Going to the cinema can be complicated in France. There are a few choices to make beforehand, specifically on if you are going to see the movie in V.O. (Version Originale, or Original Version, aka the language in which the movie was created, such as English, German, etc. but with French subtitles) or in V.F. (Version française, aka French Version, which means the film is dubbed from its original language into French.)
If you live in a large enough town, chances are there are at least two movie theaters- one that shows the movie in VF and one in VO. (For example, one of the most popular chains is Pathé, which is kind of like Marcus and is all around Europe). When you’re picking your movie date and time, you just also check to see if after the title it lists VF or VO. Additionally, outside the theaters on the movie advertisements, it will usually list the movie times and then either VO or VF. Living in France, I have found that each individual has their own preference– the majority of my French friends, as well as my host sister Florence and her husband Jean-Claude prefer VO. They like hearing the original voices and don’t mind just reading subtitles (most French people learn better English this way too). My host brother Jean-Baptiste, however, prefers VF. He much prefers just hearing and experiencing the storyline in his own language.
Myself, I prefer VO, but sometimes I enjoy watching movies I already know in VF because it improves my comprehension in French. When I was in Normandy, I watched a bunch of The Walking Dead episodes with my host brother in French, but I felt the VF missed some of the dramatic voices and emotions that went along with intense scenes (but maybe that’s something that will come with my improvement in French). I am anxiously awaiting Catching Fire as well as La Tête Chinoise, two movies I will prefer seeing in VO (English and French).
Do you prefer VO or VF?