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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Dramatically, Oscar-winning move “A Separation” connects

    Dramatically, Oscar-winning move A Separation connects

    What a beautiful, heartbreaking film.

    It’s rare that I get to say that kind of thing. But Iran’s “A Separation” is a movie so impeccably done, and so aggressively moving, that to call it anything else would be trivializing. Beautifully shot, authentically performed and directed to within an inch of its life by Asghar Farhadi, the film — which is still playing at The Loft Cinema — is among the finest of a very good year, if not the last four or five.

    From the first scene, it’s clear that “A Separation” will be an emotional powerhouse of a film. We open on Nader (Peyman Moadi) and Simin (Leila Hatami), a married couple of 14 years, seeking divorce in family court. When the judge rejects their application, Simin (the wife) moves out of the house, and Nader hires a caretaker to look after his father, an elderly man with Alzheimer’s.

    One morning, the old man wanders out of the house, setting into motion a chain of events that will ultimately test the moral and religious convictions of every person involved.

    A misunderstanding leads to an argument, an argument leads to a mistake and a mistake leads to a tragedy, resulting in an investigation of who is at fault, who is telling the truth and who (if anybody) deserves to be held accountable.

    In a way, “A Separation” is a dramatic rendering of the spiral-out-of-control formula so routine in farces like “Meet The Parents” and “Death At A Funeral.” Yet what sets it apart — and what makes it one of the best films of the past several years — is that unlike those comedies, which more or less traverse the chaos through the eyes of a single character, “A Separation” delves deep into every one of its players, creating an aching sympathy that spans the entire cast and leaves not a soul untouched.

    This is a film about good people embroiled in a misunderstanding, each too stubborn to see the bigger picture yet at the same time, each entirely justified in his or her reaction to the unstoppable train wreck.

    It’s overwhelming because each party is uniquely vindicated, and it’s painful to watch because all of them will lose in the end.

    I’d go on, but it would only be more of the same. See this magnificent film in theaters before it disappears. You’ll no doubt leave depressed, but you won’t regret it one bit, as “A Separation” is that rare film that’s deserving of every accolade it has and will receive.

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