OTB#72: A Separation

Hey! An Iranian movie that isn’t by Kiarostami? IS THAT EVEN LEGAL

This is the tensest movie ever!

So, this is a movie about a divorce, and those movies have certain patterns that they follow. This movie says “fuck that” and does something completely different. Every single scene has been a surprise (and a… er… “delight” is perhaps the wrong word, but it’s pretty thrilling, no, er… tense?, at least).

Hey! This isn’t on Criterion! I think this is just about the only new entry on the top 100 that isn’t a Criterion release. (Instead it’s Sony.)


This just keeps getting more and more ambiguous and complex… Eeek!

I almost went with a ⚅ here, because it’s a singular, original movie. It’s slightly overstuffed, perhaps? That is, there’s not a single boring moment — there’s many plot twists and many things you slowly come to realise as you’re watching the movie that changes things back and forth about how you view the characters and their actions. It’s fascinating. It’s got great cinematography, too — especially the kitchen scenes are gorgeous.

So it’s a very strong ⚄, I think.

Anyway! I just checked what other people think of this movie, and:

99% tomatometer? With 180 reviews? That’s just astounding, and makes me doubt myself liking the movie. Nothing that has that high a rating can possibly be good. So I had to check who didn’t like it, and:

Who is this singular rebel!!!

It’s apparently somebody with really bad taste? Mission Impossible: Fallout gets a 4 while Bastards (by Claire Denis) gets ½ (the lowest score possible, I think). So this isn’t so much an interesting iconoclast (as I’d hoped) but some crack without any taste.


A Separation. Asghar Farhadi. 2011.

This blog post is part of the Officially The Best 2022 series.

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