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Jodaeiye Nader az Simin
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Reviews & Ratings for
A Separation More at IMDbPro »Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (original title)

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75 out of 90 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant

Author: ditay from New Zealand
18 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this last night at the Auckland Film Festival and have to say it is probably the finest film I've seen this year. It starts incredibly strongly then just keeps cranking up the tension and conflict. The characters are beautifully layered, complex and fascinating and the director manages to maintain empathy for all of them until the final frame, simply not allowing us to 'take sides' - which is what the couple's daughter is being asked to do. I hope this film gets wide distribution (particularly into the U.S.) as its insight into modern Iranian family life (albeit a privileged one) might help to erase the convenient misconception that 'they' are not like 'us'.

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58 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

Asking difficult questions

9/10
Author: Lin Patty from Netherlands
15 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Have you ever been watching a movie where you could not take your eyes of the screen, not even for one second to take a zip of your wine? This movie is for me a thriller, even though labeled a drama. The shoots were artistically taken; I see a beauty in a scene when a woman is walking with her long vein downstairs. Couple arguing in front of a judge where when she was asked whether the man beats her because she wants a divorce saying: no, he is a good man, but I want a divorce.

This is a universal story set in Iran. Universal human emotion set in an Islamic country. It is difficult for me to pinpoint what the theme(s) of this film. Yes, it begins with a separation of a couple after years of marriage and having a daughter in stake. But that was only a trigger. A trigger to a journey that seeks the boundaries of human existences. A journey where things are not black and white, but somewhere in between. The characters have their flaws but I somehow feel sympathy for them, even for the one who is violent.

Perhaps the movie is about asking question what is a good person, in a situation where it is very difficult to be one.

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80 out of 120 people found the following review useful:

A real tearjerker that helps the audience to think about important but forgotten concepts like responsibility, love, and sacrifice in the 21st century

10/10
Author: Amin Davoodi (amin.davoodi1988@gmail.com) from Kermanshah, Iran
20 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The new movie of Asghar Farhadi is a melodrama that captures the theme of responsibility and honesty as well as love, religiosity, and sacrifice. The movie starts with an argument for divorce between Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Moaadi) before a judge in an Iranian court. Through their argument, the main storyline of the movie becomes clear for us so that we become aware that Nader and Simin have been planning to move to a European country to provide better opportunities, as Simin claims in the court, for their only daughter, Termeh (Sarina Farhadi).

Although Nader was interested in the idea of living abroad a few months earlier, he refuses then because of his father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi) who suffers from Alzheimer. When, in the court, Simin says to Nader "your father does not even know you" Nader answers "…but I know him." Here, the responsibility of a child toward his father is very tangible. During the movie, Simin insists on the idea of going abroad; when Nader refuses, she believes there is no other way for them except to divorce. Because Simin does not live with her husband and her daughter anymore, Nader decides to hire a reliable and responsible nurse for his father. Therefore, Razieh (Sareh Bayat) enters their house as the nurse.

On the first day of her arrival, Nader's father forgot to say that he needed to go to rest room. Therefore, Razieh, as a woman who really believes in strict rules of religion, does not like to come again to take care of Nader's father. Actually, she does not want to help an old man to go to rest room and even wash him. On a second thought, Razieh agrees to become his nurse again just because she needs the money. One day Nader comes and sees that his father has fallen from his bed and does not move. He thinks his father just passed away. However, he is still alive and becomes OK after a few minutes. Nader becomes very angry of what he calls " Razieh's irresponsibility" because she left the house and there is no sign of her. When she comes back, Nader brawls with her and pushes her out of the house and Razieh falls on the stairs that causes the abortion of her baby and a new challenge for Nader and Simin appears.

Nader is accused of killing Razieh's baby intentionally. Razieh claims that Nader pushed her though he knew she was pregnant; Nader denies it. In the court, Razieh's husband, Hodjat (Shahab Hosseini), who is a nervous man and does not have any job and has many debts, fights several times with Nader and insults him harshly. Termeh knows that his father is lying because she is sure that Nader heard the story of Razieh's pregnancy when she was talking about it with Termeh's tutor, Miss Ghahraii (Merila Zare'i). She is right! Nader and Simin agree to give some money to them to finish the story democratically. However, Nader insists on the idea of being sure whether he was guilty or not. That is why Nader asks Razieh to swear if he is guilty of the abortion of her baby. Although Hodjat really wants to get the money, Razieh refuses to swear because she thinks she is not sure whether the abortion of her baby was because of Nader or the accident that she had on the same day. Due to her religious beliefs, she does not want to get blood money From Nader when she is not sure whether he is guilty or not.

Finally, Nader and Simin agree to let Termeh choose her destiny by saying whether she prefers to live with her father or her mother. Like "about Eli", the previous film of Farhadi, the ending of the story is not clear and it is up to the audience to guess whether Termeh wants to live with her father or her mother.

There are scenes in the movie that are very impressive: When Nader is washing his father's body, while crying deeply, it shows us how a child loves his father no matter he is too old or sick. In addition, when Termeh asks his father about the reason that he told a big lie to the court, we can understand once more how children monitor their parents' behavior as their reliable role models. In addition, when Nader's father holds Simin's hand strongly which shows that he knows her well and no one, even Razieh, can look after him like the way that his daughter-in-law did in the past.

"Nader and Simin, a Separation" really deserves to be considered as one of the top 250 movies ever made. In the 21st century, when we are surrounded by thousands of science fiction movies, "Nader and Simin, a Separation" is a good example of a real-life movie which can help people to revise their ideas about important concepts like responsibility, love and sacrifice.

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49 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic film!

10/10
Author: wbeeman from United States
20 January 2012

This film won the best foreign language film for the Golden Globes. It blows just about everything this season out of the water. Don't, don't miss it. For all the hate-filled rhetoric spewed about Iran, this film should show the world, like so many other Iranian films, what brilliant artistry exists in this nation, what sensitive beautiful people Iranians are. Iranian actors have been honed and trained since the 1970's when the modern era of Iranian film began. The principal actors: Leila Hatami, Peyman Moaadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayat, and Sarina Farhadi (the director's own daughter) are superb. From the first moments of the film you believe them and the truth of their existence. The stark intimacy of the film is stunning. The complicated plot is gripping and holds one's attention to the very end. It will also be fresh and novel for non-Iranian audiences. It is true in every instance to Iranian society and cultural life. Watch it and learn why American politicians have been misleading Americans about Iranian life.

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85 out of 136 people found the following review useful:

best Iran's film iv seen ever!

10/10
Author: movahed montaghem from Iran
24 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like About....... Elly, which won Farhadi the best director award at Berlin two years ago and which went on to find release in many territories, it has the potential to engage Western audiences with the right handling. The movie is centered on a couple, Nader and Simin, and their 11-year old daughter, Termeh. Nader and Simin are about to leave the country for good; however, Nader has a change of heart and decides to stay and look after his father who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. Simin is determined to get a divorce and leave the country with her daughter, but the court does not find in her favor. Simin goes to live with her mother and Termeh return Politics are ostensibly out of the picture, though the whole premise is based on a middle-class couple's divorce because the wife Simin (Iranian star Leila Hatami) wants to move abroad to find a better future for their 11-year-old daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi). But that may not be the real reason for the separation.

Nader (Peyman Moaadi, seen in About Elly) is a decent man but a stubborn one, and he neglects his wife. Too proud to ask her to stay with him, he lets her move back to her mother's place while he and Termeh are left to look after his aged father with Alzheimer's disease. He hastily hires a poor woman named Razieh (Sareh Bayat) as a daytime caretaker, who signs on without telling him she's pregnant (or does she?). A few days later he fires her and shoves her out the door; she falls on the stairs (perhaps) and has a miscarriage. The rest of the film is a crescendo of tension as Razieh's hot-headed, debt-ridden husband Hodjat (Shahab Hosseini) takes Nader to court for manslaughter. While the intricate screenplay ratchets up tension as it raises the stakes for its characters from scene to scene, its reliance on contrivance might irritate some viewers. Indeed, the conceit of Nader and Simin's separation occasionally appears as a petty battle of wills, something that undermines the weight of other events.

after 30 min , new details are added that changes the moral perspective. Rather remarkably, Farhadi's screenplay doesn't take sides with any of the characters; on the contrary, everyone seems equally right and wrong at the same time. They are all caught in a web of pride and ego, morality and religion, money and honor.

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49 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Asghar Farhadi is more important than you think

10/10
Author: Otavio Augusto (otaviotuf@hotmail.com) from Fortaleza, Brazil
12 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this movie from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, here in Brazil, and what a great movie, very well done. I never imagine that it would be better than About Elly another great movie from Farhadi.

the film is simply stunning. Asghar Farhadi shows several problems beasts who bear in this new modern world with a simple divorce that will bring thousands of problems to the family of the film. It shows us how we make mistakes and lies with so shamelessly, and throw it in your face acting as a criticism.

The director take us with the family of the movie to a lot of problems and he will try to solves it, but it seems there is no solutions. So a dramatic end comes. I can't imagine how Farhadi directed this movie. It was a visceral directing, but how a director from the east side of the world are not indicate to Best Achievement in Directing, we can't talk about Academmy Awards. Just about Best Foreign Movie, and I put my gun in Oscar's face saying: "This movie was the Best Foreign Movie of 2011, if you don't give him the award I just shot on your eye." But taking out the pessimism, I think that is 100% of chance to the movie "A Separation" be one of the movies that will compete for BEST FOREIGN MOVIE in Oscar.

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37 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

People lie

Author: Avery Hudson from New York, NY
4 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Beneath the opening credits, a photocopier copies IDs, one after another.

We open to a courtroom. A beautiful married couple, Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Moadi) have obtained coveted visas to leave Iran for the United States, where Simin hopes to offer a better future to their 11-year-old daughter, Termeh (the director's daughter, Sarina Farhadi). Simin has red hair and determined eyes; Nader has an honest face. They address the camera as if we are the judge.

"You don't have good reasons for a divorce." Their hard-won visa expires in a month or two; Nader will not leave, Simin must, with Termeh. The problem, Nader is devoted to his father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi), who has Alzheimer disease and is totally dependent on his son and his family. And so the couple embark on a trial separation.

An upper middle-class household, a stable home, parents who value education and security for their daughter perhaps above all.

Simi has found a caretaker, Razieh (Sareh Bayat), a pregnant, deeply religious woman with a young daughter who takes the job unbeknownst to her husband (Shahab Hosseini), an out-of-work cobbler. A devout woman with a young daughter (Kimia Hosseini), to mind his father while he is at work.

Negotiations - she lives far away, the pay is not good, her husband does not know. The first day, grandpa pees his pants. Modesty. Razieh asks him to clean himself up; he can only ask for Simin. She makes a call to her imam for religious advice. She can clean the old man. Her daughter watches through frosted glass, ever curious.

In the meantime, Nader teaches his daughter to be assertive, first with the gas station attendant.

The caretaker quits. It's heavy work for a pregnant woman and a little girl. We know she's pregnant, but does Nader? It's a big problem. Who else? Razieh comes back. My husband. He cannot know you hired me. But maybe he can come.

Here begins the disaster. Class war. Breakdown of families and society.

The two daughters are at the heart of the story.

Truth, guilt, the bitter disappointment of a child in her parents.

Tense and narratively complex, formally dense and morally challenging, flawlessly crafted, brilliantly performed and intimately photographed, A Separation premiered at Berlinale, where it won the Golden Bear for Best Film as well as the top prizes for Best Actor and Actress for its male and female ensembles.

"The idea for the film came to when I was sitting in the kitchen of my friend's flat in Berlin nearly one year ago. I was here preparing another film, but I decided to do this one instead. I was smoking a cigarette in the kitchen, listening to some Iranian music and then I decided to make it. The film is influenced by my personal experiences and the situation in Iran and also some abstract pictures I had in my mind. It was like a puzzle. The story was in my mind for some time but when I decided to make it it happened quickly." - Farhadi

It began with picture of a man with Alzheimer's.

"I found the button and made a suit."

Do not miss this movie.

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37 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

A Separation (2011)

10/10
Author: Sheldon C from United States
9 January 2012

Gripping, tense, heartfelt, powerful, painful, and stirring, Asghar Farhadi's A SEPARATION is an intense drama that captivates like a thriller by boasting astounding performances and a truly compelling narrative arc. It is an Iranian film that centers on intimate domestic issues in the midst of extremely difficult circumstances - a purely humanistic narrative that gets better and better as it progresses, building upon layer after layer after layer of dense situations in which these poor characters are helplessly engulfed within. In creating a plethora of deep emotions that are carried out honestly and never over-the-top by the ensemble's pitch-perfect performances, Farhadi manages to weave together multiple angles that are both morally complex and excruciatingly truthful into each and every one of his primary characters (all of whom exist in the middle-to-lower class) . The plot is patiently set up with its pieces slowly establishing in place in the first few scenes before snaring the audience into a wonderfully played 123-minute thrill ride that places viewers right beside its characters - a feat that is executed through its seemingly naturally-crafted hand- held cinematography in conjunction with genuine acting that rarely calls attention to itself.

The film never resorts to flashy and glitzy elements to further its story - it absolutely has no need to - and proves that sincerity in all its forms whether it be in writing, acting, or directing, no matter the budget nor technical limitations, can result in work of the highest quality. To put it simply, A SEPARATION is (personally) not only the best film of 2011, but arguably one of the most impressive lower-budgeted dramas (under 1 million dollars) in the past decade.

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34 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Masterpiece, go watch it

10/10
Author: Buff from Australia
6 November 2011

I think our day to day life has more than enough material for a good movie. 'A separation' engrosses you into the life of a small Persian family and shows you what happens there. You get to watch this very closely and the final result is a superbly simple and beautiful film. The story is so real, this could have happened anywhere.

There is also another nice movie by the same director - 'About Elly (2009)', but I think I liked this one more.

The movie lingers, makes you think, but its not heavy on your mind, you relish the thinking, it might probably remind you of the events in your own life and what you may have done in those circumstances. In some sense, you actually cherish the fact that well - this is life. There are too many beautiful moments in this film to list, go watch it, satisfaction assured.

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29 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

A gripping and heart-pounding universal masterpiece ... made in Iran ...

10/10
Author: ElMaruecan82 from France
28 February 2012

"A Separation" is an intense and powerful examination of the eternal conflict between human emotions, personal convictions and Law, whether political or religious, and it happens to be –I believe- the best film of 2011.

The movie is set in Iran, in an upper-middle class area, and features a series of unfortunate incidents, all guided by sincere and genuine emotions, but that nonetheless end up judged by the Islamic Law. Written and directed by Ashgar Farhadi, the film is a triumph on the field of intelligence as it never patronizes the viewer by pointing a finger on an obvious 'antagonist'. Ultimately, the victims are not innocent, nor the accusers are wrongdoers, and the only 'responsible' is a Law that fails to take into consideration human feelings.

Still, Law isn't negatively portrayed as it remains true to its obligatory neutrality, a notion hinted in the very first scene of the film. Indeed, the realism and intensity of the dialog, a back and forth verbal fight between a wife and a husband sets in the very first minutes what would be the enthralling tone of the film. The core of the conflict is not unusual in family dramas, it's about a child custody, Simin (Leila Hatami) wants a divorce because her husband Nader (Peyman Moadi) refuse to emigrate in a country that would –in her opinion- provide a better education to her daughter Termeh, Sarina Farhadi as a strong-minded adolescent yet the hostage of an inextricable situation, even more ironic because the two parents don't want to divorce.

But Nader gives legitimate reasons to his refusal: he must take care of his father, an old eighty-something man suffering from Alzheimer disease. "But he doesn't know you!" "Yes, but I know him", this brilliant exchange plays like the movie in microcosm; it's all about contradictory opinions guided by legitimate emotions or convictions. When the opening scene ends, those who agree with Simin's arguments understand Nader and vice-versa. If there is ever one, that's the greatest achievement of Farhadi's Oscar-nominated screenplay; still, the force of the script enough couldn't have elevated "A Separation" to such a universal and miraculously unanimous acclaim. The film works as a perfect combination of writing, acting and directing to such an extent that it could have easily been nominated to more than two Oscars without garnering much surprise.

Farhadi's direction is perfect for this kind of narrative as it uses a hand-held camera work in many scenes, as to create the dizzying and uncomfortable effect of documentary-like realism. The film reminds of Cassavetes' naturalistic work in the way it conveys a sort of one-set room intimacy and place the viewer in the unsettling situation of a witness, caught in the middle of a scene, I mean by 'scene' an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation. We just see and watch, and our hearts pound from these displays of aggressiveness, hostility, cries, shouts and thankfully sometimes, love and affection. Farhadi's film is a masterpiece of storytelling on that level, proving that even plain dramas can be as emotionally engaging as thrillers, and the film does it so well that the content can invite any audience to question its own legal system, no more or no less immune from similar issues.

Law has been established by men in order to find the truth within the chaotic succession of facts that can speak for two opposite sides, but the genius of "A Separation" is that it deals with a particular situation where no one is aware of all the facts, even the viewer is left with some hints and clues, and can only assemble them as the movie progresses. Razieh (Sareh Beyat) is a young religious mother hired as a caregiver for Nader's father. She has a miscarriage and pretends it was caused by Nader's brutality. Nader claims he didn't know anything about the pregnancy and was upset because she left his father alone. The domino's effect introduces the peripheral characters as Simin wants to protect Termeh from Razieh's hot tempered full-of-debts husband Hodjat (Shahab Hossein) who vents his anger on the system, and through his scene-stealing performance paints an indirect social commentary on actual Iran.

The film is full of confrontations that are some of the most realistic ever: everything in the dialogs and the acting sounds true and make the whole experience so nerve-wracking that we never know if we're embarrassed to see these lives being destroyed or because the script didn't let us determine which side we're supposed to take. But "A Separation" is beyond these sterile considerations: it's not about sides to take or opinions to make, it's about the innate limits of Law. Law is even incarnated by a decent judge who shows some signs of reason and magnanimousness sometimes, and sometimes can't handle Hodjat's outbursts of anger. In a way, he embodies our position as the powerless observer of a situation that goes out of control because it engages a wide range of emotions, sometimes positive, sometimes negative but always sincere, creative a psychological cocktail about to explode if a resolution doesn't come to appease the nerves.

The resolution, or let's say, the conclusion, is satisfying because it never betrays the film's 'philosophy' and leaves us with the penetrating sensation that we've just watched a miracle, a modest creation whose emotional and intellectual force spoke some uncomfortable truths about human nature and its antagonism with Law's cold realism. And on the surface, it also features an Iran far from the current stereotypes launched by the infamous "Not Without My Daughter", where women aren't all submissive chador-wearers and men macho wife-beaters.

(I feel terrible to pollute this review with these comments because they insult the intelligence of the film, which already takes for granted that 'Iranian are normal people' but regarding the actual and scary political context, I guess it's necessary)

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