Adam Cook’s review:
It is easy to see why A Separation was one of the most highly regarded films of last year. It is a complex (but not complicated) story with so many grey areas that it becomes hard to really apportion blame in an ever escalating court battle between a man and his pregnant employee who accuses him of causing her miscarriage. A Separation is such a rich film and it is rare these days to see this kind of story with characters that are never wholly good or bad. It is one of the films strongest attributes that you sympathise with every single character in the film despite the fact they have all lied in some small, or big, way.
The title refers not only to the separation between the married couple but the separations between class, faith, gender and state in Iran. It’s not an easy film to really review because if you talk about plot points it can sound rather dull but it is as far from boring as you can get. It takes its time but keeps you captivated thanks to the beautifully judged performances, rounded characters, deft direction and strong cinematography. I think the latter can easily get overlooked due to the documentary style but the film is quite striking, particularly in its use of glass divides, that it really adds to the overall experience.
For once this is a film deserving of its hype.