12 items from 2012
Writer and director Asghar Farhadi had a couple award winning films to his name prior to 2011, but nothing of the notoriety that came with the release of his critically lauded examination of marital disintegration, A Separation. With his newest, he managed to rake in top prizes worldwide, from the Berlin Golden Bear to the Best Foreign Picture prize at this year’s Oscars. What makes the film so widely regarded is within this seemingly simple Iranian drama something like a facile murder mystery begins to unfold, and a surprisingly expansive moral complexity is slowly unveiled. Like a cinematic illusion, the key to Farhadi’s finely composed puzzle is in what he holds back from the audience, but to his credit, he doesn’t just rely on the payoff for narrative satisfaction.
Beginning with a confrontational office divorce, Simin (Leila Hatami) wants to leave the country on a soon to expire visa, »
- Jordan M. Smith
Chicago – What makes up a great audio commentary? For me, I don’t want to hear anecdotes about what it was like on the set. And I can’t stand those audio tracks that essentially just describe what I’m watching. A great track illuminates a film in a new way, often pointing out things that you didn’t notice or filmmaking techniques that worked on a subliminal level. Such is the case with writer/director Asghar Farhadi’s track on his 2011 masterpiece “A Separation,” the winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (along with the Chicago Film Critics Association Award in the same category) and one of the best films of the last decade from any country.
From the very beginning, Farhadi’s audio commentary only makes his film more interesting. He points out how and why he had his two central characters speaking directly to »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 21, 2012
Price: DVD $30.99, Blu-ray $35.99
The 2011 Iranian drama film A Separation racked up a whole lot of honors in 2012, including the Academy Award, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Language film.
Set in contemporary Iran, the movie is about the dissolution of a marriage: Simin (Leila Hatami) wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader (Peyman Moadi) and daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) and sues for divorce when Nader refuses to leave behind his Alzheimer-suffering father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi). Her request having failed, Simin returns to her parents’ home but, Termeh decides to stay with Nader. When Nader hires a young woman (Sareh Bayat) to assist with his father in his wife’s absence, he hopes that his life will return to a normal state. But serious complications soon ensue »
A Separation, 2011.
Written and Directed by Asghar Farhadi.
A married couple are faced with separation when they’re unable to agree on a difficult, life changing decision. Should they leave Iran to improve the life of their adolescent daughter, or stay in Iran and look after an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s?
The opening of A Separation sees Simin (Leila Hatami) pleading with a legal mediator / judge to be granted a divorce from her husband Nader (Peyman Moaadi), but her request is rejected by the Iranian legal authority. As Simin moves out and they begin the titular separation, she can no longer care for Nader’s house-bound father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi) so Nader employs Razieh (Sareh Bayat) to look after him. I fear to give away too much by telling you anything further about the story, but I »
Our critics select the likely winners of Sunday night's statuettes, plus the people and films more deserving of the prizes and those who weren't even nominated – but should have been
Will win: The Artist
Should win: The Artist
Shoulda been a contender: We Need To Talk About Kevin
Should win: Michel Hazanavicius
Should win: Jean Dujardin
Best supporting actor
Should win: Kenneth Branagh
Should win: Meryl Streep
Best supporting actress
Shoulda been a »
- Peter Bradshaw, Catherine Shoard, Xan Brooks, Andrew Pulver, Henry Barnes
Each week within this column Spirit Award voter & film critic Kristy Puchko will offer a keen insight on a new selection of nominees for the 2012 Spirit Awards, along with any garnered behind-the-scenes exclusives. The Spirit Awards will air February 25th @10Pm on IFC.
Last week I shared my thoughts on some of the films I loathed this year, and so am thrilled to share some of my favorites from this year’s Spirit line-up with you today. Let’s get to it.
The Interrupters ~ Directed by Steve James
Nominations: Best Documentary
“I can’t aid and abed shit. I flush shit,” these are the tough love words of Ameena Matthews, a former gang member turned violence interrupter who dedicates herself and her time to the rage-filled residents of Chicago, counseling them to stop the gang violence that has long-ravaged the community. Hoop Dreams director Steve James dives deep into the »
- email@example.com (thefilmstage.com)
At the end of each month, the Sound On Sight staff will band together to write an article about their favourite scenes in films released. Here are our favourite scenes from the month of January.
The Grey – In media res
Near the end of Joe Carnahan’s admirably ambling survival thriller, the energy begins to re-mount as it becomes clear that Ottway (Liam Neeson) is about to make what may be his final stand against the wilderness that has dogged him and his fellow survivors for the last, oh, 110 minutes or so. Then, a sight familiar to anyone who’s seen promotional materials: Neeson taping broken bottles between his knuckles, with a knife in the other hand. For the last time, visions of his wife return, once again intoning, “don’t be scared,” only this time revealed to have a very different meaning than we might previously have inferred. »
Chicago – Divorce, aging parents, economics, religion and social standing can be applied to any circumstance in any modern culture. The culture in Iran may seem mysterious, but there is nothing uncommon regarding what their people go through in the Oscar nominated “A Separation.”
Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, and nominated for an Academy Award in the same category, “A Separation” is a universal example of how one problem can trip a wire to many problems. Viewed through the filter of the patriarchal society of Iran, those problems offer even more intensity, with the women becoming both the arbiters of the solutions and the victims of what future may result from those solutions.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
One last (I presume) set of critics' award nominations before we head into the second stage of Oscar season: the International Conephile Society is made up of over 80 international journalists and film professionals, and that diversity is reflected in the nominations, with "A Separation" topping the list with 10 nominations (including four acting bids, none of them for the superb Sarina Farhadi). I participated in the voting, which probably won't surprise you when you read the nomination tallies for "Weekend" and "Margaret." Full list after the jump. Best Picture "Certified Copy" "Drive" "Hugo" "Margaret" "Meek's Cutoff" "Melancholia" "Mysteries of Lisbon" »
- Guy Lodge
Kramer vs. Kramer goes Iranian with Asghar Farhadi's A Separation, a late 2011 entry that's been deservedly racking up almost every "Best Foreign Language" film award that has been dished out this season.
But A Separation is much than a tale of a man and woman in love whose marital path has come to a fork in the road; it is a dissection of modern morality, both religious and secular, and how impossible it is to live a totally principled life if you're stuck interacting with other Homo sapiens. Or, to get a little Socratic, "A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true."
The picture begins in court with divorce proceedings. Simin (Leila Hatami) wants to leave Iran to afford her daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) a more preferable future than her patriarchal homeland can provide. »
- Brandon Judell
Asghar Farhadi on the set of A Separation
Photo: Sony Pictures Classics A lot has been written this year about what is happening in the Middle East. It is a region filled with change from the so-called Arab Spring, the Nato intervention in Libya, the continued turmoil in Syria and other countries, more sabre rattling with Iran as well as the Us withdrawal in Iraq. Change is everywhere in the region. There have also been some very important developments in the film world. First, the Iranian film A Separation, directed by Asghar Farhadi won almost every important award at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival, including both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize. Then, this Fall, at the Toronto Film Festival, Lebanese film Where Do We Go Now?, directed by Nadine Labaki shocked everyone by winning the Audience Award over extremely tough competition. How tough is the competition at Tiff? »
- Bill Cody
Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi
A Separation is one of those multi-purpose titles that suggests many different conditions under examination in this richly textured film. The most obvious separation is the dissolution of the marriage between two main characters, Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Moadi). Simin has a visa about to expire in forty days. Having failed to convince her husband to leave the country with her, she files for divorce and petitions the Iranian court to grant her custody of their daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi), believing she can find a better life and more opportunities for the two of them outside of Iran. Simin gets the divorce but not custody of Termeh, so she moves in with her family as she prepares her departure from Iran and seeks further legal recourse to bring her daughter with her.
Termeh continues to live with Nader for the time being, »
12 items from 2012
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