As much as I enjoy quirky indie movies, I can also appreciate more serious fare. Last week, I saw the Iranian drama A Separation.
The movie follows a married couple as they cope with separating from each other and the unique situations that creates for them. It begins with the couple sitting before a divorce judge with the wife, Simin, wanting the divorce so that she can emigrate to give her daughter a better life. She would prefer to leave with her husband, Nader, but he has an elderly father than he feels he cannot leave. Even without the divorce, she leaves, but doesn't go far, moving in with her mother, while her daughter stays with Nader. Simin's departure leaves Nader needing to hire someone to look after his father and his home while he is at work and his daughter's at school. The woman he hires, Razieh, gets into an altercation with her employer and eventually accuses him of assault. Simin is brought back into his life, compelled to protect her daughter, as the entire family deals with the fear, anguish and uncertainty the situation has dealt them.
The movie received a lot of (well-deserved) positive attention, including an Oscar win or Best Foreign Language Film and a nomination for Best Original Screenplay. I think that the actors' performances should have also received greater attention. For being in a language that I didn't understand and having to rely on subtitles for the dialog, I was still transfixed by many of the performances, a rarity even in English-language films. While I realize subtitles aren't everyone's cup of tea, I would still suggest this film for its great performances and storyline!