Watching Spanish movies (o sea Spanish language movies) is not only a great way to improve your Spanish, but a pretty fun one as well. I've watched A LOT of Spanish language movies over the last year, and here are my top five recommendations for Spanish language movies from the last decade. Enjoy!
Y Tu Mamá También - 2001
This Oscar nominated film by Alfonso Cuarón, starring Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Maribel Verdú focuses on the lives three young Mexicans. Two teenage boys, Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael García Bernal), from Mexico City convince Luisa (Maribel Verdú), a married woman, to take a road trip with them to an imaginary beach on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The movie is a coming of age story that explores sexuality and individuality, while tying in the real time economic and political backdrop of Mexico at the turn of the century.
Maria Llena Eres De Gracia (Maria Full of Grace) - 2004
This Academy Award nominated film, written and directed by Joshua Marston, explores the world of the Colombian-American drug trade, and the lives of those at the bottom of this world. María Álvarez (Catalina Sandino Moreno), a 17-year-old Colombian girl, finds herself pregnant and alone after she quits her job at a flower plantation. Desperate for money she accepts a job as a mule, and flies to the U.S. with drugs hidden inside her body.
El Laberinto Del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth) - 2006
Set in post-Civil War Spain in 1944, this Academy Award winner, directed by Guillermo del Toro, is the highest grossing Spanish language movie of all time. The movie tells the tale of Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), a young girl who travels between two worlds. One is a world of fantasy and imagination, while the other is the harsh reality of life in rural Spain, where her mother's second husband, a lieutenant in the fascist Spanish army, is attempting to brutally suppress an armed resistance. The two worlds merge together as a character in Ofelia's imaginary world (The Faun) orders her to carry out tasks in the real world.
Volver - 2006
Volver, directed by Pedro Almodóvar and starring Penélope Cruz, tells the story of two sisters, Raimunda (Cruz) and Sole, whose parents died in a fire several years before the start of the film. The events surrounding their deaths are central to the movie, and the ghost of their mother plays an important role in the movie. Death is the central theme of the movie, and both sisters must cope with the deaths of their parents. In addition to their deaths Raimunda must deal with the death of the father of her daughter, who is killed by her daughter. Penélope Cruz was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress.
Sin Nombre (Without Name) - 2009
Sin Nombre is the story of a young Honduran woman, Sayra (Paulina Gaitán), who dreams of going to the United States in hopes of starting a better life. To achieve her dreams she must first get to Mexico, and to do that she must stow away on a train that will take her north. Her path crosses with a gang member played by Edgar Flores whose life changes when he kills the leader of his gang in order to help Sayra. This award winning film has garnered international admiration, and is on the short list for Best Foreign Language film at the 2010 Academy Awards.