When they started casting the movie version of Suzanne Collins’ dystopian YA novels, I was in the middle of a weeklong Hunger Games marathon. As the cast took shape, I began to hear the voices of those actors in my head as I was reading. That’s when I knew the people of Panem were in good hands.
Tale of pride and family transcends Iran’s struggle between tradition and modernity.
By LOEY LOCKERBY
Special to The Star.
Rated PG-13 | Time: 2:03 In Farsi with subtitles
A Separation begins with two characters looking directly at the camera.
They’re in a courtroom, talking to an off-screen judge, but the audience becomes involved immediately as Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Moaadi), a middle-class Iranian couple, argue their case. This urgent intimacy permeates writer-director Asghar Farhadi’s drama, as memory, emotion and self-interest collide in the lives of otherwise ordinary people.
A Separation won the Academy Award for best foreign language film (and was nominated for original screenplay), and it illustrates how a filmmaker can work around government censorship to reveal a great deal about Iranian culture — and human nature — without being overtly political.
Young Adult should have gotten an Original Screenplay nod, along with an acting slot for Charlize Theron.
I’ve seen two of the Foreign Language nominees! In Darkness and A Separation are both excellent. Catch them if you get the chance.
There are only two nominees for Best Song. Finally, the Academy has figured out what the rest of us have known for years – there are never five good contenders for this category. Plus, the show won’t be dragged out by unnecessary, terrible production numbers. I hope.
I’m looking forward to seeing Billy Crystal again. Let’s just cut out all the gimmicks (Brett Ratner, really?) and focus on the awards for a change. Crystal knows what he’s doing, probably better than anyone.
The lack of primo Pixar product this year left some interesting slots open in Best Animated Film. Aside from the usual kids’ movies (Rango, Kung Fu Panda 2 & Puss in Boots) are two foreign films nobody’s ever heard of – A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita.