A Separation (2011) Poster

(2011)

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9/10
Do yourself a favor - make sure you see this movie
krisrox2 September 2011
Caught "A Separation" in Amsterdam last night, fully unprepared for its greatness. I hadn't been swept off my feet for a while, but this Iranian Hitchcockian drama sucked us in for 123 minutes and left us very, very impressed.

I'm mainly writing this review to assure every non-Iranian IMDb-reader that you absolutely SHOULD see "A Separation". I will be shocked if this movie doesn't win an Academy Award. The acting is great, and the script is probably the best I've seen in five years. The genius of Asghar Farhadi's story is that it piles on the tension and drama without resorting to fireworks, trickery or shock and awe plot effects. It also manages to perfectly balance the plights of several protagonists. Very few screenwriters have this capacity.

If this movie reminds me of anything, it is "Ladri di Biciclette" (Bicycle Thieves), which has a similar seemingly "simple" story setup. But then "A Separation" is much more developed, much more complex, much richer. Go see it.
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10/10
A Perfection
If mainstream cinema leaves you soulless, see this film.

If you have a modicum of intelligence, see this film.

If you like great acting and directing, see this film.

If you like great writing and editing, see this film.

If you have an interest in law, see this film.

If you are a parent, see this film.

A Separation is not harrowing or depressing. Fear not as I did before. If you don't like subtitles, you will forget they are there. Do not read any more detailed reviews. Go without preconception. A Separation deserves all the plaudits it is getting and deserves a much wider audience. Minimalistic and economic, a Separation is one of the finest, most chiselled pieces of cinema of this millennium.
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10/10
thoughtful, brilliant film
jsrees2 December 2011
This is the first Iranian film I've seen, and I'm recommending it to every-one I know. It is so well-crafted; the twists of the plot throw up new moral dilemmas for all the protagonists, which are explored sensitively and without judgement - so refreshingly unlike mainstream American films. I felt sympathy for all the characters, even the threatening Hodjat, full of misplaced rage which often erupts volcanically. And as a footnote, the film felt like an intimate view into a society that our news media portray as monochromatic and extremely foreign. (I am writing this a few days after the UK embassy in Tehran was ransacked)
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10/10
The Swan Song of Iranian cinema?
Radu_A16 February 2011
Asghar Farhadi's new film after the ingenious 'About Elly' is running for the Golden Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival and, with half of the competition done and the rest of the program not looking too promising, appears to be an almost inevitable winner. Although maybe it won't for that very reason: Jahar Panahi's repeat inability to attend his jury duties because of Iran's government refusal to issue him a travel permit, a retrospective of his works including the 2006 Silver Bear-winning 'Offside', a variety of other Iranian productions and renewed demonstrations in Iran proper put the spotlight firmly on that country's elaborate, yet constrained film industry. All that buzz may outshine the film's artistic value, and prompt the jury to go for a less favored competitor. I should hope not, for Farhadi manages once again to embed lots of social criticism into a straight-laced, realistic narrative.

As in 'About Elly', the story begins rather unassumingly and takes an abrupt turn into a spiral of increasingly dramatic events: Nader and Simin are a couple about to break up over the question of moving abroad, for which they have obtained a permit after waiting for 18 months. Nader, however, has his father to take care of, who is suffering from Alzheimer's. Sirin still wants to leave, but not without her daughter (yes, pun intended) Termeh, a somewhat shy, bespectacled 11-year-old who cannot accept her parents' break-up. She therefore decides to stay with her father, which prompts Simin not to leave the country, but move to her mother. Nader is thereby forced to hire someone to take care of his dad, and a colleague of Sirin recommends the pregnant Razieh. Being deeply religious, she should not work in a single man's household, but her husband has been out of a job for a long time and is threatened with jail by his creditors. Her pregnancy and the necessity to attend to her daughter additionally stress her out. When Nader comes home one day to find his father left alone and tied to his bed, a struggle with the returning Razieh ensues, with catastrophic consequences for everyone around...

This is a much more complicated set-up than in 'About Elly', but it allows Farhadi to put a lot of additional information into his film as may be obvious to those who are just trying to follow the story (I hesitate to give examples because the film is as of yet to be released in Iran, which means an open-source comment such as this one needs to be carefully phrased). Much of the action takes place in courtrooms, where judges try to negotiate between the parties without any lawyers present. There's a lot of familiarity, and also a lot of menace, which succeeds to create the same climate of anxiety, accusation and deceit as in 'About Elly'. The realism of the narrative is embedded into a carefully planned scenography which makes almost every shot linger in the memory. And as in 'About Elly' the decisive moment, the one that solves the mystery is omitted in the picture, only to be explained verbally at the very end.

What makes me feel even more for this film is the fact that it might be the last film of its kind from Iran for some time. Ali Samadi Ahadi, the German-Iranian director of the comedy 'Salami Aleikum' and the upcoming documentary on the July 2009 protests 'The Green Wave', wrote that the film industry has come to a virtual standstill. 'Nader and Simin' was in development at the time of the protests; since then, regulations have become far more repressive, with even established masters like Kiarostami or Makhmalbaf forced to work abroad, and others threatened with jail and work prohibitions, of whom Panahi is only the most famous example. All the more reason to give this film the credit it deserves - winning Berlin may cause Iran's bureaucrats to reconsider, for cinema is almost the last link remaining to our world. Without film, how could we understand that Iranians are a modern people with issues like our own, and not dangerous fanatics as some media and politicians would have us believe?
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10/10
unsaid words can turn into a separation
mrbarooee25 March 2011
It seems that a court room drama could be the best place for Frahadi to recreate his very own world and confront us with a short and somehow faraway situations and incidents in life. We think these kinds of happenings and conflicts would not take place in our lives but with his realistic world and characters they seem so close and possible to anyone. Asghar Farhadi loves to put his audience in place of judge, as his other pictures like About Eli or Fireworks Wednesday and here with no fear he takes us straight to a court room. But the thing is that the judge does not provide any help for us to make a clear judgment and surprisingly makes the situation even more complicated. Yes Farhadi doesn't want us to make a judgment, He makes us watch and observe and leave the theater with a big fork in front of us.It Seems that any single decision creates another world full of forks and not taken ways.

when nobody is clearly guilty and the line between black and white is so dim. And again here we are in Frhadi's powerful hands surprised to the end of the movie. You can't leave your chair even for one second because the story never lets you to lose even a single moment. And like a tennis ball we're always being shot from this side to the other. And finally we are the daughter shocked and disable to make a decision. May be we haven't seen or we don't want to see this side of life, where nothing is clear, when small lies and unimportant undone things and unsaid words gang up against us and turn to a big disaster. Frahadi has found his own world and his own language and his own version of life. Something we'd never seen before. We appreciate that. He can easily bombard us with information and surprise us with tiny details that seem nothing but like a snowball rolling down a slope they can form a big drama.
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10/10
You be the judge...
hideous_stranger24 March 2011
I'm an Iranian, but I've never been interested in Iranian cinema. I only watch Iranian films when they win awards or receive international recognition. I'm a fan of Kiarostami and Majidi, but I can't really say that I like all of their films. I watched Farhady's previous film (About Elly) about a year ago, and the first thing which struck me was how culturally detached the movie was in its depiction of an event. At the time, I believed this to have been the cause of this director's success. Watching Nader and Simin, however, proved that I was terribly mistaken.

Asghar Farhady's obsession with the concept of judgment is once again the driving force behind his latest feature. The life-like depiction of the Iranian courtroom (which is in no way impartial) places the audience in the Judge's seat from the very beginning. The extremely believable acting and insanely complex script compel the viewer to make up his/her mind just like when reading a court case. As for the screenplay, I'm almost certain the events in this film actually happened in real life, because in no way could one fabricate such a chaotically complex series of events, so beautifully woven into a coherent whole.

Despite being very Iranian in its narrative style and its depiction of Iranian culture (the sanctity of Family, faith, commitment towards parents and married life), I believe that this film could easily appeal to the Western audiences just like a film by Inaritu or Haneke (although I'm pretty sure it won't be nominated for an Oscar for political reasons).

After seeing About Elly, I thought Farhady's success was just a one-time fling, but coming out of the theater, having watched Nader and Simin, I was proud to have another Iranian director added to my international list of favorites.
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9/10
Maybe the movie of the year
stensson10 October 2011
And it comes from Iran. The first thing you read on the screen is "In the name of God". Well, anyway it's the best story, the best cutting, the best actors you've seen for long. And few films are that stomach-turning, although there's hardly any physical violence.

A wife wants to go abroad. Her husband can't because he wants to take of his senile father. The wife moves and the husband hires a woman to look after his father.

And then the screw turns, although most of the story takes place in everyday Iranian life. The center of it all is perhaps the daughter, who is nearly teared apart. But it takes time until you realize that. Anyway, I can almost guarantee you sit the film through, until the final post-texts has passed.

So amazingly clever.
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10/10
Wow! Just.. wow!
www.ramascreen.com28 December 2011
-- www.Ramascreen.com --

Wow! I didn't have any expectation and that's what probably helped but A SEPARATION is a great drama. Foreign language film or not, this is just an excellent, excellent drama. You can't get a more Oscar worthy material than this. To me what makes A SEPARATION unique is that writer/director Asghar Farhadi takes conflict, secrets, relationships and other elements that we're familiar with and mixes them with the culture, religion and gender elements from that specific region. This film, to a certain extent, lets you in on how the justice system works in a place where some of us may be ignorant about. And it's really not about our way is better than theirs or vice versa, it's just how different some things are done…

And this is not just about a divorce or a separation of two individuals The film starts out that way and it ends on that note as well but what happens in between is more of a spin-off story or it stems from when the lead characters Nader and Simin stop being on the same page. A SEPARATION is a very dialogue-driven, a very character driven story, all the actors in this film are marvelous. When the tension is high, they're extremely convincing, I couldn't take my eyes off any of them, especially lead actress Leila Hatami who holds a certain photogenic beauty.

On one spectrum, you have Nader and Simin with their daughter, on the other end of the spectrum you have Hodjat and Razieh with their little adorable daughter. Because Simin takes time off from her marriage with the intent to divorce her husband, Nader has to hire Razieh to take care of his father who suffers from Alzheimer's. An incident occurs that escalates into a courtroom drama but there is actually another incident or a card that Asghar Farhadi hides until it's time to show it further on in the story and the way everything progresses and eventually unravels keeps you intrigued. A big part of what draws me in is the film's depiction of Iranian law and traditions when it comes to divorces and allegations. What may be considered murder, how important it is for an individual to see someone swear on a Koran, how a judge deals with opposing alibis. I don't know how accurate it is but it's nothing short of interesting. It would certainly cause debate and discussion among the audiences as to the fairness of it all. And the story goes through those problems and makes a full round circle back to the separation of Simin from Nader. A highly engrossing film.

-- www.Ramascreen.com --
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10/10
Mankind Is Flawed
Claudio Carvalho13 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In Tehran, the teacher Simin (Leila Hatami) has requested the divorce from her husband, the bank clerk Nader (Peyman Moadi). Simin wishes to live abroad to give a better life to her eleven year-old daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) and Nader, who is a family man but very arrogant, wants to stay to take care of his father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi) that has Alzheimer. Simin moves to the house of her mother and Nader hires the religious Razieh (Sareh Bayat) to take care of his father while he is working.

Razieh is pregnant but she does not tell her husband Hodjat (Shahab Hosseini), who owes a large amount to the creditors, that she is working. When she arrives with her daughter Somayeh (Kimia Hosseini)at Nader's house, she distracts and Nader's father goes to the street and she goes and gets him back home. On the next day, when Nader arrives home with Termeh, they find Nader's father tied up to his bed and Razieh and Somayeh are not at home. When they arrive at home, Nader accuses Razieh of theft and expels her. Razieh feels offended and argues with him, and Nader pushes her out at the front door. Razieh falls and has an abortion. She goes to the court with her husband and the witnesses are summoned to testify.

"Jodaeiye Nader az Simin" or the separation of Nader and Simin, is among the best Iranian films I have seen and is a fantastic drama that shows how flawed mankind is, no matter in Iran, Brazil, Europe or wherever. Despite the different values of the Iranian society comparing with the Westerns ones, all the characters are flawed; therefore, the plot is realistic. Nader is a family man that loves his father and his daughter, but commits perjury, is stubborn and arrogant and asks his acquaintances to lie. Simin uses the secret that Razieh had told her to take advantage. Termeh lies to save her father from justice. Razieh is religious and worried with Allah and sins, but she was capable to lie fearing the reaction of her husband. Hodjat is a rude and impulsive man that is violent.

The direction is perfect and the acting is top-notch. The story is engaging and believable and differences of cultures between Iran and Brazil are intriguing. I really recommend this film for any cinema lover or people interested in learning a little about the Iranian culture. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "A Separação" ("The Separation")
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Brilliant
ditay18 July 2011
Warning: 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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9/10
Iranian cinema lands in the west with a bang. Phenomenal.
markgorman9 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I've never seen an Iranian move but the country has a rich movie culture that has broken through with A Separation which won the Golden Bear, best actor and best actress awards at Berlin earlier this year. And I can understand why.

Don't go expecting lavish cinematography, this is shot on hand held cameras, or certainly on fairly shaky tripods throughout, often under the harsh glare of fluorescent lighting that throws a watery blue cast over the action at times. But that is highly appropriate because this movie has a creeping sense of voyeurism throughout as the intensely private happenings of a family, and perhaps country, in turmoil steadily build up into a furious climax.

The plot is complex to say the least, but one can keep up by fully concentrating on each twist and turn of this micro-thriller.

The oppression of the Koran in this staunchly Muslim country carries a heavy burden throughout the film and it's the most frequently used prop as one of the characters in particular, the victim of a central crime, seeks spiritual guidance throughout. It's importance and oppression is palpable.

The story concerns the vain attempts of a wife (superbly acted by Leila Hatami) to leave Tehran with her husband to improve the life of their 12 year old daughter. But the husband cannot force himself to leave his Alzheimer's afflicted father behind and so stalemate ensues and divorce becomes the only alternative, this results in a separation and so the father (played to perfection by Peyman Moaadi) is forced to hire a nurse to look after his desperately sad father during the day.

One thing leads to another and inadvertently the husband pushes the nurse so that she ends up aborting her child.

This sets off a horrendous chain of events that I will not reveal here for fear of spoiling it for you.

Suffice to say the tension mounts throughout the movie and culminates in a heartbreaking decision for the couple's 12 year old daughter that is resolved in a way that Michael Hanneke would applaud vigorously.

This movie deals with important themes of family loyalty (more than love), duty, the oppression and folly of religion and pride.

Without overbearing pride much of the consequences of this film would not happen. Time and again you silently shout at the screen "just do the right thing and this mess will be resolved." They never do.

It could almost be played for laughs so farcical are the the situations the main protagonists find themselves in. But this is no comedy, far from it. It's a tearjerker and feels bitterly real, believable and often futile.

It's as good as its billing. See it.
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9/10
Asking difficult questions
Lin Patty15 September 2011
Warning: 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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People lie
Avery Hudson4 October 2011
Warning: 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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10/10
Fantastic film!
wbeeman20 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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10/10
A gripping and heart-pounding universal masterpiece ... made in Iran ...
ElMaruecan8228 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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10/10
That's an Iranian Drama !!
Vahid Feizkhah8 March 2011
I think this movie is the savior of Iranian cinema.Asghar Farhadi is a smart director and all of his movies are talking about Iranian society. Nowadays religious intolerance is the main problem of Iranian society and Farhadi decided to show this matter in his latest film.We have to appreciate him because at the age of poor Iranian movies we have a brilliant movie on screens. About the actors , that is the second experience of Peyman Moaadi who had seen before in last Farhadi's film (About Eli 2009), but he acted more professional than he is , as an intolerant person and doesn't let his family to go to abroad. About actresses , Leila Hatami & Sareh Bayat performed unconventionally great and I think that was the most important movie that they have ever acted in. I hope it will win the Best Foreign Language Film title in 84th Academy Awards. Good Luck for Iranian Movies , Directors , Actors & Actresses and .....
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10/10
Masterpiece, go watch it
Buff6 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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10/10
A Separation (2011)
Sheldon C9 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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9/10
you will be "awed" in amazement THROUGHOUT!
eerereps6 January 2012
I'll just get to the point,

if you are previewing for something to watch, there is no way you can play the 1st 3 minutes of this film and stop. It hooks you straight in, and for me, I LOVE that in films.

the story is just AMAZING, and the way it's portrayed, the director makes sure you are following behind with EVERY MINUTE OF THE FILM, as it unwinds. the casting is just brilliant, as if they were just born to play this film and then die. they achieve in captivating the emotion of the story VERY well. EVERY SINGLE ACTOR int this film did a great job.

what's even more amazing, it's how low budget this film is (300K us$).

as a conclusion; 3 good things about this film; (1) the story-line, well written and well scripted (2) the cast, well selected, and amazing acting (3) the setting, and the lack of a score! (yes, & it was a great idea!)
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10/10
brilliant and gray!
khoshsirat200318 February 2011
just brilliant! I think Farhadi knows Iran Society very well. he knows what to write and what to direct! with a look into his previous films it's very vivid that he has continued what he wants to make to a more comprehending level.

i think Farhadi is the best director in Iran nowadays and it's not just his directing but he being smart. some might say Farhadi has just continued what he made in fireworks Wednesday or about Elly,but I'll say it's the way to become much more perfect.

this film is about 140 min, but you don't feel pass of time at all. the drama of film is very strong. movie mostly talks about judgment and the fact that what would you do in a gray situation! this film is full of gray Characters and situations. the movie is gray!
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10/10
A real tearjerker that helps the audience to think about important but forgotten concepts like responsibility, love, and sacrifice in the 21st century
Amin Davoodi20 April 2011
Warning: 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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10/10
GREAT FILM, one of the best films in 2011..
Jack Coen24 November 2011
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision, to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimers (plot).

First thing iam sure this film will get nominated by the Academy for best foreign language film and i hope Mr.Farhadi won, because he deserved.

Secend thing the film present a very simple story about 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).

Third thing, Nader refuse to leave his father and Simin need her daughter to go with her, but the problem with the daughter, she want one thing like all the children in the worlds, one house and lovable parents.

Finally, " this film really deserves to be considered as one of the film of the year and i deserves the high rating in IMDb site, "A Separation" was good example of a real-life movie which could help people to revise their ideas about important concepts like responsibility, love and sacrifice.
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9/10
Masterful Acting, Directing, Storyline!!!
cheryl_lsk1 January 2012
Wow, i haven't caught a show that's been more real and intense in years. The acting and directing for this film made me feel like i was watching a documentary. That in itself is laudable. As the story unfolds you the viewer is left to guess the plot and to second guess yourself as to who the protagonists or antagonists are in the film. The film manages to grasp and reflect human nature which is complex and multi-faceted. You'd be left guessing and predicting the plot while trying to understand the characters and the choices they make. The film also aids us in understanding the roles of religion and culture... and more into human characteristics that go beyond those. A great film that i'm still thinking about and the acting and directing really shone through it all to help make this film so realistic and personal to the audience. Two thumbs up and no wonder it has been so highly rated!
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most touching movie making you think but not cry
msever1613 October 2011
this is one of the most heart breaking and real movies I have seen this year. you can not leave the movie for even 1 second and characters are such real ones that you start to put yourself in their position and think what would I do? it is a must see movie as Turkish drama lover person i may suggest every drama fan to watch this breath taking real natural real movie. these Iranian people are god's blessings bravo... the actor is like born to act as if he is living his real life. the relationship between daughter and father and wife and husband seem so natural for those who know that culture. I should also add that the performance of the cleaner woman is very satisfactory.
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