In this tutorial, we are going to look at how to talk about movies or describe a film in french. In the production orale section of your DELF A2 exam, you may be asked to talk what is your favourite movie, or to talk about a film you watched and to describe what it was about.

This falls under Production Orale MONOLOGUE SUIVI (2e partie). Here you will be asked 2 to 3 questions on a particular topic, in this case, cinema. You will then need to speak for around 2 minutes on this topic.

Take the time to review the relevant voculary that will be listed here and remember that you will get a chance to practice and record yourself at the end of the tutorial.

We will look at the vocabulary you will need, as well as speaking preparation tips to get you comfortable with this topic. In addition, we will listen to some people talking about a film they have seen.

The vocabulary and recommendation listed in this section can also be used for other sections of your exam. Such as the listening and reading sections.

 

Example exam style question format:

Topic 1: Cinéma

Quel est le titre du dernier film que vous avez vu ? Est-ce que c’était au cinéma ou à la télévision ? Comment s’appelaient les acteurs ? Présentez les personnages et racontez ce qu’ils faisaient. Est-ce que vous avez aimé ce film ?

 

Topic 2: Cinéma

Quels films préférez-vous ? Pourquoi ? Racontez un film que vous avez vu au cinéma.

 

Topic 3: Cinéma

Allez-vous souvent au cinéma ? Avec qui ? Quel genre de film préférez-vous ?

 

How to talk about the type of movies you like in french

  • Quels films préférez-vous ? Pourquoi ? ( What films do you prefer? Why?)
  • Quel genre de films préférez-vous ? Pourquoi ? ( What types of films do you prefer? Why?)

Theses type question ask about preference. Use a number of opinion phrases such as:

  • j’adore – I love
  • j’aime bien – I really like (e.g. J’aime bien les romantiques)
  • mon film préféré est… – my favourite film is…
  • mon genre préféré est… – my favourite genre is…
  • Je préfère les films d’/ de… – I prefer …(type of film)… films (e.g. Je préfère les films d’horreur – I prefer horror films )
  • Je n’aime pas trop….

You should go further by talking about why you like these types of film. In addition you can say what type of movies you don’t like.

General expression about movies:

  • jouer dans un film – to play in a movie
  • un long-métrage – a full-length film
  • un court-métrage – a short movie
  • un écran – a screen
  • un scénario – screenplay
  • une avant-première – film preview
  • les générique – credits
  • les effets spéciaux – special effects

The 3 main roles you will more likely mention:

Réalisateur
Actrice
Acteur

 

Different types of film includes ( however not limited to):

!Pay close attention to the formation of these words ending.

  • un film d’horreur
  • un film d’animation
  • un film de science-fiction
  • un film tragique = une tragédie
  • un film comique = une comédie
  • un film d’aventures
  • un film dramatique = un drame
  • un film policier (detective movie)
  • un film d’action (action movie)
  • une comédie musicale ( musical comedy)
  • un western

 

DELF A2 Reading Comprehension style question about movies

How to talk about last film you saw in french

  • Quel est le titre du dernier film que vous avez vu ? Est-ce que c’était au cinéma ou à la télévision ?
  • Racontez un film que vous avez vu au cinéma.

These types of questions expect you to give a review of the film you have seen.You need to be able to give a short description of the film and to say why you liked or didn’t like the film.

  • Le film raconte l’histoire des…..(the film tells the story of)
  •  C’est l’histoire de… (it is the story about)
  • le film est à propos de ………… (the movie is about)
  • Le film est basé sur …………….( the movie is based on)

 

As a result, expect to use different time expression, and verbs in the past form, to indicate the event took place in the past:

  • Hier
  • la semaine dernier
  • Le film est sorti….
  • J’ai beaucoup aimé ce film
  • Je suis allé(e) voir (title of film) avec (name of actor/actress).

 

Use connectors to sum up what happened in the film :

  • Il y a d’abord….
  • Il y ensuite
  • Il y a enfin
  • Au début, au commencement du film (at the beginning of the movie)
  • Au milieu du film (in the middle of the movie)
  • À la fin du film (at the end of the movie)
  • Au bout d’un moment (after a while)
  • Le personnage principal  (the main character)

Different adjective to positively describe a film includes:

  • drôle
  • un  échec (failure)
  • justeé
  • mouvant
  • délicat
  • original
  • intéressant
  • passionnant
  • vivant

And if you did not like the film:

  • ennuyeux
  • maladroit
  • long
  • lourd
  • froid
  • prétentieux
  • prévisible

Remember to include adjectives to describe your feelings or opinions. Talk about when you first saw the film , If someone recommended it, why you like it etc.

It might be a good idea, to choose a movie from before. This way you can practice the relevant vocabulary. Better yeah, select a movie that is also a book, that way if it is a topic that is about a book, you will also be covered.

 

french film

Example of people talking of a film they have seen in french:

 

Here are a few example of people talking about a film that they have watched. Listen carefully and see if their is any useful vocabulary you can use for your own speaking exercise. Don’t worry if you do not understand every word. Just try to understand the general meaning of these audio files.

Elisa : le film “Le Majordome”

Je suis allée au cinéma voir le film “Le Majordome”. C’est l’histoire de…


Patricia : le film oscarisé “The Artist”

Patricia nous parle du film du moment : The Artist. Il vient de recevoir plusieurs récompenses et son acteur principal, Jean Dujardin, également. Elle nous explique pourquoi elle a apprécié ce film.


Cecile : le film “The Iron Lady” ou “La Dame de Fer”

Cécilé nous donne ses impressions sur le film “The iron Lady” qu’elle vient d’aller voir au cinéma en VO. Meryl Streep y incarne le personnage emblématique Margaret Thatcher.

Practicing out loud : How to talk about films in french

Now over at you! Use the examples above as a guide to create your own monologue. Remember to refer back to the vocabulary that was given in this tutorial. After, use the recover below to record yourself. Listen to what you have said, then redo as necessary.

Useful resource for movie vocabulary in french:

To help you practice how to talk about film in french, it is a good idea to search online for movie reviews in french and to familiarize yourself with the vocabulary that is used.

Three sites I recommend are French Wikipedia Amazon.fr  and http://www.allocine.fr. All three have reviews of films featured on their sites. Just check out the comments section on Amazon under the a particular movie name. And for Allocine, take a look at the critics and spectators review sections for featured  film. This will give you a feel as to how people in general give negative and positive movie reviews in french.

If you need to choose just one website though, I would recommend French Wikipedia.  The structure is clear and simple and is more adapted to the expectation of the examiners of your french exam. In general these reviews tends to be neutral, but with this tutorial and a little preparation, I am sure you can make it work. Just add useful expressions to convey your personal option and you will on your way.

The following link brings you to a video of an oral presentation with a similar setting as you will find in the exam.There is also a transcript of the recording.

http://www.ashcombe.surrey.sch.uk/07-langcoll/MFL-resources/french/fr-video-quizzes/1b_cinema/cinema_fset.htm

It also includes similar questions and actually shows you how you are expected to answer, so that you can gain the maximum amount of point. If you can practice this and answer accordingly in your exam, you are sure to past the production orale section of your exam.

The video clip is also completed with a fill in the blank exercise to help you improve your oral comprehension.

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