The Patience Stone

Rated 4.0

In a war-torn Afghan village, a wife (Golshifteh Farahani) nurses her wounded, comatose husband. As she does, she speaks freely to his unhearing ears, telling long-hidden things, as if he were the legendary Patience Stone that absorbs one's deepest secrets. Director Atiq Rahimi adapts his own novel, from a script by the prolific and versatile Jean-Claude Carrière. The result has much going for it—an understated yet fervent glimpse of a society on the brink of collapse, as well as a startling sexual frankness (in both action and dialogue) for a movie set in a Muslim society. Most of all, it has Farahani, and she's a striking screen presence, whether delivering her long, halting monologues, striding out with her mustard-colored hijab billowing in the wind, or unveiling an enigmatic smile in the final shot.