(out of 5)
Marjane Satrapi’s popular graphic novel is translated to the big screen with her gorgeous art work intact. It recounts growing up on the cusp of one of Iran’s most turbulent periods, enjoying the love of her patient parents during her feisty childhood before the Iraq war and Iranian revolution turn her country ultra-conservative and make pleasures as innocent as pop music illegal. Teenaged Marjane is sent to school abroad to avoid the possibility of her outspoken defiance of the Shah’s regime getting her imprisoned (or worse), then comes back years later a grown woman to face the Iran of her adulthood and pursue her goals within the framework that she has to deal with. Gorgeously rendered in exquisite black-and-white drawings that contain a level of detail that sinks you right into the story, the film’s power comes mainly from the fact that it is so personal; Satrapi’s recollections of her family, especially her loving, feisty grandmother (voiced to perfection by Danielle Darrieux) really hit home, full of nostalgia but devoid of sentimentality. Real-life daughter and mother Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve provide the voices of Satrapi and her own mother in what is one of the most astonishingly affecting films of the year.
2.4.7. Films, France 3 Cinéma, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, French Connection Animations, Diaphana Films, Celluloid Dreams, Sony Pictures Classics, Soficinéma, Sofica Europacorp, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Région Ile-de-France, La Fondation Gan pour le Cinéma, Procirep, Société des Producteurs de L’Angoa
Screenplay by Vincent Paronnaud, based on the comic by Marjane Satrapi
Music by Olivier Bernet
Production Design by Marisa Musy
Film Editing by Stephane Roche