Watching movies is not only a pleasant way to spend your free time but also an amazing opportunity to learn a foreign language. I love watching films in the language I am currently learning. Apart from listening to the language, you get to observe a different culture.
I have been living in Spain for over a year, but my fascination with Spanish movies had started much earlier. At first, I watched them with Polish or English subtitles. Over time, I switched to Spanish subtitles and now I have completely resigned from them.
There are so many interesting Spanish films and today, I wish to present my best 10.
1. Tres metros sobre el cielo (2010)
Director: Fernando González Molina
Stars: Mario Casas, María Valverde
The love story of two young people who come from totally different social class. She is an innocent and well-behaved student. He’s an impulsive boy whose passion is illegal motor racings. Their love is being tested many times. Will the obstacles be overcome?
Tres metros sobre el cielo is my favourite movie. The description may not look very much encouraging, just another romance. But the action unfolds in such an interesting way, it touches on so many side topics, not to mention the handsome main character and the music. I’ve seen this film probably 10
2. Tengo ganas de ti (2012)
Director: Fernando González Molina
Stars: Mario Casas, Clara Lago, María Valverde
Hache, the main character, returns to his hometown after a long absence. A lot of things have changed but old love is still alive. Or maybe is it just a sweet memory? Maybe it’s time to start anew?
This is the second part of Tres metros sobre el cielo. As usual, the first part is the best, but it doesn’t mean this one is bad. The dialogues, music, action and Mario Casas make the movie worth watching.
3. Palmeras en la nieve (2015)
Director: Fernando González Molina
Stars: Mario Casas, Adriana Ugarte, Macarena García
Clarence’s father had died. He left a letter that is found accidentally by the protagonist. It becomes a reason for her to leave for Africa. She arrives at the place where, a long time ago, her father spent many years. She discovers family secrets and vivid stories hidden deep in the dangerous island.
The leading male role is played by my favourite Spanish actor – Mario Casas. The film is almost three hours long. I have some troubles to start such a long movie but usually, once I decide to do so, I do not regret. This picture is moving and absorbing. Masterpiece.
4. Contratiempo (2016)
Director: Oriol Paulo
Stars: Mario Casas, Ana Wagener, Jose Coronado
A young businessman wakes up with his dead lover at the side. He hires the best advocate in town. They have only a few hours to detect the true story. But what is true?
This time I suggest a criminal with Mario Casas in the main role. The film is engaging. Plenty of twists and turns. Every detail counts but to solve a mystery is not an easy task.
5. Ismael (2013)
Director: Marcelo Piñeyro
Stars: Belén Rueda, Mario Casas
An eight-year-old boy begins a lonely journey in search of his biological father. After arrival at the given address, he finds his grandmother who had no idea she has a grandson. The boy’s parents drive through the country to get him back.
A drama with an interesting screenplay and funny dialogues. Excellent cast, great acting and lots of life challenges. Recommended for a reflections evening.
Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Stars: Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, Lola Dueñas
A fact-based story of paralyzed Ramón Sampedro. Relying on the family and friends, Ramón fights for the right to die with dignity. His campaign last 30 years.
The film explores the controversial subject of euthanasia. Although it is all about death, the picture inspires to appreciate every moment in life and to take time to reflect on individual decisions. A moving film.
7. Ma ma (2015)
Director: Julio Medem
Stars: Penélope Cruz, Luis Tosar, Asier Etxeandia
The protagonist, Magda, had lost her job and been abandoned by her husband. Soon afterwards, she finds out she has breast cancer. In the meantime, she meets a man equally experienced by fate. How will the story end?
Another touching film about dying and appreciating life. A difficult topic presented in a beautiful way with an excellent performance by Penélope Cruz.
8. Jamón, jamón (1992)
Director: Bigas Luna
Stars: Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem
The stories in this movie are filled with sex and food. A woman is running a lingerie business. She does not approve of her son’s relationship with a country girl so she hires one of her models to seduce the girl. But the heart wants what it wants.
Jamón, jamón is a provocative and sometimes absurd film. There is no place for boredom. The final scene with hams (“jamón” means “ham”) is a concise summary of the whole. An interesting fact is that Penélope Cruz appeared for the first time on the big screen in this very movie.
9. Mientras duermes (2011)
Director: Jaume Balagueró
Stars: Luis Tosar, Marta Etura
The main character is the concierge of the tenement house in Barcelona. One day, a beautiful young and joyful girl moves in. Will the concierge manage to destroy Clara’s idyllic life?
Mientras duermes will remain in my memory for a long time. The idea itself about what can happen when you are deep asleep is shocking and dreadful. I would not recommend it for sensitive people!
10. Reżyser: Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodóvar is a famous Spanish director. His films shock, shudder and surprise. They are filled with extraordinary events and eroticism. There are several films that I want to present here. And if you find them interesting, the list is long.
Hable con ella (2002) Two men in love, two women in a coma and the conversations between those. “Hable con ella” translates to “talk to her”, after all.
Todo sobre mi madre (1999) A mother’s son is killed in a car accident. After that, she leaves to Barcelona to look for the father of her child, who has no idea he had a son. And also, he is a woman.
La piel que habito (2011) The doctor’s main desire is to create perfect skin. He enters the experimental phase and he imprisoned a beautiful woman in his apartment.
Volver (2006) Two sisters live in Madrid. A daughter of one of them kills the father. The other one goes to the aunt’s funeral. She brings the spirit of their mother, who died years ago, in the trunk of a car.
It was supposed to be 10 best movies, but it was very difficult to choose only one of Almodóvar’s movie, so there is 13 on my list.
Spanish cinematography is sometimes absurd, paradoxical, sometimes funny and amusing. What connects it all are emotions. They will surely appear. And the films will move, terrify or impress. Just a singular movie can cover countless subjects from everyday life. I am fascinated and I will continue watching movies and series in Spanish for sure.
I would love to know your impressions after watching these films. Did you like them? Would you recommend them to a friend? I know there’s no accounting for taste, however, it won’t hurt to share opinions. 🙂