To me, something feels off when a film by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi doesn't find a way into the Academy Awards. We saw A Separation win the Best Foreign Language award back in 2012, but his last film, The Past, was overlooked when it probably shouldn't have been. Will the same thing happen with his latest film, the Cannes Award-winner The Salesman?
It's another story of domestic turmoil from Farhadi, centering on a couple who are forced out of their home and into a new one, where a violent incident and the actions of a prior tenant drive a wedge between them. The film stars Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini, the latter having won Best Actor at Cannes for his performance. Farhadi's screenplay also took home an award. Here's the synopsis:
After their old flat becomes damaged, Emad (Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), a young couple living in Tehran, are forced to move into a new apartment. However, once relocated, a sudden eruption of violence linked to the previous tenant of their new home dramatically changes the couple’s life, creating a simmering tension between husband and wife. A master at exposing domestic discord through his multi-layered screenplays, Farhadi’s slow-burning, visceral drama explores the psychology of vengeance and a relationship put under strain while continuing to explore the condition of women in Iran and the male psyche.
Buzz has been a bit quiet on this one, but I don't think it's because the movie isn't any good. In fact, it's another successful exploration of Iranian culture by Farhadi, I think some of the choices he made undercut his message. The Salesman hits theaters on January 27th and has been submitted as Iran's official entry for the Academy Awards.
See the #exclusive US trailer for Amazon Studios and Cohen Media's #TheSalesman. pic.twitter.com/dza2UwzpxU— IMDb (@IMDb) November 11, 2016