Tuesday 31 October 2017 at 7.30pm

The Salesman

Iran/France 2016 (UK release 2017).  2hr 4min.  Dir: Asghar Farhadi. Cast: Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Babak Karimi.  Language: Persian with English subtitles.  Awards: 9 wins & 18 nominations including Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film 2017.  Cert. 12A.  [Original title: Forušhande]

The SalesmanWith his distinctive directorial style, Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) has created his second Oscar-winner (Best Foreign Language film of 2017), a quiet drama which morphs into a low-key, tense mystery. Two actors, a husband and wife, rehearse for an amateur stage production of Death of a Salesman in Tehran, which the husband also directs. When an event changes both of their lives, the show must go on, despite symbolic cracks forming.

A shifting of sympathies is engendered as the lead characters’ emotions brood under the surface while their behaviour polarises, calling into question the couple’s ability to understand and respond to each other’s reactions.

Filmed in neorealist style, with naturalistic acting and a fastidious script, rarely has onscreen domestic discord proved so absorbing.

“With exquisite patience and attention to detail, [writer and director Farhadi] builds a solid
and suspenseful plot out of ordinary incidents, and packs it with rich and resonant ideas”
A. O. Scott, New York Times

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