17 Italian movies to watch to learn Italian

Do you want to familiarize with the Italian language, gestures, sounds, architecture, looks?  

Watching Italian movies to learn or sharpen your Italian will do wonders, especially if you can’t travel as often as you wish to Italy and you have little exposure to the language.

WHY LEARNING ITALIAN THROUGH MOVIES IS A GREAT IDEA?

Movies are an easy and effective way to recreate an Italian full immersion at your home. 

Exposure to the real language will do wonders in your overall language learning journey.

Not to mention that watching Italian films will give you plenty of insights on all things Italian. 

And no, it won’t be just a language centred experience. Instead, it will help you to

  • Get used to the natural speed of Italian conversation and Italian filler words
  • Get to know Italy, and it’s a vast variety of scenarios and landscape
  • Get familiar with most famous movie directors and actors Italian friends or your Italian tutor

IS IT FOR EVERY LEVEL?

YES! A movie is en enriching cultural experience. That’s why you should not wait until you have an advanced level to start to watch movies in Italian.

You can use movies to learn Italian at any stage of your learning journey.

Let’s debunk the myth that to watch a movie in Italian you need to have an advanced level, otherwise it won’t work.

You can use Italian movies to learn Italian at any stage of your learning process. How?


Beginners

If you are a beginner learner of Italian, you can watch an Italian movie with English subtitles.  It doesn’t matter if you can get most of, still, you will familiarize with the sounds and the Italian settings and the speed of conversation.

Intermediate learners 

Intermediate Italian learners should watch movies in Italian with Italian subtitles. At this point in your learning journey, you certainly can read A LOT, but still, struggle to follow a natural conversation. You should use movies to improve your Italian because they will help you to synchronize the sounds with the words. Amazing progress will happen. Guarantee.

Advanced students

Get rid of the Italian subtitles and enjoy the show. 
 

Here is my personal list of the best Italian movies of the last 30 years.

 

NUOVO CINEMA PARADISO (1988) 

DRAMA

A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema in his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema’s projectionist. – IMDb

 

MEDITERRANEO (1991) 

DRAMA

In WW2, an Italian Army unit of misfits occupies an isolated non-strategic Greek island for the duration of the war.  IMBd

 

IL POSTINO (1994)

The Postman – DRAMA/COMEDY

Il Postino movingly explores themes of love and friendship through sensitively depicted — and beautifully acted — relationships in 1950s Italy.–  Rotten Tomatoes

 

MIO FRATELLO È FIGLIO UNICO

My Brother is an Only Child – DRAMA

Two brothers come of age in a small Italian town in the ’60s and ’70s. – IMBd

 

LA MEGLIO GIOVENTÙ (2003)

The Best Youth – DRAMA/DOCUMENTARY 

An Italian epic that follows the lives of two brothers, from the 1960s to the 2000s – IMBd

 

I CENTOPASSI (2000)

One Hundred Steps – DRAMA

This is the story of Peppino Impastato, a political activist who opposed the Mafia in Sicily. The story takes place in the small town in the province of Palermo, the home town of the Impastato family. One hundred steps were the number of steps it took to get from the Impastato house to the house of the Mafia boss. Wikipedia

 

IL CAPITALE UMANO (2013)

The Human Capital – DRAMA

The destinies of two families are irrevocably tied together after a cyclist is hit off the road by a jeep in the night before Christmas Eve.IMBd

 

LA GRANDE BELLEZZA (2013)

The Great Beauty – DRAMA

Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. – IMBd

 

LA MAFIA UCCIDE SOLO D’ESTATE (2013)

The Mafia Kills Only in Summer – DRAMA/COMEDY 

The Italian Senate President and former anti-mafia magistrate Pietro Grasso referred to this film as the best film work on Sicilian Mafia ever made.[3] It was awarded best comedy film at the 27th European Film Awards. – Wikipedia

 

LA LEGGENDA DEL PIANISTA SULL’OCEANO (1998)

The Language of the Pianist on the Ocean – DRAMA

It was Tornatore’s first English-language film. The film is inspired by Novecento, a monologue by Alessandro Baricco. The film was nominated for a variety of awards worldwide, winning several for its soundtrack. – Wikipedia

 

LA VITA È BELLA (1996)

Life is Beautiful – COMEDY/DRAMY

When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humour, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp. – IMBd

 

PERFETTI SCONOSCIUTI (2016)

Perfect Strangers – COMEDY

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning the David di Donatello in the Best Film Category and grossing more than €16 million in Italy. It has been remade in many countries including Spain (, Mexico, South Korea, France, Hungary, Greece, China, and Russia. – Wikipedia 

 

IL DIVO (2008) 

The Celebrity – BIOGRAPHY

The film presents the story of Giulio Andreotti, a seven-time prime minister of Italy notorious for his alleged ties to the Mafia. The narration covers Andreotti’s seventh election in 1992, his failed bid for the presidency of the Italian Republic, the Tangentopoli bribe scandal and his trial in 1995. – Wikipedia  

SATURNO CONTRO 

Saturn in Opposition – DRAMA

 

LA PAZZA GIOIA (2016)

Like Crazy – COMEDY/DRAMA

It tells the story of two women from different backgrounds who become friends while being treated at a mental institution. – Wikipedia 

 

 

CATERINA VA IN CITTA’ (2003)

Caterina in the Big City – COMEDY/DRAMA

Caterina, forced to leave her small town at the age of thirteen, faces the complications of living in the big metropoly of Rome – IMDb

NOTTE PRIMA DEGLI ESAMI (2003)

Night Before the exams – COMEDY

It describes the lives of two groups of Italian teenagers during the preparation of the esame di maturità (the final exam of Italian high school). It is set in Rome during the year 1989.

 

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