Cinéma: A Review of ‘La famille Bélier’ (2014)

The video below is a short review (all in French) of La Famille Bélier, a 2014 film which won many awards including the César (French equivalent to the Oscars) for best actress (Louane Emera). In the Bélier family, all are deaf but the teenage girl played by Louane. She’s become the main interpreter for her family and she’s their link to the hearing world around them… until the day when her music teacher discovers she has a real gift for singing and encourages her to enter a singing competition.

You’ll find some key words below to help you understand the video.

Key vocabulary:

  • Je vous entends -> I can hear you
  • prendre des cours de chant -> take singing lessons
  • un don -> a gift
  • la langue des signes -> sign language
  • très drôle et très émouvant -> very funny and very moving
  • vous riez et vous pleurez -> you laugh and you cry
  • vous avez loupé votre train -> you’ve missed your train (louper is a casual way of saying to miss=manquer)
  • on n’est pas obligé de partager notre bonheur avec tout le monde -> we don’t have to share our happiness with everyone
  • malentendant-> hard of hearing

If you want to go further and watch the movie, it exists in French with English subtitles (UK and US Amazon links below). It’s a wonderful film but don’t expect an action movie! The film can be slow at times but it’s full of emotional and funny moments. It helps understand how each world sees the other one. There’s a wonderful scene where Louane sings but there’s absolutely no sound (as if the film was faulty) and, all of a sudden, you imagine what it’s like to be deaf.

Interesting fact: Louane Emera took part in The Voice (French season 2) and went up to the semi-finals. On top of her Best Actress Cesar in 2014, she’s won Best Music Album of the year in 2016 (Victoires de la musique – equivalent to the Brits and Grammies in France). A talented young woman!

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