Best Foreign Language Film Winners in The Academy Awards (1987-2016)

It is said that a movie is the art of make-believe, I say that it is an art of communicating messages. What a great experience to see the best movies in various international languages. Here in GlobalPolyglots.com, we wish to share with the whole world the magnificent movies that The Academy Awards has set as a benchmark of excellence to celebrate the beauty of languages. Immerse in the language, immerse in the culture. Click the movie posters and watch the trailer. Rent it or buy it out, the choice is yours. Check-out is powered by Amazon. Celebrate the finest and the best in International Cinema! Enjoy the movies.

The Salesman (2016)

Persian

Son of Saul (2015)

Hungarian, French, Russian, German, Yiddish, Greek, Hebrew, Polish, Czech, Slovak

Ida (2014)

French, Polish, Latin

The Great Beauty (2013)

Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese

Amour (2012)

French

A Separation (2011)

Persian

In A Better World (2010)

Danish, Swedish, English, Arabic, Catalan, Spanish

The Secret In Their Eyes (2009)

Spanish

Departures (2008)

Japanese

The Counterfeiters (2007)

German, Russian, English, Hebrew

The Lives of Others (2006)

German

Tsotsi (2005)

Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, English

The Sea Inside (2004)

Spanish, Galician, Catalan

The Barbarian Invasions (2003)

French, English

Nowhere in Africa (2002)

German, English, Swahili

No Man’s Land (2001)

English, French, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, German

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Mandarin

All About My Mother (1999)

Spanish, Catalan, English

Life Is Beautiful (1998)

Italian, German, English

Character (1997)

Dutch

Kolya (1996)

Czech, Slovak, Russian

Antonia’s Line (1995)

Dutch

Burnt By The Sun (1994)

Russian

Belle Époque (1993)

Spanish

Indochine (1992)

French, Vietnamese

Mediterraneo (1991)

Italian, English, Greek

Journey of Hope (1990)

Turkish, Swiss German, Italian

Cinema Paradiso (1989)

Italian, English, Portuguese, Sicilian

Pelle the Conqueror (1988)

Scanian, Danish, Swedish

Babette’s Feast (1987)

Danish, Swedish, French

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26 Replies to “Best Foreign Language Film Winners in The Academy Awards (1987-2016)”

  1. Hello,
    What a nice content. I like a good realistic movie and for that reason i often choose an alternatief movie. They are often in a language i don’t speak but most of them are wonderful movies. The trailes here can only proof that is true. The strange language also give a special aspect to the movie. I bookmarked your site so i keep following it.
    greetings
    Philip

    1. Thank you very much Phil =) Watching International movies takes us out of our comfort zone and makes us appreciate the beauty of another culture =) Thank you for the bookmark… I will continue to update this site to share more the beauty of languages =)

  2. I have always avoided Movies with foreign language which recently changed when I watched a Chinese movie. Though I had to make an effort to watch and read together, it wasn’t a bad experience.

    I’m gonna watch all of them! 😉

    Thank you!

    1. That’s amazing Etaya =) These are just 30 of the best films, the winners actually… but the other nominated ones per year are absolutely amazing =) Hope you can watch them and share to me your thoughts =) Thanks for dropping by =)

  3. Hi JR,
    I really liked your content. I only watched one of the movies out of the ones in the posters you have here, “Life is beautiful.” I think it was a superb movie.
    I do watch some foreign movies but mostly dramas. I’m into Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese and Thai. I’ve also watched a few Japanese ones but I don’t seem to understand them very well.

    1. Oh yes, thank you Chris =) La Vita es Bella (Life is Beautiful) is a masterpiece… I once watched that in a European Film Class when I was still a University student and it lingered in me… and the others, they are absolutely amazing… I highly recommend No Man’s Land, Babette’s Feast and my all time favorite, Cinema Paradiso =) Thank you for dropping by =)

  4. After checking out many of the titles you’ve listed in this post, I am tempted to buy a few of these and pass them around the family.
    There’s not many films nowadays that will hold my attention but I can see from this listing that a couple would appear to suit my fussy tastes in films.
    Thanks for listing these films, I will take great pleasure in finding them on Amazon and watching the trailers and perhaps buying or renting them. I will also look out for them being aired on TV in the UK. Ches

    1. Thank you Ches =) As a lover of language, it is my happiness when I lead someone to hear or experience a new language… I highly recommend Life is Beautiful and Cinema Paradiso… they are for me, the best ones =) Hope you get to watch all of these too =) Thanks for dropping by =)

  5. It is good that there is an Academy Award for the best foreign language film each year and I enjoyed reading this article about them. Of those listed I have only watched one of them and that was ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ an action packed martial arts movie which I enjoyed.

    1. Thanks Jim for dropping by. I also love Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, I love all the “flying” fight scenes. It gives us a different visual style worth emulating. I would suggest if you have time to watch Life Is Beautiful and Cinema Paradiso. They are absolutely magnificent. Those are my personal picks. But of course, all of these are also great. Thanks Jim =)

  6. If you only get to watch ONE movie from this list, I would say make it “The Lives Of Others”. It really is one of the most riveting foreign films I’ve ever seen. It takes place in east Germany before the wall fell. Seeing how people had to live their lives under threat of constant surveillance was shocking… more so because it was REAL. I dont want to give anything away, other than you will end up falling in love with the Stasi protagonist by the film’s end. 11 out of 10 stars and a MUST HAVE if you’re a collector of great films.

  7. I used to shy away from Foreign Films because of what many people told me: That it’s difficult to watch and read and I have to say I’m glad that I don’t listen anymore. I have watched Chinese, Korean and Indian films and even though I’m not understanding the message of the movies come across the barrier of language. And it’s sad that most of these movies don’t go across the world as they should. There are many hidden gems not discovered because the focus of movie watchers is somewhere else.

    1. hi Dira, thanks for dropping by. There are truly hidden movie gems from all around the world. It is very notable that only the “commercialized” and the “sensationalized” ones are given importance by the mainstream viewing public. I guess through these simple compilation of beautiful gems, we can help spread the beauty of international movies. In fact, the ones in my list are just the winners, but there are tons of nominated ones which are equally magnificent. Again, thank you for visiting my article =)

  8. Wow,

    I saw some of these movies that are just fabulous, but i’ll bookmark you site to see the ones are missing to my culture and also to see what will be your next posts.

    Thank you

    Yvon

    1. Hi Yvon, thank you for visiting =) Thank you for bookmarking my site. I’ll constantly update this with new information on languages. Feel free to hover around the site and read other articles. You might find new ones that would interest you too. Thanks again =)

  9. While I haven’t watched many international movies, I have seen a few subtitled movies and quite honestly enjoyed them. One of the one’s I actually liked was Pan’s Labyrinth. I book marked your site to follow! Well done.

    1. Thank you very much Andy =) I love Pan’s Labyrinth too. My all time favorite among this list is the Italian film, Cinema Paradiso. Hope you get to watch that too. But of course, ever movie here is fantastic =) Thanks again brother.

  10. I absolutely loved the movie Departures, not to be confused with the Departed. Departures was such a random encounter for me, I think the Netflix DVD got mailed to be my accident or something, but it was such a great film. I had no idea how many of the award movies were in foreign languages, if only I spoke them natively to understand them in their original context. I bet most of them would be even more moving.

    1. Hi Craig, thanks for visiting =) I totally agree that the Japanese film, Departures, is hands down one of the best. Watching excellent movies done by different countries broadens our understanding of their culture and their language. Watching foreign films is very enriching. As for a quick plug, the Italian film Cinema Paradiso is also fantastic. I am sure you will love it too =) Thanks again =)

  11. Hi this is a great website. I love watching films but I must admit I don’t watch many foreign films however looking at the list of films I will definitely make some time to watch one. Thanks for broadening my views on films!

    1. hi Harjit, thanks for visiting =) I am glad you liked the website and the article. By watching various genres from different countries, it will definitely broaden our perspective on how films are made. By sharing these magnificent movies, we also get to know the culture and the language of the countries and stories they represent =) Many thanks again. I invite you to hover on my other articles. You might new articles, movies too for that matter, that are equally fantastic =)

  12. I’ve seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which is a fantastic film! I’ve always been big into the kung-fu films, but this one in particular is such a stunning blend of filmography and action that everyone I know who has seen it, has loved it.

    It’s definitely one of those films that not only makes you want to learn kung-fu, but also the Mandarin Chinese language that everyone speaks in it.

    I highly recommend it to anyone here who hasn’t seen it yet!

    1. HI Nick, thanks for dropping by. I also adore this movie. Aside from its magnifcent cinematography and fight scenes, it’s the beautiful language that fascinates me too =) Thanks again brother =)

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