A Separation

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Re: A Separation

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:17 am

I have no idea how old Farhadi's daughter is, but I thought her character in the film was supposed to be about twelve.

This is really a wonderful film, specific to a certain time and place yet universal in its themes as, of course, all great films are. And, of course, it's not showing at my local cineplex. The only way I got to see it was to order the region 2 DVD from the U.K.
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Re: A Separation

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:41 am

bizarre wrote:I liked this very, very much, and I agree with Sabin's take on it. Probably my only complaint is the awkward physical casting of Farhadi's 18-year-old daughter as an 10/11-year-old. It is a minor complaint however because his daughter, Sarina Farhadi, is excellent and one of the brightest spots of this bright, bright ensemble.

That was my only compliant with the film. My partner and I have been wandering since seeing A Separation last June how old the actress playing the daughter really was. I don't know why she couldn't be 14 going on 15- that would have been believable.

I must say I was blown away when seeing this film in a packed theatre seating over 2,000 people who roared with applause at it's conclusion. I was a little apprehensive about see this film, despite it's prizes at Berlin, as Farhadi's previous film which had won him a best director award at Berlin a couple of years ago (All About Ally) was rather underwhelming. But nearly 8 months after seeing A Separation it still resonates with me.

The worldwide success of A Separation with critic's and audiences alike has been the film highlight of 2011 for me.

I also highly recommend the English Blu Ray edition of the film put out by Artificial Eye. Not sure if it's region locked or not though.
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Re: A Separation

Postby Okri » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:24 pm

Saw it. Loved it. Doubt I'll see a better film this year. I doubt I'll be getting it out of my mind any time soon. Just thinking about it has me blinking back tears. I'm basically gonna be spending the rest of the awards season pissed off at Sony Pictures for not releasing this in October or something.

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Re: A Separation

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:40 pm

I wanted to just take a brief moment to endorse the praise that this film has earned. It's clearly one of the year's best pictures, and excels in two fairly simple but significant areas that many films lately have not, for me at least.

First of all, there's actually an honest-to-god plot. Which is to say, the movie zips along briskly and keeps throwing narrative curve-balls at the viewer. There were two specific occasions in this movie when a piece of information is revealed and I thought "Oh, god," as I was taken aback by a narrative turn that was not only surprising, but which I know would instantly shift the nature of the story entirely. As Sabin said in another thread, the movie is wholly engrossing as an expertly structured procedural, and after so viewing so many movies this year where I felt the story just sort of sat there, going nowhere, it was a real pleasure to watch a film with such strong narrative momentum.

But to suggest that this movie is MERELY a well-structured plot grossly underestimates the number of levels on which this film is operating. Which brings me to my second point -- the film is so much more than its (admittedly great) narrative. While watching The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo -- obviously a different kind of movie, but go with me for a second -- I appreciated the complexity of the narrative and the turns of the plot, but I was entirely unmoved by a story that didn't seem to be about anything more than what it was about. In A Separation, every piece of new information, every detail that is uncovered or lie that is exposed, brings with it enormous weight, so that the movie becomes a devastating experience of watching two families who don't deserve to have Very Bad Things happen to them head for an inevitable collision course.

And the acting in this movie is outstanding, from all the actors, but particularly, I felt, from the two women. A Separation is, amazingly, the kind of movie that is completely universal -- I find it hard to believe that ANYONE couldn't relate to the central conflict, and the fault lines drawn between these two families -- while also presenting a very specific religious, cultural, and political portrait of a time and place. I think everyone should see this.

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Re: A Separation

Postby bizarre » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:31 pm

I liked this very, very much, and I agree with Sabin's take on it. Probably my only complaint is the awkward physical casting of Farhadi's 18-year-old daughter as an 10/11-year-old. It is a minor complaint however because his daughter, Sarina Farhadi, is excellent and one of the brightest spots of this bright, bright ensemble.

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Re: A Separation

Postby Reza » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:40 am

Started watching this last night. The copy I have on DVD has the most horrendous sub-titles that just don't capture what the characters are saying. Totally ruins the film.

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Re: A Separation

Postby Sabin » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:01 am

I am so glad that Roger Ebert picked this as his favorite film of the year. This is the kind of push that this film needs. I am baffled that he picked this and not The Tree of Life.

1. "A Separation"

This Iranian film won't open in Chicago until Jan. 27. It won the Golden Bear at Berlin and was just named the year's best foreign film by the New York Film Critics Circle. It is specifically Iranian, but I believe the more specific a film is about human experience, the more universal it is. On the other hand, movies "for everybody" seem to be for nobody in particular. This film combines a plot worthy of a great novel with the emotional impact of a great melodrama. It involves a struggle for child custody, the challenge of a parent with Alzheimer's, the intricacies of the law, and the enigma of discovering the truth. In its reconstruction of several versions of a significant event, it is as baffling as "Rashomon."

A modern Iranian couple considers emigrating to Europe to find better opportunities for their daughter. The mother wants to leave quickly. The father delays because his father has Alzheimer's and needs care. "Your father no longer knows you!" his wife says during a hearing in divorce court. "But I know him!" says her husband. We can identify with both statements.

A caregiver is hired but cannot come, and his wife secretly substitutes for him. It's against her religious principles for her to touch any man not her husband, but her family needs the money. This leads to events which create a deep moral tangle. Asghar Farhadi's real subject is Truth, when it is disagreed about by people we respect even though we know most of the facts. "A Separation" will become one of those enduring masterpieces watched decades from now.

This is what I wrote on the New Reviews thread...

Sabin wrote
Oh, my goodness...

It's been a very long time since I have watched a movie like this, where you just watch it all unfold, where you forget you're watching a movie to begin with, where you feel as though it's peoples' lives. I think this is ultimately a film about the tragedy of conviction. It is about how when we are forced to ascribe blame to a situation we reduce people to arguments and become something less than human. This scenario is a universal one within a specific location with specific rules, and society fails them as well as they fail themselves and somewhat because it enables them to fail themselves. The titular separation in the film is as thematically rich as anything in Certified Copy, as the crime in question forces those involved to play the divorce blame game needlessly torturing those around them. This film is a tragedy but it is almost humanist, never once seeming as though artificial forces are needlessly conspiring against those involved.

Quite a bit has been written about this film and for a movie that is essentially a procedural (admittedly saying that A Separation is essentially a procedural is like saying The Tree of Life is essentially a home movie) it doesn't have some of the overtly satisfying outpourings that some people may be used to. A Separation is too honest for that.

I haven't seen Mysteries of Lisbon or a few other films, but this is just a staggering piece of work. I know this sounds like hyperbole, but I can't imagine anyone not loving it.
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A Separation

Postby Okri » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:24 pm

Roger Ebert just listed it as his number one film of 2011. Seriously.

Sony Pictures Classics, you just look dumber and dumber for waiting until the very end of the year to release this.

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