After the Storm

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God this movie is good, in the best way a Japanese movie can be good. It’s quiet, but so well-crafted and smart. So damn smart. It’s directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, who has in the past made Like Father, Like Son and Nobody Knows (a big winner at Cannes the year it came out). Like most of Koreeda’s movies After the Storm is addresses family dynamics. Once a successful writer, Ryota is now a private detective who spends the little money he makes on gambling instead of paying child support. This further alienates his ex-wife and son, until one day, during a storm, they all find themselves trapped in Ryota’s mother’s house. Subtly touching on notions of inter-generational bond and tension – this is the kind of movie of which you’ll remember flashes long after you watch it.


The Salesman

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In The Salesman, Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, About Elly), tells the story of a happily married couple who live in Tehran: Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti). When they are forced to move to a new apartment, something about the previous tenant causes a sudden eruption of violence that turns their lives upside down, causing strain on their relationship. Farhadi does what he does best here: deliver on complex issues that characterize his society through ordinary events. Every scene is a privileged look into Iran’s collective consciousness. And even with all that aside, the film still stands as an extraordinary drama, with a tense plot and amazing performances across the board.