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post #1 of 17 Old 08-10-2012, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
80





Studio and Year: Sony Classic Pictures - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 123 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): Persian/Farci, French DTS-HD 3.0 Master Audio
Subtitles: English/French
Starring: Leila Hatami, Peyman Moadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayet, Sarina Farhadi, Babak Karimi
Written & Directed by: Ashgar Farhadi
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 21, 2012







"Lies may lead to truth"


Film Synopsis:



Set in contemporary Iran, A SEPARATION is a compelling drama about the dissolution of a marriage. Simin wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader and daughter Termeh. Simin sues for divorce when Nader refuses to leave behind his Alzheimer's-suffering father. Her request having failed, Simin returns to her parents' home, but Termeh decides to stay with Nader. When Nader hires a young woman to assist with his father in his wife's absence, he hopes that his life will return to a normal state. However, when he discovers that the new maid has been lying to him, he realizes that there is more on the line than just his marriage.


My Take:

I saw the trailer for A separation and was immediately drawn in by it. Coming from a broken home I identified with the subject matter and from what I could tell the performances and plot looked interesting. Writer/director Ashfhar Farhadi uses deliberate pacing and a fly on the wall perspective to tell this very human story about familial strife and how sometimes in life the simplest things can quickly escalate into life changing situations. This drama revolves around an Iranian couple Nader, and Simin, that are going through marital problems that center around the fact that Simin wants to live abroad to provide better opportunities for their daughter, Termeh. Nader refuses to go because he feels an obligation to stay in Iran to take care of his Alzheimer stricken father who lives with them. The couple can’t come to an amicable solution so they go before a magistrate/arbitrator where requests Simin a divorce. His determination is that based upon the circumstances there is no foundation for her request, it is denied and they should go home and work it out. Frustrated, Simin moves out and leaves her Termeh, who didn’t want to leave, with Nader.

Since Simin was the primary caregiver for Nader’s father he now has to find someone to watch him during the day while he is working and Termeh is at school. Nader hires Razieh, a friend of a friend of Simin’s who initially agrees to do it. Razieh soon discovers that Nader’s father requires more care than expected and the long trip from her house to Nader’s isn’t worth it especially since she has to bring her young daughter back and forth with her. Razieh conveys this to Nader who convinces her to continue for the time being. Razieh suggests that Nader hire her out of work husband Hojjat to take her place. The series of events that follow result in criminal allegations being brought against Nader based upon circumstantial evidence that may or may not be born of a lie. The web soon becomes very tangled. At the end of the day the truth will prevail but the real question is at what cost?

I really don’t want to divulge too many details regarding what occurs because the way it plays out is what makes this film so special. On the surface this is a fairly simple story about very ordinary people faced with challenges that aren’t uncommon. It’s the unraveling that can occur from the simplest of circumstances gone bad that turn ordinary people into something else entirely. I found it thoroughly engrossing with a resonating narrative and genuinely drawn characters. As a foreign made film the cultural, social, judicial and religious differences further pique interest as some of their elements play an integral role in the proceedings. The casting and direction is simply marvelous. A separation took home the 2011 Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Language film.

What starts out as a dramatic domestic portrait evolves into a complex story that speaks to the human condition via a densely drawn landscape with morally provocative questions and emotive familial themes that beat to a culturally different but universal drum. I loved it.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for mature thematic material.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 74

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


A separation comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 3.0 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.3 Mbps.

This high definition presentation is on par with other new release films of its type and generally looked great. Colors are natural looking with a pleasing and reserved quality that remained within the scope required by the settings and clothing featured in the film. Flesh tones vary somewhat but most offers little complexional differences which appears to coincide with the film’s geographical setting. Contrast is stable with solid blacks and estimable shadow detail. Images are detailed and crisp, with definable lines and appreciable dimension. While I noticed sporadic occasions where resolution fluctuated slightly this appeared innate to the photography and never called fidelity into question. The video is rendered well and doesn’t show any overt signs of compression related anomalies or video artifacts.

The DTS-HD MA soundtrack delivers dialogue that is crisp, tonally descriptive and well articulated. The front three channels handily convey the soundtrack’s elements via an open soundstage that features excellent clarity and imaging.

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary with writer/director Asghar Farhadi

  • (HD) An evening with Asghar Farhadi – 30 minute Q&A

  • Birth of a director – 8 minute interview with Asghar Farhadi

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer




Final Thoughts:



A separation comes from the mind of writer/director Asghar Farhadi and is a superbly crafted dramatic film that speaks to the human condition via a densely drawn landscape with morally provocative questions and emotive familial themes that beat to a culturally different but universal drum. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring gratifying high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and insightful supplemental material. I thoroughly enjoyed A separation and give it my highest recommendation.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 17 Old 08-31-2012, 09:11 AM
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Saw this last night. Went looking for a thread on it, but of course, none. So glad you reviewed it, even with no replies. This is a wonderful film on its own merits, and for an American, or any westerner really, even more delightful as it gives the viewer insight into a culture far different than your own, and in a totally transparent way. One of the best movies I've seen in several years, engrossing, thought provoking and you even get to learn something.

Eve: I thought I was through getting involved with men who were trouble. Falling in love on a look. I can't look at you.

Mickey: You have perfection about you. Your eyes have music. Your heart's the best part of your body. And when you move, every man, woman and child is forced to watch.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-31-2012, 09:49 AM
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Also watched this and thoroughly enjoyed it. Interesting story, expertly told.
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-31-2012, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

I am glad to hear that you both enjoyed this film as much as I did. smile.gif


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post #5 of 17 Old 09-10-2012, 08:07 AM
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Wish I had the same experience as you guys. I watched this one on Saturday thought it was...good. However, I didn't think it was anything special. I wasn't really able to get invested emotionally. I thought it was interesting to see how different things are over there, but that's not enough to elevate this to a great film for me
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-10-2012, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

Wish I had the same experience as you guys. I watched this one on Saturday thought it was...good. However, I didn't think it was anything special. I wasn't really able to get invested emotionally. I thought it was interesting to see how different things are over there, but that's not enough to elevate this to a great film for me

Greetings,

Sorry to hear that Stormshadow4life. frown.gif

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post #7 of 17 Old 09-11-2012, 08:57 AM
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Thanks for the review, Ralph! cool.gif

I've been very much looking forward to this one and play to purchase it if the price ever comes down to a reasonable level.

oz
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-12-2012, 05:07 AM
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Here's the issue I have with films like this 1. I think Stormshadow4life felt the same way I did about this...

Overall this movie was really good for, for what it was that is. Great acting, excellent direction, editing, soundtrack, cinematography, etc. No flaws really with anything about the film really at all. Everyone involved did a great job I think. Now here's the problem though. As great as everything is, the movie to me and my family that watched it, it didn't really entertain us that much. And there's really no one to blame for that. I guess you kind of have to look at movies for what they are. Nothing really to get excited about with this movie. I thought the lead actor especially stood out.

The only issue I had with the movie was the ending, which I'm surprised no one else here mentioned.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Let's be honest here, it didn't really have an ending! frown.gif Maybe they're actually thinking they can get a part 2 out of this just so people can see how this all ends...?


EDIT : BTW the new spoiler tag is pretty cool. biggrin.gif

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post #9 of 17 Old 09-12-2012, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Here's the issue I have with films like this 1. I think Stormshadow4life felt the same way I did about this...
Overall this movie was really good for, for what it was that is. Great acting, excellent direction, editing, soundtrack, cinematography, etc. No flaws really with anything about the film really at all. Everyone involved did a great job I think. Now here's the problem though. As great as everything is, the movie to me and my family that watched it, it didn't really entertain us that much. And there's really no one to blame for that. I guess you kind of have to look at movies for what they are. Nothing really to get excited about with this movie. I thought the lead actor especially stood out.
The only issue I had with the movie was the ending, which I'm surprised no one else here mentioned. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Let's be honest here, it didn't really have an ending! frown.gif Maybe they're actually thinking they can get a part 2 out of this just so people can see how this all ends...?
EDIT : BTW the new spoiler tag is pretty cool. biggrin.gif

Greetings,

I liked the ending.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I don't think the intention was to set up part 2. The intention was to show that the ending to the story, meaning who the daughter would decide to live with, really didn't matter. They were good parents who love her so she would more than likely be fine in either case. The significant result was that the parents didn't make it as a couple which I found to be an honest outcome rather than a happily ever after scenario.

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post #10 of 17 Old 09-12-2012, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,
I liked the ending. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I don't think the intention was to set up part 2. The intention was to show that the ending to the story, meaning who the daughter would decide to live with, really didn't matter. They were good parents who love her so she would more than likely be fine in either case. The significant result was that the parents didn't make it as a couple which I found to be an honest outcome rather than a happily ever after scenario.
Regards,

Thoughts on the ending: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Sometimes I don't mind open endings (Inception), but sometimes it just seems like lazy film making. This one fell into the latter category for me. As we watched it, i turned to my wife and said "they're not going to show you who she picks"....it was just so obvious and didn't add anything to the movie.
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-12-2012, 08:24 AM
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Refusing to tie up a story in a comfortable ending is not lazy, it's an artistic choice. This entire story was told with much the same artistic approach, which was to avoid taking sides. This is excellent story telling IMHO. The viewer is allowed to draw his/her own conclusions about all the different players in the story, there's no right or wrong just people being people. It's the sort of story telling we never see coming from Hollywood. Entertainment is not the goal of this film, its about the thoughtful presentation of a real human drama.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
And FWIW, I thought that the daughter's choice was obvious since she'd already chosen who to live with.
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post #12 of 17 Old 09-12-2012, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Refusing to tie up a story in a comfortable ending is not lazy, it's an artistic choice. This entire story was told with much the same artistic approach, which was to avoid taking sides. This is excellent story telling IMHO. The viewer is allowed to draw his/her own conclusions about all the different players in the story, there's no right or wrong just people being people. It's the sort of story telling we never see coming from Hollywood. Entertainment is not the goal of this film, its about the thoughtful presentation of a real human drama.


Greetings,

I completely agree...


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post #13 of 17 Old 09-12-2012, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Refusing to tie up a story in a comfortable ending is not lazy, it's an artistic choice. This entire story was told with much the same artistic approach, which was to avoid taking sides. This is excellent story telling IMHO. The viewer is allowed to draw his/her own conclusions about all the different players in the story, there's no right or wrong just people being people. It's the sort of story telling we never see coming from Hollywood. Entertainment is not the goal of this film, its about the thoughtful presentation of a real human drama. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
And FWIW, I thought that the daughter's choice was obvious since she'd already chosen who to live with.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I think maybe you guys missed my point on having issues with the ending. It wasn't just about the girl deciding who to live with. As the movie went on, the story became more and more complex. More and more stuff came into play. The whole case involving the baby and the money involved, and what came out of all that. There was alot of potentially very impactful decisions to be made. They didn't let us know what came out of any of that. So they let it all build up, and didn't reveal any of what happened to all of this stuff that was going on. I would call it being lazy as well. Maybe that's what it really was. They couldn't figure out a good ending for all this stuff that was going on, a way to satisfactorily tie up all this stuff, so they just let it alone. There was just alot more to this ending than where the girl decided to live. I thought it was pretty weak. Did the guy wind up going to prison? Did the woman renounce her religion and take the money? I mean come on, there's some really important life changing stuff, and they leave us hanging on all of it.

BTW I was kidding about that whole comment in there being a part 2 to find out what happens to everyone. biggrin.gif

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post #14 of 17 Old 09-25-2012, 08:09 PM
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Wow! a well told story with no glitz that was awesome to watch. Another one for the library!! wink.gif.
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post #15 of 17 Old 09-26-2012, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow! a well told story with no glitz that was awesome to watch. Another one for the library!! wink.gif.

Greetings,

Absolutely Chewbacco... smile.gif


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post #16 of 17 Old 12-18-2012, 08:36 PM
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Thanks for the review, Ralph! cool.gif

I finally got around to watching this one and thoroughly enjoyed it. The situation that developed due to the couple's separation was quite interesting making this film very much worth while for viewing.

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post #17 of 17 Old 12-19-2012, 02:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozar View Post

Thanks for the review, Ralph! cool.gif
I finally got around to watching this one and thoroughly enjoyed it. The situation that developed due to the couple's separation was quite interesting making this film very much worth while for viewing.

Greetings,

Glad to hear you enjoyed A Separation oz. smile.gif

Merry Christmas!

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