The two Iranian choices of the website are Asghar Farhadi’s ‘Separation’ (2011) and Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten’ (2002).
‘A Separation’ begins with Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Ma’adi) in front of a judge asking for a divorce. She wants to leave Iran and take their daughter. He cannot go; his elderly father is sick. Everyone behaves badly in Farhadi’s desperately painful family drama. Farhadi’s superpower is empathy, making the audience see all points of view. He lays depth charges in seemingly inconsequential moments with emotionally thrilling consequences.
‘A Separation’ (2011) won Farhadi the Golden Bear, the Golden Globe, and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film, indiewire.com reported.
AP wrote about ‘Ten’, “Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami had already proved himself a master in the late 20th century; this simple but effective piece – featuring a woman driving different people around Tehran – proved he could do it in the 21st. Kiarostami and his star Mania Akbari conjure knotty drama out of a series of conversations about marriage, family and religion.”
Paul Thomas Anderson’s strange masterpiece ‘There Will Be Blood’ (2007) was the first one in the list which was freely adapted by him from Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel ‘Oil!’ and has a dark title that threatens a calamity now visible on the horizon: Destruction of the Earth itself. And it is all inscribed in the story of the movie’s leading character, a man with the Bunyanesque name of Daniel Plainview. Daniel Day-Lewis gives perhaps the greatest, certainly the most exotic performance of his career as an oil prospector in the early 20th century, rewarded with colossal wealth that never gives him the smallest pleasure.