ABOUT ELLY since 2009, when the film won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Thanks to issues of "rights," this movie has remained in "American limbo" since then. Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, who went on to give us the Oscar-winning A Separation and then The Past, the film is at last being distributed by The Cinema Guild and hits the U.S. with its theatrical premiere this Wednesday, April 8, here at Film Forum in New York City, before arriving in another 16 cities across the country, beginning in May.
Jafar Panahi. Farhadi is one hell of a lot subtler than Panahi, as well as much more dramatically compelling in his stories.
The filmmaker shows us what look like middle-class (tending toward the upper) characters, who rarely if at all appear to be religious and who would -- except for their language and the headdress of the women -- be nearly indistinguishable from those of many European countries and, hell, even from us here in the USA. No wonder Farhadi's films are so popular with the cinematic elite of the western world.
L'Avventura -- watch what occurs between a husband and his wife, the latter of whom turns out to know much more than he (or we) realized about Elly, and who has kept these facts from the rest of the group. What we get is sudden anger, then verbal and physical abuse. To us this may be shocking, but you just know it will please those religious censors.
Film Forum. You can see all currently scheduled playdates, with cities and theaters listed, by clicking here and scrolling down a bit.