The Past (2013)
"Le passé" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  17 May 2013 (France)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 30,878 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 78 user | 280 critic | 41 from

An Iranian man deserts his French wife and her two children to return to his homeland. Meanwhile, his wife starts up a new relationship, a reality her husband confronts upon his wife's request for a divorce.



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 12 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeanne Jestin ...
Valéria Cavalli ...
Aleksandra Klebanska ...
Jean-Michel Simonet ...
Pierre Guerder ...
Anne-Marion de Cayeux ...
Eléonora Marino ...
Collègue Marie
Jonathan Devred ...
Agent aéroport


Coming back to accomplish the divorce procedure, Ahmad an Iranian man, arrives in Paris after four years to meet his ex-wife and her daughters from her previous marriage. He notices his ex is in a relationship with an Arab named Samir who also has a son and a wife in a coma. The relationship of the older daughter and her mother is in deterioration because the daughter thinks her mother is the cause of Samir's wife comatose state. The affairs get more complicated when the older daughter discloses something heinous she has done. Written by Hossein sr

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

17 May 2013 (France)  »

Also Known As:

El pasado  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$29,270 (USA) (20 December 2013)


$1,330,596 (USA) (11 April 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ali Mosaffa learned French two months before filming began with the help of his wife, Leila Hatami. See more »


Médecin: In this situation, every certainty is a doubtful!
See more »


Featured in 71st Golden Globe Awards (2014) See more »


Les Adieux
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User Reviews

You Won't Be Leaving This Film in Your Past
11 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow. Normally, I don't write an analysis for every single film I see, but I honestly found The Past to be one of my favorite films this year. Unfortunately, the fact that it's a foreign film means a lot of people will be missing out on this unforgettable experience. In sum, it's a story about a man who has returned to Paris in order to finalize a divorce with his wife who, in the meantime, is dating another man. Her teenage daughter is in a shambles and frequently stays out late, unable to face her mother and the new man she has brought home with her. Once her true father appears, the situation turns into a heavily intricate predicament. Deceitfully, the film's premise might seem overly simplistic; I assure you it's definitely not but seeing how the most simplistic films strike box office gold anyways, I can't imagine why audiences would gripe about this one?

Now, Americans, in particular, might not be familiar with the prevalence of a slower pace in European cinema. Admittedly, I found myself struggling with some foreign motion pictures (Amour being a recent- and most popular- example) due to their sluggish pacing. In The Past's case, all of its characters are so complex and the writing/storyline so brilliant that I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. The grit and rawness is all there as is usual with European cinema and the realism so striking that the movie clearly serves a provocation of much thought and emotion. Disappointedly so, I stumbled upon several comments on the narrative being annoyingly plodding. "Absolutely nothing crazy happens in my first hour and a half of watching!" Some are used to palpable conflict/action, but the action here transpires on an emotional level. The impeccable acting does extremely well to service the script and- obviously- your investment in this intriguing tale.

The morality isn't exactly black-and-white for the viewers to pick and choose which character is the charming, perfect hero of the story. No, you're cast into this setting to study how real human beings would act in a parallel difficulty. If you're not quite too keen on a single character, the events that occur throughout might possibly change your mind, and suddenly, you realize that you understand and sympathize with this devastated and damaged individual as he deals with the problem in a manner that he sees fit. There's just no amount of praise that'd feel sufficient towards the remarkable quality of The Past. This is an experience you likely won't locate all too often in the realms of Hollywood since the plot solely rely on its genuine recounting rather than the implementation of intense sequences in between more dialogue- heavy scenes for the sake of waking up some disinterested attendees. Sometimes, we attend the movie theater for some fantastical fun, and other times, we attend it to explore some incredibly meaningful themes- films that engage us in more personal fashion. All in all, The Past cannot be blatantly disregarded amidst a currently lively time of movies- releasing left and right- and I probably didn't give the film adequate justice, considering my unexpected and brief review, but I wrote it regardless so as to inform the film lovers of a magnificent presence that'll hopefully grace a theater near you sometime soon (if not, just wait for it on DVD/Blu-ray).

20 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
is guilt really so important?.. alexander-akrivos
is 'foreignness' a big theme? chuck-526
I was shocked.Why The Past didn't nominate for oscar?!!!! NeuerReichskanzler
Oscar chance? mohamadi_amin
How couldn't Lucy recognize Naima after they met? lvlani_67
there isn't any Subtitle for this movie ?! hamzeh-darius
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