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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Le Passe (aka The Past) (2013)

An Iranian man (Ali Mosaffa) returns to France to finalize the divorce from his French wife (Berenice Bejo). But it's going to take more than divorce papers to cut their ties to the past. For the past must be dealt with before, not only these two, but all the characters can move forward. Asghar Farhadi's (the Oscar winning A SEPARATION) new film examines the damage non-closure and misunderstanding has on us and how, to some extent, we are never free of the past. It's a meticulous film and Farhadi finely details each character, letting us see all sides. Bejo won this year's Cannes film festival best actress for her work here and her performance comes as a bit of a revelation if one has seen only her work as a comedienne in films like THE ARTIST and OSS 117: CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES. But the performances of Mosaffa and Tahar Rahim are equally strong. The film's final image keeps you holding your breath waiting but Farhadi keeps us guessing as it fades to black. Life's answers aren't that easy, so why should movies' be? A lovely, powerful piece of cinema. With Pauline Burlet, Jeanne Jestin, Sabrina Ouazani and young Elyes Aguis, whose performance is remarkable for one so young. I don't think I've been this impressed with a child actor since Anna Paquin in THE PIANO.

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