The Best Foreign Film Oscar will go to the Iranian film “A Separation” this year, that’s my prediction and I’m sticking to it (unless it doesn’t, in which case this post will self-destruct in 5 seconds). This gripping domestic drama grabs you from the beginning as a couple in Tehran deals with the kind of family issues that might seem universal in any divorce situation. A mother, Simin(Leila Hatami), who wants to head west for a perceived better life with her pre-teen daughter, Termeh (Sarina Farhadi), and a father, Nadar (Peyman Maadi), who struggles with his duty to care for his Alzheimer’s afflicted father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi) and who opposes his wife’s divorce petition. This domestic dilemma is complicated by Nadar’s need to find a caretaker for his father after Simin moves out. He hires a devout Muslim woman, Razieh (Sareh Baya), who secretly takes the job to help her unemployed husband, Houjat( Shahab Hosseini) a firebrand fundamentalist. The performances are spectacular. All the characters are flawed in one way or another and the complications of the engrossing plot bring us a look at a decidedly different justice system where aggrieved parties argue and defend their own case before overburdened yet seemingly pragmatic jurists. To lay out the complications that rise from this domestic dilemma would spoil the many surprises the plot unveils, but each moment is portrayed with incredible skill by writer/ director Asghar Farhadi, Oscar nominee for Best Original Screenplay. “A Separation” is the rare film that stays with you long after you leave the theater and it deserves all the accolades it will get, including the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
My GPA: 4.0