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Learning Italian with Cinema- I

The past few months have been exceptional for me in terms of imbibing the Italian language and culture. I can actually vouch that learning Italian with cinema has helped me immerse in my language learning journey! Here are 5 movies that I think everyone should watch (with or without English subtitles is your choice) to improve Italian and gain an insight into the culture!

Learning Italian with Cinema

1. Perfetti Sconosciuti (2016):

This is a fabulous story of 7 friends and how their lives fall apart after they agree to play a game. The film is a perfect take on modern technology, it’s uses and how it has hampers our personal lives. Directed by the very talented Paolo Genovse, Perfetti Sconosciuti revolves around couples lives- showing themes of deception and dishonesty. Of course there’s more…..

What I love about this movie is the way the symbolism is omnipresent throughout. (No Spoilers!) If you’re in India you can watch it on Disney Hotstar. You can also buy the DVD from Amazon.

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2. Mine Vaganti (2010):

Mine Vaganti is a great movie to watch if you’re learning Italian. Shot in the stunning town of Lecce, this film shows how the issues of homosexuality are dealt by a rich Puglian family. I love when movies highlight day to day issues. Mine Vaganti shows many sides of the Italian culture including a family obsessed with pasta!! Even though the film is shown in the category of a Comedy on Wikipedia, I think it is a very serious drama of two sexually frustrated brothers and their dramatic overbearing father.

Mine Vaganti can be watched on Daily Motion or you can simply check it on Prime if you are in the USA.

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3. Loro Chi? (2015):

Did you like Catch Me If You Can?? Oceans Eleven?? Well I bet you will love this. I don’t wish to divulge the plot here but Loro Chi is fabulous and fun! Being a fan of both Marco Giallini and Edoardo Leo, I can safely tell you to watch this fabulous film. The script and comic timings are perfect so it is impossible NOT to have fun watching this movie!!

I recommended Loro Chi to several of my friends from my Italian class and they loved it too! You can buy the DVD here.

Have you seen these TV shows set in Italy?

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4. Mia Madre (2015):

Mia Madre is a heartwarming story of a mother daughter relationship. The plot revolves around present and past memories of the character’s mother as the protagonist handles her mother’s current and past life. Mia Madre will leave you teary eyed!

My Italian teacher recommended me to watch movies by Nanni Moretti and I couldn’t be more grateful. Some might find his movies boring but to me they are beautiful and unique. Not only is the language slower and simplified but also the scripts are heartwarming and real. You can watch Mia Madre on Prime if you’re in the USA.

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5. Io Sono l’amore (2010):

Another fantastic film to watch if you’re learning Italian is Io Sono l’amore. This is a comparatively slow film set in the chic urban space of Milan. It revolves around the doting mother of a wealthy Italian family who finds herself in love with someone really unexpected. The story unravels smoothly with a lot of passion as the life of an industrial Italian family is shown. Io Sono l’amore which literally translates to I Am Love has an ending that will leave you dizzy.

If you’re in the USA you can watch it on Prime.

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Check out Italian language books, worksheets and dictionaries here!

Did you like the list?? I’d love recommendations from you!!

Let’s keep the classics such as La Grande Belezza, Il Postino, La Vita è Bella, Pane e Tulipani, Cinema Paradiso or Mediterraneo aside for today!!

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Don’t forget to see my Italian language learning tips on IGTV below!

Further Reading:

7 Minutes in Slow Italian by Italian Pills

57 Comments

  • […] Watching movies in Italian is also a very popular topic on the blog especially if you saw my last post on Cinema. I’m glad it was useful to so many of you! Learning Italian with cinema has never been this […]

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  • Sheri Doyle
    August 30, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you for the recommendations. I learning Italian now. I finally just started speaking it regardless of how incorrect it was because I figured it was a fear I had to get over. It helped my confidence a lot but it is hard to get better when I don’t hear it every day. Your recommendations will help!

    Reply
    • Italophilia
      September 1, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      I am happy to help, Sheri. Did you also check the other posts on Cinema? It is hard for me to just speak it too but I think its the only way to go about it 😉 In bocca al lupo!

      Reply
  • […] and how-to articles. Here, you’ll find a section on the Italian language with articles like learning Italian with cinema and charming Italian sentences I […]

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  • moviesorkids
    May 21, 2017 at 11:54 am

    I’ve only ever seen 2 Italian films. Subtitled of course I’m no Expert. Life is Beautiful and Cinema Paradiso. Do they count?

    Reply
    • Ishita
      May 22, 2017 at 12:14 am

      Of course! This post wasn’t about them as I mentioned in the end but it does count

      Reply
  • frompillartoposts
    May 20, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Really nice post. I really need to start watching Italian films rather than just English films dubbed over. Nice when I know them but I think it is missing the Italian culture aspect you get from an Italian film. Think I will be checking these out 😀👍🏻

    Reply
  • […] am happy to say that watching movies has really helped improve my listening skills. Also, the last post on Cinema was useful to so many of you so here are some more movies to your kitty to practice language skills […]

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  • Un po' di pepe
    March 14, 2017 at 12:57 am

    I missed the Italian Film Festival this year, and it looks like I have a lot of good movies to catch up on! Apart from the classics already mentioned, I would recommend Ciao Professore and Respiro. Ciao, Cristina

    Reply
    • Ishita
      March 14, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Grazie 🙂 I’ll check both of them .I’ve already seen the classics I mentioned in the list!!

      Reply
  • pblevitt
    March 8, 2017 at 12:36 am

    These are terrific recommendations and a preferred way in which I try to expand my skills. I also watch RAI series whenever possible, every little bit seems to help me expand my listening and speaking skills. Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      March 8, 2017 at 9:36 am

      I am so happy these are useful! I am making another soon and I think you will enjoy it too. Movies have really helped me too.

      Reply
  • Debra Kolkka
    March 3, 2017 at 11:31 am

    I’m with Tourist by Chance. I love those movies.

    Reply
    • Ishita
      March 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      I love those movies too its just that I have seen them so I didn’t want those recommendations! Nothing apart from that

      Reply
  • touristbychance.com
    March 2, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Il Postino, La Vita è Bella, Cinema Paradiso and Mediterraneo are a must watch for all lovers of Italian cinema! These are classics that will live on forever! Great post Ishita! Hope you are back in il bel paese soon 🙂 Ciao from a sunny Rome

    Reply
    • Ishita
      March 2, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂 Yes indeed I love those movies. Buona giornata..xx

      Reply
  • Francesca
    February 28, 2017 at 1:33 am

    I loathed Mia Madre. I have seen other Moretti films but this one really annoyed me. Mio Marito thought the same thing.
    I watch lots of Italian movies online, through our local SBS TV station. The one I loved most last year was Il Grande Sogno ( the Big Dream- 2009) with Riccardo Scamarcio. In fact, I love any movie with Riccardo Scamarcio- any at all!! Here’s a list of movies starring Scamarcio. I use this list to find them at the library
    .http://www.ranker.com/list/best-riccardo-scamarcio-movies-list-of-riccardo-scamarcio-films/reference

    Reply
    • Ishita
      February 28, 2017 at 7:56 am

      Really?? I ended up liking it a lot 🙂 I am checking this one you sugggested.. Grazie cara 🙂 This is very useful

      Reply
    • Ishita
      February 28, 2017 at 9:49 am

      Thanks to you I will watch Manuale d’am3re today 🙂

      Reply
  • karenincalabria
    February 28, 2017 at 12:48 am

    I checked Mia Madre out of the library just yesterday and have it sitting next to the TV – can’t wait to see it. I really like Magherita Buy. I recently saw her in A Five-Star Life which tells the story of a woman whose job it is to stay in and rate 5-star hotels all over the world. Yes, can you believe it? Could it really be a job? Anyway, she was excellent, as usual.

    Reply
    • Ishita
      February 28, 2017 at 7:57 am

      Omg I have it on my next to watch tomorrow 🙂 I hope I enjoy it sounds nice. I love her acting skills. Did you see Il Caimano yet??

      Reply
      • karenincalabria
        February 28, 2017 at 12:26 pm

        Just finished watching Mia Madre – well done. And the scene with John Turturro dancing! I need to see Il Caimano, because I really like Silvio Orlando.

        Reply
        • Ishita
          March 1, 2017 at 11:47 am

          Nice movie no? Ya I like his movies too though I have seen just two but enough to make me a fan. Have you seen Son’s Room? Another great movie by Moretti

          Reply
          • karenincalabria
            March 1, 2017 at 2:17 pm

            Yes, he makes good movies, but I have to admit that I prefer a good comedy.

            Reply
            • Ishita
              March 1, 2017 at 6:05 pm

              I love comedy too. actually a mix of both

              Reply
  • petiteloulou25
    February 27, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    I will have to check out those films. Immersion through film is a great way to naturally soak up the rhythm and pronunciation of a language. Thanks for the great post! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ishita
      February 28, 2017 at 7:59 am

      Absolutely and you end up learning words that you might never do in class

      Reply
  • kiki1469
    February 27, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Nice list, gives me some to put on my “to-watch list” I’ve only seen one of them. I’d recommend “L’ultimo Bacio” (The Last Kiss) At least a decade old, but I loved it.

    Reply
    • Ishita
      February 28, 2017 at 7:58 am

      Thanks so much Kiki. I will add that to my list

      Reply
  • Manja Mexi Movie
    February 27, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Thank you, girl, I like it when you’re doing recommendations. Your joy comes across.
    I’ve seen the first film of your five (great) and the last one (not so great, too masochistic for my taste). I also didn’t enjoy “Grande Bellezza” because in my opinion it lacked a storyline.
    We watch mostly lightweight comedies around here when amore is choosing, for example Benigni’s “Johnny Stecchino”, and also “Habemus Papam”, “Benvenuti al Sud” or “Quo vado”. One day we watched “Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot”, that was different! We also watch old movies, “Il marchese del Grillo”, “Amici miei”, or Sophia Loren in “Matrimonio all’italiana”. And if you feel adventurous, watch “Travolti da un insolito destino nell’azzurro mare d’agosto” or “Primo amore” by Matteo Garrone. Italians are lots of things. 🙂
    And I’ll watch the other three films first chance I get, as well as that 6-hour one Sara recommended.

    Reply
    • fkasara
      February 28, 2017 at 2:05 am

      I agree with you, Manja, on La Grande Bellezza…sadly Sorrentino “doesn’t believe in storylines” (quotation) and this is something I’ll never understand 😅 I think a movie should tell a story, if you lack one, it’s just random, beautiful images put one after the other…at least I think so. Sorrentino’s Il Divo was his best work in my opinion, though. He has little compassion for his characters as a general rule and if in other movies it bothers me, in this one it was almost required. This film has one of the best openings in my opinion plus great photography and great choice of music (both are his main values).
      As for the classics/old movies you mentioned: great suggestions! ❤ Garrone is a great director, but I have yet to find the guts to watch Gomorrah, I have to be honest. Painful topic :/
      As for the 6-hour movie: for me it’s one of the best representations of “the Italian family” inserted in a greater Italian context. Truly recommended ❤

      Reply
      • Manja Mexi Movie
        February 28, 2017 at 2:18 am

        Great. All I need is find it. Amore says: “Just for revenge: we recommend the 6-hour Pinocchio by Comencini!” 😉 As for La Grande Bellezza, everybody was so full of praise that I expected something a bit different. Ok, Il Divo will be. And I saw Gomorrah on Slovenian TV before I left. Yes, heavy.

        Reply
        • fkasara
          February 28, 2017 at 2:34 am

          Well, thank you Manja’s Amore 😂👍 But, just for the record, I don’t expect people to see it for 6 hours straight! Breaking it in episodes will do!

          Reply
        • Ishita
          February 28, 2017 at 7:55 am

          Pinocchio is really nice too 🙂 I expected something else too liked it nevertheless. Thanks 🙂

          Reply
    • Ishita
      February 28, 2017 at 8:01 am

      I always look forward to your comments 🙂 thank you! its nice to see people appreciate the effort you go through for a post that too of a different culture. I have seen quo vado too. I really liked Habemus Papam 🙂 Benvenuti al sud was so true in many ways I heard and saw in Italy. funny too. I will check the others you mentioned.

      Reply
  • Darlene
    February 27, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Some great movies listed here. Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Ishita
      February 27, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Grazie cara 🙂

      Reply
  • fkasara
    February 27, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    I would highly recommend La Meglio Gioventù (The Best of Youth), but prepare yourself for a 6 hours-long movie 😅 You can easily find English subtitles and I think it’s also great for learning something about Italian contemporary history, as it covers an extensive part of it through the story of one family (in this aspect, it’s like The Leopard, just to give an example). The actors are amazing and the movie is really touching. Probably for a non-Italian speaker is different, but at the end, after 6 hours of film, I was almost like “Finished already?” LOL. It’s really flowing.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Best_of_Youth

    Reply
    • Ishita
      February 27, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Maybe I can try after a few months 🙂 Right now it seems an ordeal to see a 6 hour movie that too in Italian! thanks for reco though 🙂

      Reply
      • fkasara
        February 27, 2017 at 9:01 pm

        Yeah, I can understand that! But obviously you can watch it “in episodes”, if you want. I said that because I’ve read a lot of entusiastic reviews of non-Italians, who watched it even if they didn’t understand a word of the language 😊 But I can totally understand what you mean 👍

        Reply
        • Ishita
          February 27, 2017 at 9:05 pm

          true, can definitely see in parts. thanks so much! any current favorite movies??

          Reply
          • fkasara
            February 28, 2017 at 2:11 am

            Current as in movies that are now in the theaters? Sorry, I’m not really watching new movies in this period…but I definitely support what Manja suggested in the comment below! Great picks!

            Reply
            • Ishita
              February 28, 2017 at 7:55 am

              Thanks 🙂

              Reply
  • the Author
    February 27, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Reblogged this on Wag 'n Bietjie.

    Reply
  • sherylmcdougald
    February 27, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Great idea!! Thanks Ishita, I have Mine Vaganti all lined up! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ishita
      February 27, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      Always welcome Sheryl 🙂 enjoy!

      Reply
  • Gracefully Global
    February 27, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    I help the San Diego Italian Film Festival as a friend and volunteer, and their Italian artistic director does an amazing job selecting the films. Worth checking out their site for current and past films: http://www.sandiegoitalianfilmfestival.com/

    Reply
  • priyankamahajan26
    February 27, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Great Post

    Reply
    • Ishita
      February 27, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks sweets I am back hoping to meet soon

      Reply

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