Jodaeiye Nader az Simin [2011]

Spain’s incredible La Piel Que Habito had a huge international star, Antonio Banderas, among its cast as well as a talented, award-winning director at the helm, Pedro Almodóvar.  I’m a huge fan of that picture, so it came as such a surprise to me that the year’s definitive film not in the English language is not Pedro’s dark, twisted tale but a small, simple drama from (of all countries) the oppressing Iran.  Jodaeiye Nader az Simin, or as it’s known to us outside the Middle-Eastern country, A Separation shows us how marital strife is the least worrying of this couple’s troubles.  The four leads (Peyman Moadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat and Shahab Hosseini) are stunning in complex roles and the harrowing movie does not let up from start to finish. A triumph.