The Best Italian Films on Netflix UK
Italian cinema has long been celebrated for its artistic brilliance and captivating storytelling. From the neorealist classics of the post-war era to contemporary masterpieces, Italian films have made a significant impact on the global cinematic landscape.
Besides their entertainment value, Italian films offer a unique opportunity to learn the Italian language and immerse oneself in the rich culture of Italy. If you’re an Italian language enthusiast or simply a lover of great cinema, Netflix UK has a fantastic selection of Italian films that you shouldn’t miss.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best Italian films on Netflix and delve into the reasons why they are must-watch titles for both cinephiles and language learners.
1. Lazzaro Felice (Happy as Lazzaro) – 2018
“Lazzaro Felice” tells the story of Lazzaro, a young peasant living in an isolated village untouched by modernity. Lazzaro’s innocence and pure heart make him an endearing character, and his tender friendship with his boss’s son leads to an unexpected twist. Directed by Alice Rohrwacher, this film is a beautifully crafted blend of magical realism and social commentary.
Its portrayal of rural life, juxtaposed with contemporary society, offers a thought-provoking exploration of class divides and the human spirit.
Furthermore, its quiet, evocative dialogue (which includes beautiful voiceover narration) provide ample opportunities for language learners to absorb the Italian language in an authentic context.
2. L’uomo senza gravità (The Man Without Gravity) – 2019
“L’uomo senza gravità” tells the extraordinary tale of Oscar, a young boy born with the ability to defy gravity. Directed by Marco Bonfanti, this whimsical and visually stunning film takes audiences on a magical journey through Oscar’s life as he navigates the challenges of growing up and finding his place in the world. With its enchanting storytelling and imaginative visuals, the film offers a captivating cinematic experience.
From a language learning perspective, “L’uomo senza gravità” provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the Italian language through the film’s up-to-date dialogue and lively character interactions. The film’s light-hearted nature lends itself to a more accessible language learning experience, as learners will be able to understand what’s going on even if they don’t understand every line of dialogue. For this reason, “L’uomo senza gravità” is one of the best Italian films on Netflix for pre-intermediate learners.
Additionally, the film’s themes of identity, self-acceptance, and embracing one’s uniqueness offer valuable cultural insights into Italian society, making it a delightful and educational watch.
3. La vita davanti a sé (The Life Ahead) – 2020
Legendary Italian actress Sophia Loren returned to the big screen after a decade-long hiatus with “The Life Ahead”, based on a novel by Romain Gary. In
“La vita davanti a sé”, Loren gives yet another powerful performance as Madame Rosa, a Holocaust survivor who cares for the children of sex workers. When she takes in a young Senegalese immigrant named Momo, an unlikely bond forms between the two.
Directed by Edoardo Ponti, this emotionally charged film explores themes of compassion, acceptance, and the power of human connection.
“The Life Ahead” is also one of the most interesting Italian films on Netflix for learners, as it showcases the multicultural fabric of contemporary Italy and delves into the experiences of marginalised communities. As viewers immerse themselves in the heartfelt story, they can enhance their Italian language skills by listening to the rich dialogues and absorbing the nuances of different Italian accents.
4. Sulla mia pelle (On My Skin: The Last Seven Days of Stefano Cucchi) – 2018
Based on a true story, “Sulla mia pelle” explores the tragic final days of Stefano Cucchi, a young man who died in police custody in Rome. The film delves into the judicial system, shedding light on the harrowing experiences faced by individuals caught in its grip.
Alessandro Borghi delivers a powerful performance as Stefano Cucchi, bringing forth the raw emotions and injustices of his character’s journey. Moreover, the authentic dialogue and a realistic portrayal of the Italian legal system offer a unique learning opportunity for language enthusiasts.
If you are an Italian learner but you’re also a Law student or just someone who loves a good courtroom drama, you’ll find that this is one of the best Italian films on Netflix for you. By engaging with the film’s plot and dialogue, viewers will be able to develop a deeper understanding of Italian vocabulary related to law, justice, and societal issues.
5. É stata la mano di Dio (The Hand of God) – 2021
Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, “The Hand of God” is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story set in 1980s Naples. The film follows Fabietto, a teenager with dreams of becoming a filmmaker, as he navigates his turbulent family life and the seismic events unfolding around him.
Sorrentino’s masterful storytelling and exquisite cinematography capture the essence of Naples, showcasing its vibrant culture, passionate people, and the intertwining of personal and societal experiences.
“The Hand of God”, whose title is a reference to Argentine footballer Diego Maradona, is a nuanced exploration of identity and socio-economic disparities in Italy. It is a poignant and deeply personal exploration of love, loss, and the pursuit of dreams, and one of the most artful films on Netflix UK.
Plus, through its captivating dialogue and immersive storytelling, language learners can delve into the sounds of the Italian language while gaining a deeper understanding of Italian society and history.
6. Under the Riccione Sun (Sotto il sole di Riccione) – 2020
If you’re in the mood for a lighthearted and delightful coming-of-age story, “Under the Riccione Sun” is a perfect choice. Set against the backdrop of a sunny Italian seaside town, the film follows a group of young friends as they navigate love, friendship, and self-discovery during their summer vacation.
Directed by the directorial duo YouNuts!, this romantic comedy captures the essence of youth and the transformative power of summer experiences. Through its relatable characters, the film presents an authentic portrayal of Italian youth culture that feels as fresh as a summer breeze.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, there’s something for language learners here too. The film’s colloquial language, slang, and casual conversations will help you become familiar with everyday Italian expressions and idioms while you remember your teenage years. With its upbeat energy and charming storyline,
“Under the Riccione Sun” offers an entertaining and educational experience for those looking to learn Italian.
7. Rose Island (L’incredibile storia dell’Isola delle Rose) – 2020
“Rose Island” tells the fascinating true story of Giorgio Rosa, an Italian engineer who built his own micronation on a platform in the Adriatic Sea during the 1960s. Directed by Sydney Sibilia, this biographical comedy-drama explores themes of freedom, rebellion, and the pursuit of dreams.
The film showcases the tenacity and idealism of Giorgio Rosa as he challenges the status quo and fights for the recognition of his self-declared independent state. “Rose Island” offers a blend of comedy, adventure, and political commentary, making it an engaging watch for both entertainment and language learning purposes.
What’s more, as viewers immerse themselves in the film’s dialogue and character dynamics, they can improve their Italian language skills by picking up vocabulary related to politics, law, and societal debates. If you love films but you prefer documentaries over fictional stories, this is one of the best Italian films on Netflix for you!
Learn Italian with Language Trainers
In conclusion, there is a diverse range of Italian films on Netflix that not only entertain but also offer an excellent opportunity to learn the Italian language and gain insights into Italian culture. Whether you’re drawn to heartfelt dramas, whimsical tales, or thought-provoking narratives, these films present a treasure trove of linguistic and cultural immersion. So, grab some popcorn, settle in, and let the captivating world of Italian cinema transport you to a realm of language learning.
Would you like to go beyond these awesome Italian films on Netflix and start working on your fluency? At Language Trainers, we offer tailor-made Italian courses to make learning the language both fun and rewarding. All you have to do is tell us about your current level and learning goals, and we’ll come up with a lesson plan that suits your needs.
So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today and take the first step towards becoming a fluent Italian speaker!