Watching Spanish movies is one of the most popular ways for Spanish learners to practice their Spanish. In this article I suggest how best to use Spanish movies for revision, how to progress from easy to more difficult movies and most importantly provide a list of my Top 10 Spanish movies.
The first advice I have is to start off with some easier to understand Spanish films- don’t try and progress too quickly or you might become discouraged by the difficulty of the Spanish. A good place to begin is with Spanish Disney films of YouTube as I suggested in another of my articles – there are a wide range of free and complete movies and the language tends to be relatively easy.
Also watching Spanish films using English, and then progressing to Spanish, subtitles is a good way to build up your listening – the problem with this however is that some movies don’t offer the Spanish subtitle option and the reading can distract from the primary listening activity.
This is my collection of the Spanish movies which I would recommend watching – these are for advanced level speakers if you are not using subtitles with complex plots and fast and often difficult Spanish speech. They are in no particular order and all have a high speech content – there really is little point in watching a film with no Spanish speaking after all!!! All of the movies are available on DVD from a site like Amazon but some may also be available online. I hope you enjoy them:
Volver is probably the most famous product of the collaboration between Pedro Almodovar and Penelope Cruz. The style of Almodovar’s work isn’t to everyone’s taste but the style has come to define modern Spanish cinema.
Todo sobre mi Madre – All About my Mother
Many of the Almodovar purists would state this as his finest work. Todo Sobre mi Madre is a dramatic and often sensational story of a mother’s journey after the death of her son.
Hable con Ella – Talk to Her
Another one from Almodovar – while their girlfriends are in comas for different reasons two men share a new relationship which will come to define their futures.
Y Tu Mama Tambien – And Your Mother Too
This is a fantastic movie covering three young Mexicans on the road trip of a life time. Not suitable for the young’uns but a fascinating insight into Mexican culture.
Como Agua Para Chocolate – Like Water for Chocolate
This Mexican movie from 1992 documents the difficult romance between Pedro and Tita. With elements of the magical and fairy tale I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did.
Another movie based in Mexico which is well worth a watch – the film covers three interlinking stories with a car crash at their centre. Amores Perros is a revealing insight into urban Mexico and its culture.
El Espinazo del Diablo – The Devil’s Backbone
This is my personal favourite Spanish language movie and comes from the internationally acclaimed director Guillermo Del Toro.
El Orfanato is another excellent ghostly horror film with the input of Guillermo Del Toro. Watch out for more work from the young directo Juan Antonio Bayona.
El Liberinto del Fauno – Pan’s Labyrinth
The most celebrated of the movies of Guillermo Del Toro – the film is set in the period of the Spanish civil war but it is Del Toro’s genius in creating fantasy which has earned the film its reputation.
Los Diarios de Motocicleta – The Motorcycle Diaries
This is another of my personal favourites. The film is based on the memoirs of Che Guevara documenting his journey as a young doctor through South America.
I hope you enjoy the movies and good luck learning Spanish. There are more resources about how to listen to Spanish effectively at http://www.topspanishtips.weebly.com.