Heading for the Spanish capital and want to know what Madrid is really about? Well, you can read travel guides, blog posts or ask your friends for advices but a film set in the city can give you an idea of what it’s made of. The Spanish cinema has so many great movies set in Madrid, the only downside is you’ll spend some time trying to pick one. Fortunately, here you’ll find five cool and interesting options that can give you a taste of Madrid – and learn spanish while you’re at it!
Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes, 1997)
This gripping drama is about a very handsome man who finds the love of his life, but suffers an accident and needs to have his face rebuilt by surgery after it is severely disfigured. The Madrileñan actress Penelope Cruz and Eduardo Noriega play the lead roles in this movie set in Madrid. Fun fact: this movie had a remake in 2001, named Vanilla Sky, featuring Tom Cruise in the lead role and with Penélope Cruz reprising her role.
Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, 1989)
Very popular and with a hilarious plot, this black-comedy (with a tinge of noir and romance) starts when Pepa Marcos’ lover Ivan suddenly leaves her without any explanation. She then embarks on a strange journey to discover why. On the way she meets a variety of eccentric characters, including Ivan’s son from a previous relationship, his fiancee Marissa and a Shiite terrorist cell who have been secretly holding her best friend Candela hostage. This movie was even nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film!
La Comunidad (Common Wealth, 2000)
Another good one, this fun movie is about a real estate agent who discovers a fortune in the apartment of a dead man. Unfortunately, a group of neighbours have been waiting for the man to die so that they can seize the money for themselves. With Madrid serving as backdrop, this movie won three Goya awards (basically, the Spanish Oscars).
Martín (ache) (1997)
Martín (ache) is a movie about an Argentinian movie director who hates his country, and has therefore fled to Madrid, where he has been living for over 20 years. Unfortunately, he has to face his past when his son comes to Madrid to visit.
Hermosa Juventud (Beautiful Youth, 2014)
With a down-to-earth perspective on the difficulties of life, this touching indie film is about a young couple living in Madrid with their mothers, in dilapidated apartments. In the absence of money and prospects, and her getting pregnant, they decide to shoot an amateur porn movie.