REVIEW: A Separation

4 03 2012

It’s interesting to see the parallels between the last two movies awarded the Best Foreign Language Film prize at the Academy Awards, last year’s “In a Better World” and the most recent winner, “A Separation.”  Both are very broad, universal tales that provide a richly humanistic exploration of important themes.  The former took on revenge, and the latter tackled honesty.

But the wonder of “A Separation” is that it manages to simultaneously tell a rich tale grounded in common experience and one that is distinctly Iranian.  By exploring how his culture could very well be a microcosm for the entire world, writer/director Asghar Farhadi probably could not have come at a better moment.  In his acceptance speech, he relished the moment as it promoted an image of the country beyond their crazy leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  The Iranians battle their society but also themselves, just as we all do; Farhadi remarked, “I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”

Really, that’s the core of his movie, too.  All the characters know the way to be a better person, but there are personal and social forces holding them back from doing the right thing.  Whether it’s their pride, their zeal, their lifestyle, or their religion, “A Separation” is an excellent chronicle of people consciously missing the mark.

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Weekend Update – Golden Globes 2011 Live Blog!

15 01 2012

4:00 P.M.  E! has already started their Golden Globe coverage, so I guess it’s time for me to begin as well!  Time for the best of Hollywood (and television) to come out and get rewarded (or robbed).  Predictions will slowly trickle in as the stars grace the red carpet, but I’ll be writing from the arrivals to the awards to Ricky Gervais’ harsh quips.  With recaps, opinions, and insights, make “Marshall and the Movies” your companion for the Golden Globes!

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