by telling us le titre du film (title of the film), la date de sortie (release date), le nom du metteur en scène (name of the director), les acteurs principaux (the leading actors), le genre (the genre), le thème (the topic) and your commentaires critiques (critiques).

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  1. natasha:

    It is a great movie!!!