The film industry contains a wealth of different foreign films, whether presented in the native language or simply written, directed by or starring a native speaker. Being an (almost) fluent Spanish speaker, I have viewed quite a number of films that I believe deserve recognition. Here are my top 5 must see Spanish films.
Y Tu Mamá También (And Your Momma Too)
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, Y Tu Mamá También is a Mexican drama of two teenage boys who go on a road trip with a woman in her late 20s. The film covers the topics of coming-of-age, sexuality, and Mexican political and economic controversy. Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal, and Maribel Verdú all give noteworthy performances earning the film a 92% on the Tomato-Meter
La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon)
Directed by Patricia Higgens, La Mimsa Luna tells the story of a young boy living in Mexico who journeys across the border to reunite with his mother who had immigrated 4 years prior. Adrián Alonso, Kate del Castillo and Eugenio Derbez come together in an unforgettable cast that won the film a 72% on the Tomato-Meter
Como Agua para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate)
Directed by Alfonso Arau, this adaptation of the 1989 novel by Laura Esquivel tells the story of a young woman who, through cooking, copes with and provokes her passions in life. The film won all eleven Ariel awards from the Mexican Academy of Motion pictures and earned a 90% on the Tomato-Meter.
Diarios de Motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries)
Directed by Walter Salles, this film starring Gael García Bernal, tells the story of Che Guevara, an Argentinian marxist guerrilla and revolutionary. The film is based on Che’s travel diary of the same name and follows his revolutionary movements throughout South America. The film earned an 84% on the Tomato-Meter and won many awards, most notably at Cannes, BAFTA and an Oscar for original song.
El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth)
Directed by the world renowned Guillermo del Toro, this film is set just after the Spanish Civil War and tells the story of a young girl caught up in the battle between her pregnant mother and her new stepfather. The young girl, Ofelia, happens upon a mythical creature named Pan who convinces her she is the legendary princess of his realm and must complete certain tasks to claim her kingdom. Ivana Baquero as Ofelia gave a wonderful performance, earning the film a 96% on the Tomato-Meter.