Published March 2012 The Independent, Sydney
Director Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian drama was this year’s Golden-Globe winner for Best Foreign Language Film. It’s won almost universal critical acclaim and is even the favourite for Best Foreign Film at next month’s Academy Awards, and all with good reason.
Simin (Leily Hatami) is trying to persuade her husband Nader (Peyman Moadi) to pack up their young family and leave Iran for the US. He refuses – his father is suffering from Alzheimer’s and needs constant care. Frustrated, Simin packs her bags and moves to her mother’s house. Already we are thrust into an intimate picture of a family in crisis and confronted with a complex moral divide. Nader hires a young woman to take care of his father and the home. What he doesn’t realise is that the new maid is pregnant, but also working without her unstable husband’s permission.
When an accident occurs, we must untangle a web of manipulation and ambiguous morality. Set against a background of Iranian faith, honour and women’s rights, this is a thrilling whodunit of the most domesticated kind. With naturalistic performances from a talented cast and investigative cinematography from Mahmood Kalari, this is a truly gripping moral drama.