Foreign Affairs: The Oscar-Winning 'A Separation'
The brilliant Iranian drama debuts along with 'Post Mortem' from Chile
"A Separation" (Sony) won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and deservedly so. This story of a divorce in contemporary Iran, sought without rancor (she wants to leave for America on a hard-won visa with a short window of opportunity, he is obligated to remain home to care for his ailing father) but not without frustration and some resentment, begins small but the reverberations come back on all around them. Everybody has their reasons, so to speak, and they are legitimate, but these actions have terrible consequences.
It is, in the words of MSN film critic Glenn Kenny, "an almost classic story of a wrong move in the wrong place at the wrong time, and how the specific gravity of a circumscribed situation can shift and turn innocuous actions performed with the best intentions almost deadly. It's a story with what they call "universal" appeal and ramifications, and the fact that it unfolds in a culture that's very much unlike our own while at the same time proving not entirely unlike our own adds yet another level of intrigue to the proceedings."
In Farsi and French with English subtitles. Blu-ray and DVD, with commentary by writer / director Asghar Farhadi, the featurette "Birth of a Director," and an onstage Q&A with Farhadi. Also available On Demand and at Redbox kiosks.
See the trailer after the jump. Just click on "More" below.
"Post Mortem" (Kino), Pablo Larrain's follow-up to his harrowing "Tony Manero," follows the quiet breakdown of a lonely autopsy scribe in Chile during the 1973 military coup. "With its pale, washed-out colour palette, its eerily slow, almost somnambulist pacing and occasionally bizarre emotional demonstrations, "Post Mortem" is strangely gripping," praises The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw. Spanish with English subtitles. Blu-ray and DVD, with no supplements beyond stills and a trailer.
"Bonsái" (Strand) is a drama from Chile about a young, unemployed writer who dives into his past while writing his autobiography. DVD only, Spanish with English subtitles. Reviews here.