Director: Asghar Farhadi
Cast: Peyman Moadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayet, Sarina Farhadi
Released: December 30, 2011
Viewed in theaters: March 2, 2012
Best Foreign Film (won)
Best Original Screenplay - Asghar Farhadi (lost to Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris)
While looking for my next weekly movie to watch, I was glad that I saw one of my nearby theaters was playing the winner of the foreign film Oscar. There were still a couple options I would consider, though most likely they would be rentals for me. I hope some better movies will be coming out in the near future!
I haven't seen many foreign-language movies, but I've probably seen more than your average movie viewer. Of course I've seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Life is Beautiful, but I have seen others. I should post my ten favorite foreign-language movies sometime. I know some people are adversed to reading words on screen, but I don't mind - I'm a pretty fast reader!
A Separation is an Iranian film and the movie opens up with married couple Nader and Simin sitting in front of a judge with Simin asking him for permission to divorce her husband because she wants to move to another country so their eleven year old daughter, Termeh, can have a better life. She needs a divorce because her husband refuses to go with her because he has to take care of his father who has Alzheimer's. The judge does not grant her the divorce because her husband is a good man and has never done anything to harm her and he tells her to go on and live her life.
Simin goes to live with her mother for awhile because she is still determined to get a divorce and leave the country. While she is away, a young pregnant woman named Razieh comes to take care of Nader's father while he is at work and Termeh is at school. Simin found her through a friend and needing the money, Razieh soon finds out that the job wasn't exactly what she had in mind. She thought she would just have to watch the old man, but when he soils himself she begins to panic because she was told he always said when he had to use the restroom and she was worried it might be against her religion if she changed him. When Nader returns home, she tells him that she doesn't think she can do the job and tells him that she'll tell her husband and can Nader interview him tomorrow? Nader agrees to this and interviews Razieh's husband (who didn't know that Razieh had been working for him). Due to conflict, he isn't able to show up to work the next day, so Razieh takes his place and tells Nader that her husband will be able to work in a couple of days.
Things go to hell when Nader and his daughter come early one afternoon to find the door locked and nobody is answering the door. When they enter their apartment, they find Nader's father has fallen out of bed and has his hand tied to the bedpost with a scarf. When Razieh and her young daughter who she always brought with her return back, Nader, for good reason, is furious at her. She explains that she had to go out and do something and since his father usually slept at this time, she thought it would be okay and had tied him to the bed so he wouldn't get up and hurt himself. Nader accuses her of stealing money because he found money missing from a drawer but she claims she didn't. He doesn't believe her and forces her out the door. She comes back again and this time he pushes her out. She ends up falling and has a miscarriage and Nader is charged with manslaughter, but he says he had no idea that she was pregnant or otherwise he would have never been rough with her, although he says he never pushed her.
Basically the rest of the movie deals with this feud between the two couples. It's very intense and keeps you interested in how this is going to play out. I thought the young girl who played Razieh's daughter was really cute, but I thought it was really unprofessional of her to bring her daughter to her work! Maybe they couldn't afford a daycare, but even though the little girl didn't mean any harm, she would mess with the old man's oxygen tank and when her mother asked her to take out the trash she got trash and food all over the steps. Of course this does have a big part in the movie.... which I highly recommend!