The Iranian Job

A guy just wants to take care of his dad, and the roof falls in on him.

 

That’s Job, as in the bible, not job as in work.

We went to see A Separation this afternoon, and think you should go see it, too.

I look up movies on Rottentomatoes, a web site that aggregates the reviews from all the major newspapers, magazines and blogs, giving them a score on the “Tomatometer” that is the  percentage of good reviews vs bad reviews.  Perfect would be 100%, and A Separation  managed to score 99, which is the highest I have ever seen.  The Artist, this year’s runaway hit and Oscar favorite, got 97.  Even my personal favorite, Shaun of the Dead, only scored 92 on the Tomatometer.

Back to the subject. Here’s the precis, snitched from the web:

Morally complex, suspenseful, and consistently involving, A Separation captures the messiness of a dissolving relationship with keen insight and searing intensity.

I didn’t see this as just the “messiness of dissolving relationship”, I thought that there was much more than that involved.

A woman wants to emigrate from Iran, and her husband, although originally in favor,  is now refusing to go because he must take care of his father, who is in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s disease and cannot function without constant supervision and care.

She sues him for divorce, so she can leave.  He is willing to grant the divorce (his agreement being required in Iran), but is not willing to allow their 11 year old daughter to leave.  The wife won’t leave the country without the daughter, but decamps to her mother’s house nonetheless.

The man hires help to take care of dad during the day.

Bad things happen, the caregiver has a miscarriage, the man is charged with murder (the way Rick Santorum thinks the world should be), and then things get really messy.

The man is not a bad person, nor is his wife.  They are just a couple of people trying to make the best of an impossible situation with no easy answers.  The caregiver character is deeply conflicted between doing what her religion demands and what her family needs.  The 11 year old daughter (who looks more like 15 to me) is torn between her parents and doesn’t know which way to turn.  Even the caregiver’s 4 year old child has issues she is incapable of understanding to deal with.

If you need car chases, gunfire and sex to make a movie interesting, this isn’t the flick for you.  If you like deep moral ambiguity, existential angst, no-win situations and an ending with no answers, hurry on over to the Dome and see this movie.  You don’t get a 99 on the Tomatometer for nothing.

 

 

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