Roger Ebert called the Iranian melodrama A Separation “the best film of the year.”
What’s more, it won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film and it’s nominated for two Oscars.
And it’s indeed remarkable — a far cry from slick, bloated, soulless Hollywood fare.
I expected an Ingmar Bergman-esque story of the dissolution of an Iranian couple, but their rift is just the beginning of a tense, involving story in which the husband (Peyman Moadi) is accused of killing the baby of a pregnant woman who is tending to his Alzheimer’s-ridden dad.
I won’t fill in any more details except to say that the movie is basically a long argument between people who are both right and wrong, who only choose to show certain of their cards, who diminish their own culpabilities, and who are awash in their own ideas of pride and honor as we learn more truths by the minute.
Your allegiances shift as you discover new facets of what happened and flourescent light is shed on everyone’s rantings and ravings, with lines drawn thanks to differences in wealth, education, religion, and privilege.
And it’s all poured out in front of a judge who sits there as if he were a small-claims court mediator, except instead of determining who will pay a small claim, he’s weighing in on a lengthy jail sentence!
Filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has made a work that grabs you from the beginning and wipes you out by the end.
Best movie of the year? I don’t know, but it’s definitely your best bet for a solid 123 minutes that you’ll be talking about for days.