Everyone has that friend that takes ages to choose a movie. I, being that friend, am extremely picky as of the language and origin of movies and I always have to watch the movie in its original language. I don't know if it's the fact that the voice-overs rarely match the lip movement when characters talk, or if it's just me being meticulous about it, but translated movies make me really uncomfortable.
I only realized this particular trait about myself when I recently started watching foreign films that weren't American. There's nothing wrong with American films, but I felt that some movies got a little repetitive so I decided to change it up a little bit. I checked out the Foreign Films category on Netflix and completely fell in love with some movies I found. There was something about the different languages and accents, the way the cultures were portrayed, or just the difference in quality of the movies depending on the countries they're from that had got me hooked.
Let's have a look at some of my favorites:
No Se Aceptan Devoluciones (Instructions Not Included)
This film is a Mexican comedy that aired in 2013 that makes you laugh and cry at the same time. Eugenio Dervez wrote, directed and played the main character in this movie and is also one of the most recognized comedians in Mexico. The movie tells the story of womanizer Valentín who suddenly finds himself looking after a baby that he just found out is his. It's a heart-warming journey watching him raise the baby girl as a single father and getting more attached every day. The movie is mostly in Spanish, yet there are a few scenes were English is spoken fluently.
I loved this movie despite it being made with a relatively small budget (or maybe that's exactly why I loved it) and is really worth checking out.
17 Filles (17 girls)
I mentioned this French film in one of my previous articles because I really can't get over this movie. It aired in 2011 and is based on the true story of a pregnancy pact that went on between 17 high school girls. The movie is set in a small town in France and it has a really slow flow which made me focus on the little details about the culture and just the general aesthetic of the movie. It really does have a different vibe than any American film I've watched before, the characters are very stereotypical teenagers that are just trying to grow up too fast and as a teenager too, I find it very interesting to watch.
La Vie D'Adèle (Blue Is The Warmest Color)
Another French film because, well, I really can't get enough of the French language and culture. This one is a (mature) romantic film that aired in 2013 and revolves around Adèle's journey of self discovery, desire and freedom when she meets a blue-haired girl. The scenery is beautiful and it is very well shot from the start, focusing on little details such as food and habits that represent the culture of where it's set.
It was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Film not in the English Language and I totally see why.
A Mexican dramatic film that aired in 2000, revolving around the theme of "loyalty." It contains three distinct stories which are connected by a car accident in Mexico City, each of which focus on the cruelty towards animals and other humans. The movie represents various facets of the Mexican culture by focusing on slang and the way the main (and even secondary) characters respond to different situations, such as the car accident. The way it's shot and the quality also makes it really different from American films.
This Polish drama film from 2002 is also really touching and really makes you understand how someone's past can shape a person. The movie is set in Poland in 1962 and tells the story of Ida, a WWII orphan who embarks on a road trip in order to meet her aunt and find her parents' bodies. The movie is shot in black and white yet it only adds to the aesthetic and its representation of the Polish culture.
This movie also won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, becoming the first Polish film to do so.
Like I mentioned before, foreign films have that little something that just makes them better, whether due to the different quality, the different aesthetic, or simply the languages they're in.
So, if you find yourself with no plans for a Friday night, you should definitely check those out.
What foreign film would you recommend?