Whenever I am watching a movie that has Paris as one of its settings, I try to figure out where the Paris locations are. Location scouts have done a great job in highlighting the best of Paris. Here are two movies with beautiful scenes of Paris:
Paris, Je t’aime: 18 Paris Locations
I absolutely love this 2006 movie because it highlights 18 of Paris’ 20 arrondissements (neighbourhoods) in 5 minute short films, by international directors such as Gus Van Sant, Joel and Ethan Coen, and Wes Craven. Famous stars included Gerard Depardieu, Elijah Wood, Nick Nolte and Maggie Gyllenhaal but the real stars are the shots of Paris. The cinematography is stunning. These are my favourite three scenes:
Paris Location: 14e Arrondissement: Carol, a letter carrier, shares what she loves about France using the French she has recently learned. I absolutely LOVE this clip. It is so charming.
Paris Location: Place des Victoires is a lovely square in the 2nd arrondissement where Juliette Binoche grieves for her lost son. Willem Dafoe also stars in this scene. [Ignore the Polish subtitles].
Paris Location: Cimetiere du Père-Lachaise–a couple have an argument while walking through this famous cemetery and they come upon the grave of Oscar Wilde. (Yes, those are the lipstick marks by those who wanted to kiss his gravestone).
Midnight in Paris: 10+ Paris Locations
This 2011 Woody Allen movie stars Owen Wilson (Gil) and Rachel McAdams (Inez) as American tourists vacationing in Paris. Gil is transported back to the 1880s and 1920s and encounters legendary writers and artists of the time, such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.
The opening credits show so many places in Paris.
Paris Location: Eglise Saint-Etienne-du-mont (on rue de la Montagne Sainte-Genevieve). One night Gil is sitting on the steps of the church when a vintage car comes along and sweeps him into another adventure.
Paris Location: Musee Rodin. I love this scene because Carla Bruni (wife of then-French President Nicholas Sarkozy) plays a tour guide who has to put up with Inez’s (obnoxious) all-knowing friend, Paul. Rodin’s “The Thinker” is featured in the scene.
Paris Location: Marche Aux Puces. This flea market in the north of Paris is where Gil is browsing with Inez and her mother.
Paris location: Shakespeare and Company (37 rue de la Bûcherie) and Pont Alexandre. In one scene, Gil is wandering out of the famous Shakespeare and Co bookstore which is related to the original bookstore that was a gathering place for famous writers such as Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce. He then strolls along Pont Alexandre gazing at the Eiffel Tower and meets up with Gabrielle from the Marche Aux Puces and together they walk in the rain.
The next time you watch a movie, see if you can figure out where they filmed it in Paris.
Here are some other movies which have Paris locations:
- The Tourist—with Angelina Joli
- The Bourne Identity—-with Matt Damon
- Amélie– with Audrey Tautou
- Before Sunset—-with Ethan Hawke
- The Da Vinci Code—with Tom Hanks
- Charade—with Audrey Hepburn