The Past (Le Passe) (2013)

ASGHAR FARHADI

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBMemento Films Production, France 3 Cinéma, BIM Distribuzione, Canal+, Ciné+, France Télévisions, Eurimages, Région Ile-de-France, Centre National de la Cinématographie, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Memento Films Distribution, Cofinova 9, Indéfilms, Cinémage 7, Palatine Étoile 10, Alvy Distribution, CN3 Productions.  France/Italy, 2013.  Screenplay by Asghar Farhadi.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Cannes Film Festival 2013.  Golden Globe Awards 2013Toronto International Film Festival 2013.  

 arrives in Paris at the home of his ex-wife () to sign divorce papers and allow her to marry her current lover ().  As soon as he gets to her house he is drawn into family drama as she asks him to help resolve issues with her daughter (a superb ) who objects to her new relationship.  Mosaffa is at first delicate in his involvement with these characters from a past he did not mean to get thrust back into, but it is not long before the situation progresses to deeply felt interactions with revelations at each passing turn of the plot.  Asghar Farhadi has followed his masterful A Separation with a complete change of pace, a film without the rock-hard tension of his previous film but played out in subtle, easily paced scenes that are nevertheless absorbing in their method of unlocking secrets.  It’s a film in which real people are plunged into movie melodrama, a rich combination of heightened narrative that works thanks to intelligent dialogue, and a perfectly cohesive cast whose plight you are always sympathetic to.  It will run a bit too long for some, but it is worth seeing this gorgeous intimate epic through to the devastatingly beautiful conclusion.

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