Movies and TV Shows for Spanish Learners | Winter/Spring 2017 Edition

I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix in between the classes I’ve been teaching, my conversation meet-ups, and my French class (not to mention trying to take a stab at a social life). As you’ll see below, I am not necessarily particularly discriminating in my tastes when it comes to watching television and movies in Spanish (same holds for French). If it is available in Spanish, it gives me a good excuse to indulge 🙂

Still, if I really didn’t enjoy something, I wouldn’t bother sharing it with you. Below is a list of some things I’ve enjoyed while watching Spanish and Latin American movies lately. Let me know if you have any other suggestions!

Velvet

It’s cheesy. It’s oh-so-cheesy. But it’s three seasons (four if you’re lucky enough to find free access to the fourth) of cheesy, sappy, romantic comedy goodness. And if you’re learning it to learn/practice some Spanish, you get to feel good about watching it. It’s guilt free! Think a light-hearted Mad Men in 50s Madrid subbing the fashion industry for the advertising industry.

Off Course

Another lighty here. Many young people are leaving Spain for job opportunities elsewhere. This movie focuses on the lives of a few young people who went to Berlin in search of economic opportunities. For the most part, it’s light-hearted, so don’t expect it to change your life or world concept per se. But still, it’s an easy watch.

Spanish Affair

I’m on a roll with cheesy here.  A young woman needs her father to believe she’s still getting married (although that relationship ended) and convinces a man she barely knows to pretend to be her fiance. The farce ends up going further than expected. What makes this more than a simple cheesy romantic comedy? She’s from Spain’s Basque region and he’s from Andalucia. If you’re interested in Basque culture at all, this is a light-hearted (albeit cliché) glimpse into it.

Retribution/El Desconocido

Oh, I’m a sucker for a good action movie. This is the kind of movie you’d imagine Denzel Washington in. A father/husband has forgotten what’s important to him until he suddenly finds himself in his car with his children and a bomb. Lots of action. Lots of screaming. It’s not a movie you’re going to discuss at dinner parties, but it’s a solid hour and a half of entertainment.

Amores Perros

Many years ago, back when I was a young, idealist college student, our Spanish teacher told us we should watch Amores Perros. I did. And I remembered it being well done, but didn’t remember much else, so I watched it again. It certainly is well done, but ooph, this certainly isn’t a movie for children. It’s hard to watch the dogs fight; it’s hard to watch the brothers fight; there’s violence; there are sex scenes. And it’s a long movie. But Iñárritu is a master.

Corazón de Lión

This movie was recommended to me by one of my students from Latin America. Again, there’s a love story (sorry, so much love in this post, but it is almost Valentine’s Day!), but this time the love story takes place between two people who are marginalized from mainstream culture in Colombia.

Julieta

A friend and I took a trip to Kendall Square Cinema to watch the latest Almodóvar movie. I say the latest, but truth be told, I haven’t seen anything else by him other than Volver, so I’ve got a lot of work to do in this department. The performances and the scenery in Julieta were wonderful, but this movie won’t exactly leave you in a happy-go-lucky mood.

Juana Inés

This series by Canal Once is amazing. I, sadly, hadn’t heard of Juana Inés de Esbajo before finding this series. Her story is amazing. There have been genius women all along. We just haven’t had the opportunity to hear their thoughts and their stories. The costumes are wonderful. The acting, for the most part, is great. There’s only one short season, which is sure to be the last since she dies at the end (they show her dying at the beginning so that is not a spoiler!).

All right, I’m going to have to stop there! Please, please do let me know in the comments what you thought about any of the above or especially if you have any other suggestions for what I should be watching!

¡Que tengan un buen día!

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