The national teams are getting set to compete in the FIFA World Cup, so let's get into the spirit of things with a Franco-Australian themed movie marathon
SBS Movies

15 Jun 2018 - 5:54 PM  UPDATED 15 Jun 2018 - 5:54 PM

World Cup Fever is set to reach epidemic proportions on Saturday 16 June, when Australia's Socceroos hit the pitch in Russia for their 2018 FIFA World Cup opener. They're set to take on the billion-dollar French national team, and you can watch the whole thing on SBS. 

How to watch the World Cup
Full details on the France vs Australia match

But enough about this epic battle and its potential to sour Franco-Australian relations, let's focus on what we have in common rather than what divides us. A love of cinema, for instance, such as this list of similar French and Australian films you can stream right now at SBS On Demand. 

Genre: Teens coming of age 

FRANCE: Lila Says

[country], 2004
Genre: Drama
Language: French
Director: Ziad Doueiri
Starring: Mohammed Khouas, Vahina Giocante
What's it about?
Chimo, a boy of Arabic descent, lives in a modest flat with his mother in Marseilles. His former French teacher believes he has a talent for writing and suggests he apply to a school for gifted writers in Paris. Chimo refuses, content to hang around with his three good-for-nothing friends. Then he meets 16-year-old Lila, a blonde with the face of an angel and a penchant for explicitly discussing sex in public places, which puts her at odds with the majority of the Muslim community.

AUSTRALIA: Somersault

Australia, 2004
Genre: Drama, Romance
Language: English
Director: Cate Shortland
Starring: Sam Worthington, Abbie Cornish
What's it about?
At sixteen, Heidi is feeling her way in the world through brief sexual encounters. When she tries it on with her single mother's boyfriend and is sprung, she flees to the snow resort town of Jindabyne. Desperately attempting any connection possible, she meets Joe, the son of a local farmer who is caught up in his own world of confused sexuality. Winner of thirteen Australian Film Institute Awards in 2004.

Somersault Review


Genre: Taut psychological two-handers

FRANCE: Diplomacy

France, 2018
Genre: Thriller, War
Language: French
Director: Volker Schlöndorff
Starring: Niels Arestrup, Andre Dussolier
What's it about?
A career diplomat has his work cut out for him in trying to convince a high-ranking Nazi to overrule a Hitler hissy fit, in the riveting historical drama. The film is a fictionalised account of a Swedish consular official (Andre Dussollier)’s actual attempts to dissuade Hitler’s man in Paris (the ever-dependable Niels Arestrup) from destroying the city in the final days of WWII. Hitler has issued a ‘scorched earth’ directive to blow up Paris’ great monuments and bridges; in the failing Fuhrer’s reductive logic, the city ought not survive the war architecturally unscathed when his beloved Berlin lies in ruins. The two formidable actors (reprising their stage roles) make /Diplomacy/ absorbing to the end, despite the film’s obvious outcome. (Spoiler: the Eiffel Tower doesn’t blow up.) (Fiona Williams)

AUSTRALIA: The Interview

Australia, 1998
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime
Language: English
Director: Craig Monohan
Starring: Hugo Weaving, Tony Martin
What's it about?
Hugo Weaving plays Eddie Fleming, a man whose solitary and fairly impoverished existence is suddenly disrupted by the police. Kafkaesque in its initial elusiveness we don't know why Eddie is being victimised in this way. Back at the station the interview begins. Steele - Tony Martin is the calm one of the two detectives - Prior, Aaron Jeffrey is much more volatile, much more contemptuous. Eddie is rather a pathetic creature. He's lost his job, his wife, he's one of life's losers. He whinges - he's hungry. The two police seem intent on connecting Eddie with a stolen car, and then gradually the ground shifts. Eerily, Eddie is not so pathetic any more.

The Interview review: A tantalising, innovative thriller.


Genre: Inspiring stories involving music

FRANCE: The Concert

Italy, France, Belgium, Romania, 2009
Genre: Music, Comedy
Language: French, Russian
Director: Radu Mihaileanu
Starring: Mélanie Laurent
What's it about?
An acclaimed Russian conductor, demoted to cleaner during the Soviet era, schemes to book himself and his former musicians into a prestigious Parisian show. They arrive in Paris only to fall into disarray, even as the young French violin soloist who has agreed to play with them begins to realise her connection to their collective past. 

The Concert Review


Australia, 1996
Genre: Music, Drama, Biography
Language: English
Director: Scott Hicks
Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Lynn Redgrave, Noah Taylor
What's it about?
Inspired by the true story of Australian child prodigy David Helfgott (Geoffrey Rush), Shine examines his journey from a childhood dominated by an overbearing father to his nervous breakdown as a young adult. When David is accepted to a prestigious music school in London as a teen, he's only too happy to escape his home life and pursue his passion for classical music. But his father's rejection and the pressures of mastering such concertos as Rachmaninoff's lead to his downward spiral into mental illness. Only the love of the one woman who truly understands him (Lynn Redgrave) can help him re-enter society and share his musical gifts with the world. 

Shine review: Mature, intelligent and profoundly moving
Shine: Cheat Sheet


Browse more French films at SBS On Demand 

Browse more Australian films at SBS On Demand