In this day of tireless Hollywood epics with huge explosions
and thoughtless storytelling, it's so refreshing to watch a film
as simple as A Separation and realize its brilliance.
The 2011 Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Language
Film is a domestic drama about middle-class Iranian couple
going through the complexities of a separation. As the film
begins, we meet Nader (Peyman Noadi) and his wife, Simin
(Leila Hatami) who are sitting before a magistrate arguing
their case for disunion. Simin wishes to leave the country and
make a better life for their young daughter. Nader, a decent
hard-working banker, refuses to leave his Alzheimer-stricken
During the next two hours, a fascinating story unfolds as
Nader hires a young woman named Razieh (Sereh Bayat)
to come to his home and take care of his father. A few days
later, upon returning from work, Nader finds his father alone, tied
to the bed. What has happened to his caretaker? What ensues
would only spoil the heart of this ever-twisting story. However, if
you would really like minor spoilers, check out the film's trailer below.
The film is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The transfer has
a very warm, natural feel to it with excellent color balance. The
film's dialogue and music seemed to be completely spread across
the front channels which I found to be fine. My engrossment within
the film's storytelling had no need for enhanced environmental sound.
The film is completely subtitled in English or French. There is an
optional commentary with Writer/Director Asghar Farhadi as well as
two additional featurettes.
What is amazing to watch is the powerful true-to-life performances
from the film's gifted actors. It's rather astonishing to watch such
a simplistic, low-budget film succeed solely on its storytelling and
acting, keeping its viewers riveted to the screen right through the
ending credits. This deeply moving drama deserves the acclaim
it has received and such, I give it my highest recommendation.
Available September 21st