Thursday, September 2, 2010


In honor of my current language courses, Spanish and French, I'm going to share some of my favorite Spanish/French films with you! I'm currently majoring in Spanish and I just decided to take on French this semester for fun. Do any of you take any foreign language classes or speak more than one language?

1. Amélie

Amélie is the definition of a heartwarming movie. I bought it the day after I watched it for the first time. It's creative and adorable. It's also a great date movie! In my (and many others) opinion, this movie is classic.

Summary: "A painfully shy waitress working at a tiny Paris café, Amélie makes a surprising discovery and sees her life drastically changed for the better! From then on, Amélie dedicates herself to helping others find happiness... in the most delightfully unexpected ways! But will she have the courage to do for herself what she has done for others?" (dvd description)

2. Mar Adentro

This movie definitely makes you think. It's a highly controversial real life account of a man who wanted to end his own life with the use of euthanasia. It's definitely worth seeing and discussing with others. I first watched it in a classroom setting and we had a debate afterwards. It was intriguing, but the movie is a little on the sad side (just a warning)! Javier Bardem plays the main character and does a terrific job as well.

Summary: "Life story of Spaniard Ramón Sampedro, who fought a 30-year campaign to win the right to end his life with dignity. The film explores Ramón's relationships with two women: Julia, a lawyer who supports his cause [and is dealing with it herself], and Rosa, a local woman who wants to convince him that life is worth living. Through the gift of his love, these two women are inspired to accomplish things they never previously thought possible. Despite his wise to die, Ramón taught everyone he encountered the meaning, value, and preciousness of life. Though he could not move himself, he had an uncanny ability to move others" (via IMDB)

3. Volver

Volver is one of my all time favorite movies. It's witty, hilarious, and touching at the same time. I'm a sucker for Almodovar films, but I'm limiting myself to just one for this post. Penelope Cruz is outstanding in this movie!

Summary: None of the summaries I have found online have been very helpful in describing this movie to someone who hasn't seen it. It's kind of hard to explain because so many things happen that I can't share with you! The movie is centered around Raimunda (Penelope Cruz) and her family. A tragic event occurs in her home and only her and her daughter know about it. This forces them both to hide the truth from their other family members, which is hard because their family is very close knit. Basically, a lot of other stuff happens that is pretty crazy and I know you'll love it. My description is just as vague as the others, I'm sorry!

4. Á Bout De Soufflet

Á Bout De Soufflet is a twisted love story, that's for sure. It's definitely worth watching! It's a beautiful film. It's one of many great works by Jean-Luc Godard.

Summary: "Michel Poiccard, an irresponsible sociopath and small-time thief, steals a car and impulsively murders the motorcycle policeman who pursues him. Now wanted by the authorities, he renews his his relationship with Patricia Franchini, a hip American girl studying journalism at Sorbonne, whom he met in Nice a few weeks earlier. Before leaving Paris, he plans to collect a debt from an underworld acquaintance and expects her to accompany him on his planned getaway to Italy. Even with his face in the local papers and media, Poiccard seems oblivious to the dragnet that is slowly closing around him as he recklessly pursues his love of American movies and libidinous interest in the beautiful American" (via IMDB)

5. Laberinto Del Fauno

Laberinto del Fauno is a very whimsical movie. I love that it has characteristics of a children's film, but also holds a lot of deeper meanings. The main character, Ofelia, is wonderful. You'll love it.

Summary: "In 1944 fascist Spain, a girl [Ofelia], fascinated with fairy-tales, is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. He tells her she's a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three gruesome tasks. If she fails, she will never prove herself to be the true princess and will never see her real father, the king, again" (via IMDB)

What are some of your favorite foreign films?


  1. Nice selection of films! How long have you studied Spanish? I studied Spanish for four years (unfortunately at a time when I didn't know how to learn languages and with a very unmotivated high school teacher). At university I took two years of Latin which was an eye opener. After that, two years of French which I picked up quite easily thanks to the solid foundation of Latin and romance-language similarities with Spanish. I rarely speak French though, mostly reading/writing with French speakers through work. I'm 2.5 years into German now. A completely different language from the others, but a really intriguing (and beautiful) language. I would recommend anything with Marlene Dietrich (esp. Der blaue Engel, The Blue Angel) and Das Leben der Anderen. Aren't languages beautiful? This is becoming a really long comment :) Good luck with French!

  2. I've been studying Spanish since 7th grade! I decided to major in Spanish halfway through my freshmen year of college. I've always really enjoyed it. I'm just starting French this year, and I have to say that starting a language at the age of 21 is much more difficult than starting at the age of 13. I'm incredibly impressed with your range of language classes! Is German pretty difficult? I'm definitely interested in learning it. I would learn every language if I could. Thank you for the recommendations! I will definitely check those films out! I enjoyed your long comment and my response appears to be equally as long! Thanks for the comment! :)

  3. Amelie is one of my favorites. Really excellent choices on this list. I love seeing films in Spanish because I can actually understand a good portion of them without relying on the subtitles.


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