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Six beautiful foreign language films worth watching this bank holiday
Image / Living / Culture

Mubi

Six beautiful foreign language films worth watching this bank holiday


by Sarah Finnan
01st Apr 2024

From a tender look at boyhood friendships to a beautifully shot film about a curious donkey and a Norwegian romcom that will totally subvert your views of the genre, here are six brilliant foreign language films to watch this bank holiday.

The Worst Person in the World

Romcoms have gotten a bad rap in recent years but this movie will make you completely change your mind about the genre. A modern dramedy about the quest for love and meaning in contemporary Oslo, it chronicles four years in the life of Julie (Renate Reinsve), a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find what she wants to do in life, making her take a realistic look at who she really is. I cannot stress enough how good this is – make it a priority to watch this week and thank me later.

One Fine Morning

Léa Seydoux is exceptional in this film about a young, widowed mother caught between new romance and the responsibilities of her day-to-day life. Trying to balance her job as a translator with caring for both her young daughter and her elderly father, who suffers from a degenerative illness, it’s a heartfelt look at love and loss and the pain and tenderness that go hand in hand with both. 

Close

A tender and intimate portrait of boyhood friendships, love, identity and independence (with a devastating conclusion), Close will most likely leave you sobbing into your popcorn… I was a blubbering mess when I went to see it in cinemas last year, so be warned and have the tissue box handy. It’s a terribly tragic movie at its core, but the cinematography and score imbue it with beauty, and in an age when masculinity is at the forefront of global discussions, director Lukas Dhont’s take on things is a welcome divergence from the particular brands of misogyny we’ve been seeing of late. 

EO

EO, a grey donkey with large, soulful eyes and a curious spirit, begins life as a circus performer before escaping across the Polish and Italian countryside, where he encounters a number of memorable characters on his journey to freedom. It’s a film about an innocent creature caught up in the cultural and environmental ills of modern society… one that will most likely leave you with a lump in your throat. Beautifully shot and with a stunning soundtrack, EO is equal parts sentimental and surreal.

Return to Seoul

A twenty-five-year-old French woman returns to Korea, the country she was born in before being adopted by a French couple, for the very first time. Encouraged by newfound friends to try to track down her biological parents, a spur-of-the-moment decision takes her on a surprising journey that will stay with you long after the credits have stopped rolling. This is a gorgeous film about identity and belonging with an arresting debut from Park Ji-min. Watch it, let it percolate, then watch it again.

All Quiet on the Western Front 

The winner of four Academy Awards at last year’s Oscars, All Quiet on the Western Front brought home the gold for best international feature, best cinematography, best original score and best production design. A grim, disquieting film based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel of the same name, it tells the gripping story of a young German soldier on the Western Front of World War I. Throughout the film, Paul and his comrades experience first-hand how the initial euphoria of war turns into desperation and fear as they fight for their lives – and each other’s – in the trenches. 

Imagery via MUBI. This article was originally published in 2023.