hulu-italian-movies

4 Italian Movies on Hulu Every Learner Needs to Watch [Updated for April 2024]

Are you one of the lucky 49 million?

That’s the number of subscribers Hulu is said to have as of the first quarter of 2024.

If you’re a Hulu subscriber and an Italian language learner, that’s even better!

You’re about to discover 4 Italian movies on Hulu that’ll give you an insider glimpse of Italian culture, history and, of course, language—slang included.

Lights, camera, action!

Contents


1. “Under the Tuscan Sun”

IMDb

A Year in Provence

Speaking of Italian culture, you’ll get a lot of that in “Under the Tuscan Sun.” It’s the charming story of the recently-divorced Frances who buys an old Italian villa on a whim. And by “on a whim,” I mean a herd of sheep block the road for the tourist bus she’s on, she glances to the right, sees the dilapidated villa and decides then-and-there to buy it.

This movie is the Italian version of Peter Mayle’s “A Year in Provence” and features heartwarming scenes of the Italian countryside, the Amalfi coast, a flag throwing festival and a bountiful olive harvest.

The film is perfect for beginners or those who haven’t completely committed to learning the Italian language yet. It’ll get your feet wet and, in a way, make you fall in love not only with the characters but with the Italian love of life.

Like the first film on our list, the language in this one isn’t overwhelming at all. You’ll get simple phrases and sentences for practical use on your next vacay. And hey, if you want to see the lovestruck Diane Lane roll on the side of a hill, running after a handsome Italian stallion, then this’ll make your Hulu subscription so worth it.

2. “Call Me by Your Name”

IMDb

This Italian movie is set in the countryside of Italy in the ’80s.

17-year-old Elio keeps to himself, is introspective and loves books. But his world forever changes when an attractive doctoral student named Oliver starts working as his father’s research assistant.

Throughout the summer, Elio starts developing deep romantic feelings for Oliver—something that forces him to acknowledge parts of himself he didn’t know existed. Namely, his sexuality. And for the first time, he begins to learn what first love is—and the confusion that comes with it.

And Oliver is there through it all, introducing Elio to new feelings, unspoken desires and unforgettable moments as he continues his journey of self-discovery and acceptance.

3. “I Am Love”

IMDb

Emma is a Russian immigrant who moved to Italy after marrying a wealthy Italian man with a powerful, influential family.

From the outside, Emma seems to have it all—she’s a house wife living in Milan with her three beautiful children, and has a life of comfort and luxury. But in reality, unfulfillment nags at her heart.

Suddenly, a strong romantic chemistry arises when Emma is introduced to her son’s friend Antonio, causing her to risk the life she’s built in Italy for the excitement and sweet passion her newfound love affair reignites in her.

But nothing comes without a cost, and Emma’s life is on the edge of unraveling. Especially after her husband’s family’s patriarch suddenly passes away and his legacy is threatened.

4. “A Chiara”

IMDb

Set in Calabria, Italy, Chiara is a 15-year-old girl whose once-normal life gets turned upside down when her father suddenly disappears.

Her family provides many explanations, but Chiara refuses to accept them. Instead of mourning the disappearance of her father, she decides to set out on a search for him herself—hoping to not only find out where he is, but also why he left.

But the answer she gets isn’t the one she expected. Her father—Claudio—lives a life deeply rooted in the criminal world, shattering the image of the man she always thought of him to be.

But with this new revelation, Chiara now has to decide between risking everything to protect her family and creating a new path for herself, making this movie an inspiring, emotional coming-of-age story.

How to Learn with Hulu’s Italian Movies: The 3 R’s of Active Watching

You might know through experience that simply watching a movie many times (a.k.a. “passive watching”) won’t bring you any closer to learning a new language. You need to do something more.

Here are three ways to engage in active watching and pick up Italian from your favorite actors.

Repeat

It’s often been said that “repetition is the mother of skill.”

Learning Italian is no different. This means going over those movies again and again until you know the lines by heart.

But don’t just plop yourself on the sofa and watch something 50 times. That’ll get you nowhere, fast. Active watching is conscious and deliberate. It’s more like what German dancer Pina Bausch described: “Repetition is not repetition… The same action makes you feel something completely different by the end.”

So, let’s assume you’ve seen the film once (or twice) and enjoyed the story and twists at the end. What next?

Pick a scene and watch it over and over. Listen as the Italian language gives up its secrets.

Play around with the subtitles. Watch it with English subs and then with Italian subs. Then, turn the subtitles off completely and dare to listen without a crutch.

Expectedly, you won’t get anything useful the first few times, what with the blinding speed the actors talk.

But notice that when you watch something several times, each time, aspects you’ve been oblivious to before suddenly become apparent. Maybe by the 10th time you run through the same scene, really milking it, you’ll get to hear more of the tonality of the dialogue. Or maybe by the 50th time, the cadence and the delivery will take on a new level of clarity.

These things, which native Italian speakers simply take for granted, are the very things Italian language learners need to train for.

So do it! Study the movie scene by scene and milk it for all its worth.

Role-play

Active watching isn’t just about investing the time into watching a film again and again. It’s also about investing the energy into actually using the language.

This is where “active” in “active watching” really comes in. Don’t just immerse yourself in a tub of cheese-flavored popcorn. Immerse yourself in the movie, too.

Actually get up. Speak and gesture along with the actors. If you want, you can smash the “Pause” or “Rewind” buttons and throw the lines to an imaginary partner as many times as you can.

Give yourself numerous opportunities to deliver the words. Try acting the lines out. Use the context provided by the movie. Imagine yourself being in the scene and bring out your inner Al Pacino.

A quick disclaimer: It’d be best to do this bit in the privacy of your own room. No, you’re not doing anything crazy. In fact, you’re doing something really phenomenal. But it’ll look a little bit cuckoo for others who have no idea what your end goals are. So spare them the viral video and do the role-playing thing in private.

Record

The third “R” really cements what you’ve learned and it’s all about getting things written down.

There’s just something about writing things that helps the memory. Study after study points to the efficacy of writing for learning. The mechanics of really holding a pen and scribbling notes make the thing that you’re writing about more accessible to the memory.

This is besides the fact that by jotting things down, you actually have a visible record of the things that you’ve learned.

What should you write? (Everything!)

Write a list of vocabulary words, phrases or lines and their translations. Make a note of where in the movie the phrases appear. You’re confused about something? Write that down and remind yourself to research the topic later. Write a summary of the movie or the scene you just watched (in Italian!).

Get yourself in the habit of writing things down and you’ll be surprised by its impact on your Italian.

 

If you miss your chance to watch these Italian movies on Hulu, or if you want more flicks to sink your teeth into, check out some more essential movies and further fun flicks for Italian learners. You can also access an array of short Italian clips with learning support on FluentU.

For more great movies in Italian, check out this post next:

And One More Thing...

If you're as busy as most of us, you don't always have time for lengthy language lessons. The solution? FluentU!

Learn Italian with funny commericals, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:

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FluentU helps you get comfortable with everyday Italian by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and native-level conversations with interactive subtitles. Tap on any word to instantly see an image, in-context definition, example sentences and other videos in which the word is used.

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Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and review words and phrases with convenient audio clips under Vocab.

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Once you've watched a video, you can use FluentU's quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in that video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.

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FluentU will even keep track of all the Italian words you’re learning, and give you extra practice with difficult words. Plus, it'll tell you exactly when it's time for review. Now that's a 100% personalized experience!

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