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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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21 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Phenomenal

10/10
Author: gotmachine69 from United States
29 January 2012

Leading up to the Oscars, I like to give my attention to the films nominated in the main categories. Foreign Language is usually a favourtie of mine since foreign films seem to capture the genuineness of human character so much better than ordinary American films. A separation is no exception.

Although different movies in their own respect, I find myself compelled to compare this movie to Oscar nominated "The Descendants." The story and plot may be different, but they are both character driven and accordingly a comparison is necessary, especially considering that the quality of character study in both movies has considerable disparity. In short, A separation succeeded in every respect The Descendants failed.

The Descendants felt like it forced comedy into a drama, which did not fit well at all. Although comedy may stem from drama itself, having it as a separate theme in the movie was a big downfall in my opinion.

A separation, in comparison, focuses on drama. It is a much more realistic portrayal of human character and potential actions and choices they may make. Occasional comedic comments are made, but not to the extent that it is "comedy" per se, but rather you laugh at the situation itself. For instance, in one scene, the father tells his daughter that what her teachers at school have taught her is wrong (from an academic perspective, not moral). The daughter replies that she must however write the "wrong" answer in the test otherwise she would be deducted marks off her paper, to which the father replies "let them." It's a moment where we get to both smirk at the situation and also understand the sense of beliefs and values of the family.

The true gem of this movie lies within its script, plot and acting. The acting is superb. The script is marvelous. And the plot evolves in such a manner that it questions our very own beliefs of what is right and wrong in one of the most complicated scenarios ever created in a realistic drama. I have never seen so much "gray" in a film. The right and wrong actions of characters are blurred to such an extent we end up sympathizing with them all. That is the beauty of this film. No one is better than the other. Everyone is wrong and justified at the same time. Everyone is human.

I will be showing this movie to as many people as I can. I was truly touched.

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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Breathtaking!

10/10
Author: Eicg2003 from North
9 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In my opinion this is the best movie of the year! It is an amazing drama (you read thriller) centered around two families in Iran. The movie shows the complexity of the Iranian society (something that is missing in our media). The dialogues are breathtaking, acts are amazing and the script is one of the best I have ever seen.

from here contains spoiler....!

I had never heard my heart beating so hard, as it was beating when the judge called Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) inside the little court room to ask her if she, in fact was the one who told her dad about the pregnancy!

And my favorite dialogue of the movie was when Nader was practicing some vocabulary with Temeh, he was reading some words of foreign origin (in Persian) and Termeh was supposed to answer the Persian equivalent of them. They reached to the word "Guaranty", Termeh answered with an Arabic word, at this point Nader objected by saying that this is Arabic not Persian, so he offered a Persian word instead. Termeh then said but our teacher said so, and Nader goes:

"What is wrong is wrong to matter who said it or where it is written." Perfect!

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Simple yet so complex, ''a separation'' is a stunning tour de force

10/10
Author: jonhamms from Canada
27 February 2012

A separation is one of those movies you watch that makes you speculate, that fascinates you at a profound level. Asghar Farhadi has managed to pull of the perfect masterwork, the maturity of the movie, the performance of the actors; this is by far the best movie i have ever seen.The plot was well maintained, the concept of the movie was enthralling, everything in the story was well structured, the moral values that has been shown and portrayed so beautifully proves that mankind is flawed no matter what unity is the answer to some of our problems.This movie simply shows us the other real part of our society, the true problems the genuine issues between two human being, leaving the whole word behind ''A Separation'' distinguish some very important matter in our civilization.

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

A lot of complexity of life, relative to all cultures

10/10
Author: joeaneal from United States
5 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was expecting an excellent film and got even more than I expected. I was lucky enough to have an Irani friend for about six years before I moved from Northern California. During those six years I began to see a humanity in my friend that I did not expect. Like almost everyone in America we have been taught that Iran is our enemy. That their religious beliefs were so different than ours that there was little hope of closing that gap. That reconciling those differences would forever cause us a chasm. Or at the very least a great tension.

When I came to the movie I expected things to go very wrong. The screen writer leads us into deep tension in which most movies would treat differently. The characters treated us with how much compassion there could be amongst us all.

If there was a lesson to learn it is that being right can be wrong, and being wrong can be right. Its a paradox that the movie respects the audience enough to come to their own conclusions.

It is too bad that the movie could not be nominated for an Oscar as the best film of the year. Its a great tribute to independent film. I can only hope we see more movies like this.

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

inside Iran

10/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
4 March 2012

While most reports about Iran have centered on its nuclear program, "Jodái-e Náder az Simin" (called "A Separation" in English) takes a look at the lives of the Iranian people. It focuses on a family falling apart, and how events proliferate from this. Every character is flawed but well-meaning, and so the audience can't really "side" with one character over the others. The basic gist of the movie is how this moral conundrum affects every person.

The movie is now particularly famous because it is the first Iranian movie to win Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Accepting his Oscar last Sunday, director Asghar Farhadi reminded viewers that when there is talk of war, we truly need to see Iran for its great history and not accept a one-dimensional view of it. That was without a doubt the most important part of the ceremony, and "A Separation" is one of the best movies that I've seen in a long time. Definitely worth seeing.

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20 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

A powerful, realistic, and beautifully acted drama

9/10
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.
21 January 2012

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The ability to see events from different perspectives is one of the most important elements of a successful relationship, whether it involves a married couple, a parent and child, or a group of nations. Warring parties are always convinced that they have right or, in some cases, God on their side. To them, every action they take is fully justified and every act the other party takes is sinister. The failure to see other people's perspectives is in full view in Asqhar Farhadi's brilliant A Separation, winner of the Best Foreign Film award at the Golden Globes and nominated for an Oscar in the same category. Farhadi does not ask us to choose sides but to observe how decisions made with good intentions and for the alleged benefit of others often have the opposite effect.

The film opens in a courtroom in Tehran as Simin (Leila Hatami) speaks to a judge, unseen by the camera, asking him to grant her a divorce from Nader (Peyman Moaadi) her husband of fourteen years. Simin wants to leave the country and take her 11-year-old daughter, Termeh (Sarina Farhadi), with her to seek better opportunities abroad. Nader, a bank employee, however, will not leave Iran because of his responsibility to care for his elderly father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi) coping with Alzheimer's disease. Even though they have been married for fourteen years, there does not seem to be any hint of compromise. Unable to obtain the divorce because the judge deems the issues not "serious" enough, the couple agrees to separate with Simin going to her mother's house and Termeh staying with her father.

To help care for his aging father, the well-off Nader hires Razieh (Sareh Bayat), a pregnant, less affluent young woman with a four-year-old daughter. Whether or not Nader knows she is pregnant will become a contentious issue later in the film. Razieh, a devout Muslim, who has not told her husband Hodjat (Shahab Hosseini) about her employment, is conflicted when she has to change the clothes of the incontinent old man, and feels compelled to ask an Islamic authority if it would be considered a sin. Things become even worse when Nader returns from work and finds his father lying on the floor barely breathing with Razieh nowhere in sight. When Razieh returns home after she claimed she had to do an important errand, an angry Nader accuses her of stealing money and asks her to leave immediately.

Resistant to leave, he pushes her out the front door, causing the pregnant woman to fall down the stairs. Events begin to spin out of control when Razieh has a miscarriage and her irate husband takes Nader to court for murder. As the case is presented in a preliminary hearing before a judge, the divide between the families escalates and each person is guilty of concealing the truth in order to protect themselves or a family member. A Separation may sound like a melodramatic soap opera, but it is far from it. It is a powerful, realistic, and beautifully acted drama full of constant tension and uncertainty, a film in which each person must confront the fact that the walls they have erected have not led to nurturing relationships.

While the film is not overtly political, an underlying sub-text is the depiction of a male-dominated autocratic theocracy, a political system based on force, oppression and the alienation between gender and class. Eager to enhance their daughter's education, the couple hired Miss Ghahraii, a teacher (Merila Zare'i) from her school to come to their flat to provide coaching for her upcoming exams, but it is painfully clear to see how much more she is respected than Razieh, who stays in the kitchen during family gatherings. As the adults fight over perceived injustices, the children, as is often the case, endure the most pain, conflicted by their love and dependence on their parents and their desire for morality and justice.

While Termeh seemingly hides her pain, her face reflects the terrible burden her parents have put on her by their inability to see the world from other points of view, the kind of tragedy that has plagued mankind for centuries. As Farhadi has wisely said "What I hope is that the viewer will not know whose victory to wish for." When responsibility, love, and sacrifice are not present, there can be no victory for anyone.

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20 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

2011 at its finest. Nothing in this movie is less than great.

10/10
Author: Ryan_MYeah
3 January 2012

I may not have terribly much to say about A Separation, but I can say this much, it is a wonderful movie that I found nothing to truly complain about, even nit picking.

The movie's script by writer/director Asghar Farhadi is impeccable, expertly balancing the development and screen time of his characters. But it's not just his characters that really grab my attention, it's the themes and narratives that he showcases so smoothly that he only makes it look easy. He brings together a hefty number of universal themes not only of divorce and separation, but also of religion, neglect of responsibilities, and moral inconsistencies.

Farhadi also does well with his actors. A talented ensemble cast which includes Peyman Maadi, Leila Hatami, Shahab Hosseini, and Sareh Bayat are all aces in their roles, and Farhadi brings everything they can give out of them, none of them ever being giving mediocre conviction. In fact, there's not a hint of mediocrity in the movie at all.

This will probably go down as one of the best movies I'll see all year, if not the best. It's not QUITE perfect, but it's damn close.

**** out of ****

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42 out of 72 people found the following review useful:

best Iranian movie so far

10/10
Author: mitrapourmand from Iran
31 March 2011

i think Farhady is best known for his way of directing but in this movie his storytelling has improved a lot just like about Elli and the Wednesday fireworks he deals with the middle class society and raises a big question:when you know that you have done something wrong will admit it and take the blame and pay the price of it or will lie and live on as if nothing has ever happened?the main character (Nader)keeps telling every one including his daughter that you should be telling the truth even if its not in your benefit but does he do so?i say no.When faced with the real dilemma he does not choose the right path and even encourages his daughter to lie for him(though he never says the words but in a way teaches the girl to lie).He goes on and on about how much he cares about his father (and in a way his whole family ,his daughter as well)but his willing to rip his family apart just to prove that his right. The question remains,does everyone follow his own advice?or it means to much trouble?

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18 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Insightful and challenging - a brilliant movie!

10/10
Author: Amir Modarres from London Ontario
29 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At a time of great ignorance in the west of life in modern Iran this film provides some useful insights. I was struck by how similar the issues are in some ways to those of a British couple facing separation, yet also by the extent of the cultural differences. The wife wants to leave the country with her daughter, but her husband has the power to forbid it. The perceptive teenage daughter is caught between her parents, and chooses at first to stay with her father in a desperate attempt to keep her parents together. The wife goes off to live with her own parents, leaving her estranged husband with the problem of how to obtain day care for his father, who suffers from dementia. The woman who is hired for this task through a casual arrangement proves unable to cope. There is a fascinating scene in which, concerned for the old man who is incontinent, she phones an imam for advice as to whether it is permissible for her to help her charge to clean himself. The husband returns home to find the flat empty and his father in a state, and matters turn violent when the carer comes back without a good explanation. In the ongoing dispute, the complexity of the issues is clearly shown, with right on both sides, and one's sympathies are divided.

This is a tightly plotted and entertaining drama, despite the at times grim theme - a kind of middle eastern update of Kramer versus Kramer (American film about a divorced couple with Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman) and in my view much deeper. We are thrust into the midst of some very convincing dramatic exchanges. The Iranian justice system is intriguing as we see the various protagonists crammed into an office, arguing loudly with each other and with the official whose task it is to decide on what seems an arbitrary basis who should be charged and who should be held in jail pending trial. Although harsh, Iranian society seems in some ways more deeply moral and concerned with fairness and right versus wrong than our own. Ironically, as in Britain, the better educated and wealthier couple's rights win out over those of the poorer family.

"Separation" is not just a drama with an appeal which crosses cultural boundaries. It also increased my understanding of Iranian culture and deserves to be more widely viewed to break down our ill-founded prejudices.

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24 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

So far the best foreign movie in 2011

7/10
Author: sahlawi from United Arab Emirates
30 December 2011

I just saw this movie and I highly recommend it. The way the story was going totally unexpected and many surprises occur throughout the movie. There is a lot of dialogue and over talking, which makes it a bit hard to read the subtitles, but you will manage to understand regardless. The story of the movie is a one that everyone, no matter what the background is, will relate it. The acting in the movie was extraordinary, all the women and girls did a great job, both young and old were superb.

The movie is also educational, since you will get a glimpse of how Iranians are living their lives in Iran. The religious, societal, and family issues that they go through. Also, what I liked in the movie is that it had nothing to do with the Iranian politics, but of course you will be able to see how the regime affects the people.

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