Middle-class Nader (Moaadi) and wife Simin (Hatami) decide to separate, because she wants to leave Iran to give young daughter Termeh (Farhadi) a better life, while he feels compelled to stay and care for his Alzheimer-afflicted father (Shahbazi). With their conflict unresolved, Simin moves in across town with her mother, while Nader hires Razieh (Bayat) to nurse his father while he's at work. A random incident then puts Nader and Razieh in conflict, which escalates once her hot-headed husband Hojjat (Hosseini) becomes involved.
The first Iranian film to win an Oscar or Golden Globe (Best Foreign Language Film for both), "Separation" is a spellbinding, richly layered drama about class, family, faith, and justice in modern-day Tehran. The script, direction, and acting are pitch-perfect and marvelously nuanced, with special praise going to Farhadi (the director's daughter) as Termeh, the emotional center of the movie. An ambiguous ending feels like the perfect close to a film that explores deep moral complexities. A triumph all around, and a must-see film.