french italian cinema

Foreign Language Films

Hey there, below I thought i’d list some of my favorite foreign language films (films where English is not the primary language), feel free to add some of your favorites! I find watching these films really helpful, as they both improve your listening skills, and introduce you to the culture of the country where your target language is spoken!

Note: all the films listed are ones I have seen, so sorry if there are some classics I may have missed off!

P.S I’m linking the films to their IMDB pages for you to have a look!

Spanish

Volver - Pedro Almodóvar - A really funny and touching film about how the dead continue to influence the lives of those they leave behind

Todo sobre mi madre - Pedro Almódovar - A fascinating look at the role of gender and parents in Spanish life today 

El secreto de sus ojos - Juan José Campanella - A very entertaining thriller, full of suspense with some great acting. Won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009. Spoken in Argentinian Spanish 

Los amantes pasajeros - Pedro Almódovar - An exceedingly funny film from Almódovar, full of wit and laughs 

El laberinto de fauno - Guillermo del toro - A beautiful film, full of gorgeous imagery, set against the backdrop of Franco’s Spain

Como agua para chocolate - Alfonso Arau - A touching love story set in historic Mexico

French

La Haine - Mathieu Kassovitz - A gritty drama about the lives of 3 parisian boys during violent riots

La fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain  -  Jean-Pierre Jeunet - The hilariously touching love story about a young woman in Paris. 

Les Choiristes - Christophe Barratier - The story of a new teacher in a strict boarding school aiming to transform the lives of the students through music. Think French school of Rock 

Jean de Florette - Claude berri - The story of a greedy landowner in ruarl Provence. Way more interesting than it sounds  

Italian

La vita é bella - Robert Begnini - A beautiful drama about war time Italy. Winner of 3 Oscars

Habemus Papam - Nanni Moretti - The story of a newly elected pope, who doesn’t want to be pope, and so ends up running away. Light hearted and thought provoking 

Nuovo Cinema Paradiso - Giuseppe Tornatore - A story of how a filmaker fell in love with the movies as a child. 

German

Good Bye Lenin! - Wolfgang Becker - A funny and touching story set against the backdrop of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and a son’s attempt to prevent his ill mother from finding out about the collapse of communism (have you seen this @languageoclock ?)