You may not seek out Spanish films to watch on your free weekends, but Spanish cinema will find you. In the last decade or so, English-language Spanish productions like Milos Forman’s Goya’s Ghosts, Alejandro Amenabar’s Nicole Kidman starrer The Others, Brad Anderson’s The Machinist and others have become popular internationally, along with several Spanish-language films like The Orphanage (2007) and Alatriste (2006). Cinema is to Europe what gambling is to Macao, well, almost. European cinema and Spanish cinema in particular, has produced some fantastic stories for international audiences in the past.
Each year the Goya film awards brings more exciting new Spanish cinema to light. The Goya Awards are the equivalent of the Academy Awards in the country. If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, check out some of the winners from the awards earlier this year.
The 30th Goya Awards seemed to be Truman’s night, with the Spanish-Argentinian comedy sweeping up the best film, best director, best screenplay, and best actor for Ricardo Darin and best supporting actor for Javier Camara.
The film is a leisurely-paced and moving drama exploring the lifelong friendship between two men Julian and Tomas during their final reunion of a few days. During their reunion, Tomas helps Julian settle his accounts and find a home for his beloved dog, with cancer looming in the distance. The film has been sold to FilmRise for a 2017 US release, so if you can’t get your hands on the DVD, you can always wait to catch it in the theaters.
This adaptation of Paula Farias’ novel DejarseLlover won for best adapted screenplay. The English-language comedy-drama stars Beniciodel Toro and Tim Robbins and deals with veteran aid workers trying to recover a corpse from a well after the Yugoslav Wars in former Yugoslavia.
This Argentinian winner of the best Spanish language foreign film is a crime drama based on the true case of the kidnappings and murders of four people carried out by the Puccios family of Buenos Aires in the 1980s. What sets the clan apart is that they are a middle-class family with ambitions of moving into the upper classes.
Best European Film went to Mustang, a Turkish-French production dealing with the lives of five young orphaned sisters in a Turkish village. The conflict comes from the girls’ struggles to cope with a conservative society. This moving and powerful film tells an important message through the laudable ensemble cast, and has a rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 98 reviews.
Titled Nadiequiere la noche in Spanish and the opener of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, this film is set in 1908 Greenland and co-produced by Spain, Bulgaria and France. The film follows the dangerous journey of Josephine, wife of famous explorer Robert Peary, who goes in search of her husband as he seeks a route to the North Pole. The film stars French actress Juliette Binoche, and had three wins at the Goya awards including best score.
Other films that are worth mentioning include the Spanish thriller Retribution, which won for best sound and editing, Capture the Flag, which won best animation, and La Novia, which earned twelve nominations and two wins.