Iranian Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) arrives in Paris to finalize a divorce, but is drawn into the complicated relationship between his soon-to-be ex-wife (Bérénice Bejo) and her new man (Tahar Rahim) and children… As in his wide international breakthrough A Separation (2011), director Asghar Farhadi shows a great interest in the dynamics of a family and the small events that can have shattering consequences. The past keeps coming back to haunt these people, not just a marriage that is over, but also what might be the reason why Rahim’s first wife ended up in a coma. The director piques our interest and we’re soon hooked, not least because of the cast; even the children are very engaging.
2013-France-Iran. 130 min. Color. Produced by Alexandre Mallet-Guy. Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi. Cast: Bérénice Bejo (Marie Brisson), Tahar Rahim (Samir), Ali Mosaffa (Ahmad), Pauline Burlet, Elyes Aguis, Jeanne Jestin.
Trivia: Original title: Le passé. Marion Cotillard was allegedly first cast in the lead.
Cannes: Best Actress (Bejo).
Last word: “I never tell the children the actual truth of the thing that I want them to act. Although children are really into play and play acting, and this is a major part of their existence, they never actually find the playing or acting of adults credible. One must never tell a child what it is they should display acting. For instance, your mother is now in a coma and you should act unhappy because of it. Just as with the adults, I rehearsed for several months, a few days a week, with the children. Most of the time was spent during those rehearsals in making the inner relationships between the adults in the story credible to the children.” (Farhadi, Collider)