One of the greatest films of the year is from Iran. It might very well be one of the greatest foreign films I've ever seen! And I've seen my fair share.. What I love about this film is that the budget is only 800,000 dollars and it's made around 15 million dollars all around the world. You can imagine this little film getting a lot more attention after the Oscars because, it's nominated in two categories.. Which is quite rare for foreign films. Not only is it nominated in the category of "Best Foreign Language Film of the Year" but also in the category of "Best Writing, Original Screenplay"! It's a strong contender, hopefully it will win "Best Foreign Film" as it's easily one of the most powerful foreign films you'll see! It also has a very solid spot on IMDB's Top 250!
There's so much to admire about this little giant! A large part of the film, almost the entire film, was shot with a handheld camera and it's the first film EVER to win three bears at the "Berlin International Film Festival" so don't be too surprised when it'll win it's Oscar! It also won the Golden Globe this year, making it Iran's first film to ever win a Golden Globe!
It is the story of a married couple faced with a dilemma of either moving to another country to make their daughters's life better or to stay in Iran to look after the husband's father who is suffering from Alzheimers.
What I love about foreign films is that they NEVER "hold back". They're usually very raw, genuine and you almost never get to see that shallow Hollywood bullshit. Foreign films just don't feel fake at all... This movie definitely does not hold back. You have to give most of the praise to director and writer of this film, Asghar Farhadi. What a brilliant mind! This is easily one of the most flawlessly written films I've seen in a very long time. I can't recall anything having as sharp of a dialogue as this. It stings you, yet you cannot stop watching as you get caught in the downward spiral that is "A Separation".
Finally a movie that shows people a normal side of Iran. That it's NOT all war or something like that. There are way too many people out there who have a lot of ridiculous misconceptions about Iran.
Peyman Maadi who plays the husband, "Nader" is brilliant. He's really a father who wants all the best for his daughter although his father is suffering from Alzheimer's.. he feels as if he can't leave his father behind. He has a very beautiful relationship with his father and is very loyal to him and sticking by his side to "give back" for raising him so well.. Leila Hatami plays the wife, "Simin" who wants the best for her daughter although at times it feels she would rather leave Iran for her own sake.. She's quite naive. Sareh Bayat is in her first role ever, which even landed her a diploma of honor for Best Actress in a Suporting role as well as a Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival! I personally think she's one of the best things about the film! She certainly makes an interesting character. Sarina Farhadi, who plays the daughter in the film also happens to be the daughter of the director... although she too is one of the most interesting actresses in the film. This being her first film makes her a wonder indeed. Shahab Hosseini is my absolute favorite actor in the entire film. What a powerful performance, all actors involved did an amazing job but somehow Shahab stood out so very brightly. Amazing. I can't praise the actors and actresses enough. What a home run of a film!
I'll just say it right now... I think it's an absolute fucking disgrace that this film did NOT get nominated for "Best Motion Picture of the Year" at the Oscars. It should be taking the place of a few "kiss-ass films".
This is the underdog of the year of cinema and it WILL win at least one Oscar.. How sweet it will be! I know I will be jumping out of joy.
Some of you may complain that this film is too long, but you know what? Go screw yourselves... I personally think that with all these amazing actors, the flawlessly sharp dialogue, I would be happy to sit through another hour. However it might confuse you, it's quite messy, but hey, that's life! If you're easily confused by films, maybe you shouldn't even be watching this one? But then I keep wondering what a shame it would be if you missed out on it..
If I were rich, I'd support ANY of the films that this director and writer has lined up in the future... This is a film actors can only dream of being a part of!
Do yourself a favor and see this film. You won't regret it. I can't wait to see this film again. Maybe I'll like it even more the next time when I'll pick up things I didn't remember or notice? Easily one of the best films of the year!
As this is a low budget film from Iran, I want to advise you all to please get ahold of this film in a legal way. Buy or rent the DVD. It's worth it...
My rating: 10/10