Cannes Festival turned 70 this year! Stars of the film industry boosted the glamour of the French Riviera during 2 weeks as they descended on its shores. Spanish film director and screenwriter Pedro Almodóvar was the President of the Jury for the festival, with Italian actress Monica Bellucci hosting the opening and closing ceremonies.
The 1955 classic To Catch a Thief (1955) starring Grace Kelly was shot in and around Cannes – but France has been a popular location choice for plenty of other films. Here are just seven places whose paths have been trodden by casts and crew over the years – did we mention they make great holiday destinations too?
1. Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, Burgundy
Starring **Johnny Depp** and **Juliette Binoche**
Life is devoid of sweet satisfaction in this small French village before Vianne Rocher (Binoche) arrives and opens her chocolaterie. The village exists in real life – north-west of Dijon deep in the Burgundian countryside – and, coincidentally, is synonymous with its own sugary treat: the Anis de Flavigny, an aniseed bonbon introduced by monks and still made at the abbey today.
2. Col de Peyresourde, French Pyrenees
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Starring **Pierce Brosnan** and **Michelle Yeoh**
No Bond film would be complete without a scene shot in France. The opening teaser of the 1997 hit sees Brosnan single-handedly blitzing a terrorist arms bazaar ‘on the Russian border’: enter the dramatic, remote Col de Peyresourde, due west of Bagnères-de-Luchon near the Spanish border. It’s one of the oldest climbs on the Tour de France (first featuring in 1910) and a must for keen cyclists.
3. Gourdon, Côte d’Azur
Les Misérables (2012)
Starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway
Freed on strict parole, Valjean (Jackman) treks to freedom through the mountains and, for a few moments, we really are in France. The rugged landscape in question surrounds the hilltop Plus Beau Village of Gourdon, a few miles north-east of Grasse. Viewed from below it seems inconceivable that you’d ever reach it, even with Valjean’s stamina – but the views from the top are enough to make you sing, stretching all the way out to the Mediterranean.
4. Montmartre, Paris
Starring Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz
Remember quirky, dreamy Amélie Poulain? The movie’s opening accordion strains herald only one place – and we’re in the French capital for the whole duration, centred largely in Montmartre at the Café Les Deux Moulins (a real place, that serves a great Croque Monsieur). If that’s not enough, the carefree scenes of stone-skimming on the Canal St-Martin will have you booking your Eurostar immediately.
5. Giverny, Normandy and Versailles, Île-de-France
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams
Don’t’ be misled by the title: it’s not just Paris’ Pont Alexandre III, Hotel Bristol and Sacré-Coeur that feature in this romantic hit. The movie proper begins in Monet’s Garden at Giverny, where writer Gil (Wilson) reveals his love for the romantic image of old Paris. And it’s in the grand gardens at Versailles that Gil’s nostalgia is dismissed as ‘Golden Age Thinking’. Both places are accessible from central Paris in under an hour.
6. Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, Tarn-et-Garonne
The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
Starring **Helen Mirren** and **Manish Dayal**
Sleepy Saint-Antonin had never known such starlight until a real-life Dame descended on it to film this culinary feel-good. But its name stayed the same and daily activities needed little staging – both film vendors and real vendors display their produce in the covered marketplace on a Sunday morning. A holiday here is a real foodie delight; the region boasts 26 Michelin-starred chefs.
7. The Luberon, Provence
A Good Year (2006)
Starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard
The feel-good tale of a London banker-turned-vineyard owner based on Peter Mayle’s novel A Year in Provence, this film naturally called for maximum south-of-France romance when it came to shooting. Fans will clamour to visit Château la Canorgue near Bonnieux, used as its heavenly main setting – open to visitors by booking ahead – and picture-perfect Gordes is where Max (Crowe) meets Fanny (Cotillard) in the square’s main restaurant ‘Le Renaissance’.