It’s too cold to go to il cinema, so why not stay in and queue up a movie on Netflix? Watching films can supplement what you learn in Italian class by helping to develop your listening skills. We’ve chosen a few of our favorite recent Italian movies that are streaming on Netflix this month. Add them to your queue, pour a glass of vino, and enjoy!
Io Non Ho Paura (I’m Not Scared) (2003)
Based on Niccolò Ammaniti’s novel of the same title, this slow-building thriller set in southern Italy was directed by Oscar-winner Gabriele Salvatores. Roger Ebert described it as “a reminder of true childhood, of its fears and speculations, of the way a conversation can be overheard but not understood, of the way that the shape of the adult world forms slowly through the mist.”
La meglio gioventù (The Best of Youth) (2003)
Don’t be daunted by its six-hour length—this sweeping saga is simply a must-see. Directed by Marco Tullio Giordana and originally made as a mini-series for Italian television, La meglio gioventù chronicles the lives of two brothers against the background of social and political change in Italy from 1966 to 2000. Thanks to its multi-dimensional characters and engrossing, plot-driven story, it was hailed by some critics as the film of the year.
Giorni e Nuvole (Days and Clouds) (2007)
Silvio Soldini’s drama, set in unglamorous Genoa, is one to add to your queue for its intelligent portrait of a middle-class marriage put to the test when the husband loses his job. The two leads, Margherita Buy and Antonio Albanese, deliver sensitive, realistic performances. The Washington Post called Giorni e Nuvole “stirring, serious and, ultimately, mercifully optimistic cinema”
Io sono amore (I Am Love) (2010)
If the previous film is restrained, Luca Guadagnino’s is the opposite: a lush, sprawling melodrama that calls to mind Luchino Visconti and Douglas Sirk. Tilda Swinton stars as Emma, who married into the wealthy Milanese Recchi family years ago and now finds herself drawn into an affair with a talented chef. This film may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s gorgeous to look at and Swinton is magnificent. If you’re willing to be swept up in its world, you may find yourself swooning.
This list is up to date as of February 20, 2015.
Contributor: Anita Rao