top of page

7 French Accents to Get Inspired By

Learning a new accent can be a challenging task, but it's always easier when you have some good examples to follow. If you're trying to master the French accent, watching movies and TV shows can be a great way to practice. Here are 7 movies and TV shows that feature characters speaking English with a French accent:


The Pink Panther (2006)

Movies with French Accent - The Pink Panther

"The Pink Panther" is a comedy-mystery film that revolves around the theft of a valuable diamond known as the Pink Panther. The bumbling and clumsy Inspector Jacques Clouseau, played by Peter Sellers, is assigned to the case and hilarity ensues as he attempts to solve the crime. The movie is known for its lighthearted humor and slapstick comedy.


When it comes to French accents, "The Pink Panther" showcases Peter Sellers' iconic portrayal of Inspector Jacques Clouseau. Sellers masterfully incorporates a French accent to bring the character to life. His exaggerated and comical accent adds to the charm and humor of the film, creating memorable moments throughout.


Sellers' portrayal of Inspector Clouseau is characterized by his distinct French accent, which becomes an integral part of the character's comedic persona. His mispronunciations, misunderstandings, and linguistic blunders contribute to the comedic situations in the film, creating a delightful and entertaining experience for the audience.


In addition to Peter Sellers, other actors in the film also adopt French accents to varying degrees, depending on their characters' backgrounds. This includes actors like David Niven, who plays Sir Charles Litton, and Robert Wagner, who plays George Lytton. While their accents may not be as pronounced or comedic as Sellers', they contribute to the overall atmosphere of the film and help establish the setting and cultural context.


"The Pink Panther" demonstrates the power of French accents in adding authenticity and humor to a film set in a French context. The accents used by the actors enhance the comedic elements of the story and create a playful and entertaining experience for the viewers.


Emily in Paris (2020)

Show with French Accent - Emily in Paris

"Emily in Paris" is a romantic comedy-drama series that follows the life of Emily Cooper, played by Lily Collins, a young American woman who moves to Paris for an unexpected job opportunity. As Emily navigates her new life in the bustling city of Paris, she faces cultural differences, language barriers, and romantic entanglements. The series provides a light-hearted and glamorous portrayal of life in Paris, capturing the charm, fashion, and romance of the city.


In terms of accents, "Emily in Paris" features a mix of English and French accents throughout the series. While the main characters predominantly speak English, there are several instances where French accents are showcased to add authenticity and reflect the bilingual nature of the city. French actors in the series, such as Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu and Lucas Bravo, bring their natural French accents to their respective roles, enhancing the cultural immersion and providing a genuine representation of the Parisian lifestyle.


Lily Collins, who plays the titular character Emily, portrays an American in Paris and maintains her American accent throughout the series. Her accent serves as a contrast to the French accents around her, emphasizing the cultural differences and highlighting the fish-out-of-water narrative. Collins' performance captures the essence of an American navigating a foreign city, bringing a relatable perspective to the story.


The contrasting accents in "Emily in Paris" not only reflect the linguistic diversity of the city but also play a role in the character development and interactions. The language and accent differences contribute to the comedy, misunderstandings, and cultural clashes that arise between the characters, adding depth and entertainment to the storyline.


Now You See Me (2013)

Movies with French Accent - Now You See Me

"Now You See Me" is a thrilling heist movie that revolves around a group of illusionists known as "The Four Horsemen." The magicians, played by Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco, come together to perform a series of mind-boggling magic tricks that defy logic and captivate audiences. However, their performances go beyond mere entertainment as they use their skills to execute daring heists, targeting corrupt individuals and redistributing their ill-gotten wealth.


When it comes to accents in "Now You See Me," the focus is primarily on the actors' natural English accents, as the story is set predominantly in the United States. The main characters, portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco, speak with their respective American accents, which aligns with their characters' origins and adds to the authenticity of their performances. Their accents reflect the diverse backgrounds and personalities of the Four Horsemen, enhancing the characterization and allowing the audience to connect with them.


However, it is worth noting that the movie also features some international characters with different accents. For example, Mélanie Laurent portrays Interpol agent Alma Dray, bringing her native French accent to the role. Her accent adds an intriguing element to her character and highlights the international scope of the story. Similarly, actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays FBI agent Dylan Rhodes, maintains his American accent but occasionally switches to a more pronounced New York accent, further adding depth to his character.


Midnight in Paris (2011)

Movies with French Accent - Midnight in Paris

"Midnight in Paris" is a whimsical romantic comedy that follows the journey of Gil Pender, a disillusioned Hollywood screenwriter, who finds himself transported back in time to the vibrant and artistic era of 1920s Paris. As Gil explores the city during the magical midnight hours, he encounters famous writers, artists, and thinkers of the time, including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Pablo Picasso. The movie delves into themes of nostalgia, love, and the pursuit of artistic fulfillment.


When it comes to accents in "Midnight in Paris," the focus is on the various characters' accents, both American and French, reflecting the diverse mix of people Gil encounters during his time-traveling adventures. The film features a talented ensemble cast, including Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, and Kathy Bates, who bring their respective accents to their roles.


Owen Wilson, who plays the protagonist Gil Pender, maintains his American accent throughout the film, embodying the persona of a disillusioned writer from present-day Los Angeles. His accent reflects the character's modern sensibilities and serves as a contrast to the characters he interacts with in 1920s Paris.


On the other hand, Marion Cotillard, as Adriana, a captivating and enigmatic woman from the 1920s, speaks with a French accent, adding an authentic touch to her portrayal. Her accent not only complements her character's background but also enhances the film's immersive experience, transporting the audience to the golden age of Parisian art and culture.


In addition to the main characters, "Midnight in Paris" showcases a host of supporting characters, both historical and fictional, each with their own accents that represent their origins and personalities. From Hemingway's rugged American accent to Gertrude Stein's distinctive voice with a hint of a French accent, the accents help bring these iconic characters to life and provide a sense of authenticity to the narrative.


Inception (2010)

Movies with French Accent - Inception

"Inception" is a mind-bending science fiction thriller directed by Christopher Nolan. The movie follows a skilled group of extractors who can enter people's dreams to steal valuable information. The protagonist, Dom Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a skilled extractor who gets an opportunity to perform an inception, which involves planting an idea in someone's mind instead of stealing one.


When it comes to accents in "Inception," the focus is primarily on the actors' natural accents, as the story takes place in various international locations. However, there is a notable French accent used in the film by actress Marion Cotillard, who portrays Mal, Dom Cobb's deceased wife and a recurring character in his dreams. Cotillard brings a touch of French elegance and allure to her character, enhancing the emotional depth and complexity of her performance.


Marion Cotillard's French accent adds a layer of mystique and sophistication to the character of Mal. Her accent reflects her character's origins and provides a sense of authenticity to her presence in the dream world. Cotillard's ability to maintain her French accent while delivering nuanced and compelling performances showcases her versatility as an actress.


While the French accent in "Inception" is limited to Marion Cotillard's character, it serves as an important element in the narrative, deepening the connection between Dom Cobb and his memories of Mal. The accent helps to establish a distinct identity for Mal, distinguishing her from other characters and emphasizing her role in shaping Cobb's psychological journey.


The King (2019)

Movies with French Accent - The King

"The King" is a historical drama film directed by David Michôd, based on several plays from William Shakespeare's "Henriad" series. The movie follows the rise of King Henry V of England as he navigates political turmoil, warfare, and personal challenges. It delves into themes of power, leadership, and the weight of responsibility.


When it comes to accents in "The King," the focus is on the actors' portrayal of British accents, as the story is set in medieval England. Timothée Chalamet takes on the role of King Henry V, and although he is a French-American actor, he delivers a convincing British accent for the character. Chalamet's accent work reflects the nobility and authority of a young king who must grapple with the demands of his position.


The use of a British accent by Timothée Chalamet adds an air of authenticity and grounds the character of King Henry V in the historical context of the film. His commitment to the accent allows the audience to fully immerse themselves in the story and believe in the world being depicted. Chalamet's ability to maintain the accent while delivering nuanced performances showcases his dedication to his craft.


In addition to Timothée Chalamet, "The King" features a talented ensemble cast, including actors such as Robert Pattinson, Ben Mendelsohn, and Lily-Rose Depp, who also employ British accents to portray their respective characters. The collective effort to adopt and maintain the accents contributes to the overall authenticity of the film and helps bring the medieval setting to life.


Ratatouille (2007)

Movies with French Accent - Ratatouille

"Ratatouille" is an animated film that follows the story of Remy, a talented rat with a passion for cooking. Set in Paris, the movie showcases Remy's dream of becoming a renowned chef and his unlikely partnership with Linguini, a young kitchen worker. Together, they navigate the bustling culinary world, aiming to create extraordinary dishes that will impress both humans and rats alike.


When it comes to accents in "Ratatouille," the focus is on the voice performances that bring the characters to life. The film features a predominantly French cast, which adds an authentic touch to the story set in Paris. Leading the way is Patton Oswalt, who voices Remy, the ambitious rat with a refined palate. While Oswalt's natural accent is American, he seamlessly embodies Remy's character with a subtle French accent, capturing the spirit of the rat's Parisian environment.


In addition to Oswalt, the film boasts a talented ensemble cast, including Brad Garrett as Gusteau, the legendary chef, and Janeane Garofalo as Colette, a skilled chef and mentor to Linguini. The actors' accents, along with their captivating performances, contribute to the charm and believability of the characters, immersing the audience in the culinary world of "Ratatouille."


The use of accents in "Ratatouille" not only adds a layer of authenticity to the film but also serves as a cultural element, showcasing the richness of the French culinary tradition. It highlights the importance of paying attention to accents when bringing characters to life, as they help to create a sense of place and immerse the audience in the story.


Learning a new accent can be a daunting task, but with the right resources and practice, it's definitely achievable. Watching movies and TV shows with authentic accents is a great starting point, but it's important to remember that having a personal accent coach can make a world of difference. A coach can provide tailored feedback, exercises, and techniques that are specific to your needs, helping you to master your desired accent in no time. So, if you're serious about perfecting your French accent or any other accent, consider investing in a personal coach who can guide you every step of the way.

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.



Related Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page