This recent Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Original Screenplay features an accessible storyline that provokes an endless amount of talking points on topics like religion, parenting, and accountability. The film opens with a long take of Nader and Simin requesting a divorce. Simin wants her family to flee Iran for the sake of their 11-year-old daughter, but Nader refuses as he has an elderly Alzheimer’s-afflicted father to tend to. Their separation forces banker Nader to hire someone to watch over his father during the day. The deeply religious and currently pregnant Razieh takes the job, neglects her duties, and causes a scene that leads to devastation and an ongoing court case. Everything is questionable, from Razieh’s job responsibilities to Nader’s seemingly honest testimonies, as the two families argue to the point of violence.
A Separationis just as good as you’ve heard. General audiences will surely embrace the film’s investigation-driven court scenes, which progress like a daytime television show, while discriminating audiences will find the politics at play endlessly rewarding if not at times frustratingly affecting. A trashy American remake can’t be far behind.
A Separation opens today at the Ritz Five.