It’s cold outside, so there’s no better time to curl up with a movie and practice learning Spanish the easy way…by watching great Spanish-language movies and TV shows. Here’s our selection of the best choices currently streaming online. And don’t forget to sign up for our next round of Spanish classes, starting in January.
Alfonson Cuarón (2018, Mexico), Netflix
OK this isn’t technically streaming yet (it will be December 14th) but we were so excited we couldn’t wait! You could be forgiven for thinking Cuarón’s new-for-Netflix feature is about the Italian city, but Mexico City lovers will know the Roma of the title actually refers to the famous Mexico City neighborhood. The film follows Cleo, a housekeeper for a wealthy Roma family, as she deals with first love, a pregnancy, a death, a fire, a very badly behaved dog, and more. A slice of life picture that is also a cut above. If you live in NYC, you can see it in theaters now!
Various directors (2017-present, Spain), Netflix
This Spanish TV show, now in its fourth season, tells the story of four women newly entering the workforce in 1920’s Madrid. Modern telecommunications have just arrived in Spain, and working for the telephone company is a glamorous job for modern women. At the same time, Spain is going though darker changes that are leading up to the civil war. This show is recommended for fans of Downton Abbey, Grand Hotel, and Mad Men!
Luis Buñuel (1970, Spain), Kanopy
“Tristana is not an erotic film,” says the original trailer for this classic Buñuel film. It may not be erotic, exactly, but it tells a PG-13 rated version of a Sadeian tale–a young woman played by Catherine Deneuve is left alone and friendless when her mother dies. She is placed under the care of the older Don Lope…who, of course, falls in love with and seduces her. But Tristana insists on her own freedom to love as she chooses, and her own romantic adventures ensue.
Time to Die (Tiempo de Morir)
Arturo Ripstein (1966, Mexico), Kanopy
If the phrase “1960’s Mexican Western written by Gabriel Garcia Márquez” doesn’t pique your interest, there’s not much more we can add. If it does, then you will love this gorgeous tale of revenge in the old (Mexican) west. Sort of a missing link between John Wayne and El Topo, this film was the official 1966 Cannes Film Festival selection, and it is still an amazing watch.