A Separation

Rated 5.0

The internationally acclaimed Iranian drama and winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film presents itself in rather modest and unassuming fashion. Initially, it is a story about the impending breakup of a marriage. Simin (Leila Hatami) wants a divorce from Nader (Peyman Moadi) so that she can raise their daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi) in some place other than Iran. Nader refuses to leave his job and his ailing, aging father, and so the couple separates, but his wife stays in Iran and his daughter stays with him. That turn of events brings another conflicted family of three into the picture. In this tale, there is no clear-cut rooting interest. Each of the main characters has some good reasons for his or her conduct, and none ever seems entirely in the right. In a way, it’s a low-key tragic drama played out in specifics of the daily life from a particular contemporary setting and culture. It might also be taken as a critique of Iranian society, but the sober humanism implicit in writer/director Asghar Farhadi’s even-handed approach seems to transcend parochial and polemical concerns. Pageant Theatre. Rated PG-13