The best movies of 2017 so far

Every summer, The A.V. Club offers an unranked list of the best movies to be released theatrically (and, going forward, on major streaming platforms) during the first half of the year. It’s meant to be a kind of catch-up guide, a way for readers to keep pace with the year in film and start checking off significant…

Iranian TV censors got creative with Charlize Theron’s Oscars dress

Despite not being there in person, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi won big at Sunday night’s Oscars, taking home Best Foreign Language Film for his movie The Salesman. Farhadi’s victory was broadcast on Iranian TV, but not without a few alterations; according to The Hollywood Reporter, at least one outlet decided that…

State Department congratulates Asghar Farhadi, then immediately takes it back

During Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won Best Foreign Language Film for The Salesman, but he didn’t attend the event in person because of Donald Trump’s immigration ban. In his place, Iranian-American space traveler Anousheh Ansari read a statement Farhadi had written beforehand…

Oscar-nominated foreign film directors pen joint letter denouncing “fanaticism”

The directors of the five movies nominated for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film at tomorrow’s Oscars—Maren Ade, Martin Zandvliet, Hannes Holm, Martin Butler, Bentley Dean, and Asghar Farhadi—have signed a joint statement expressing their opposition to nationalism and fanaticism, especially among “leading…

Should the Academy cancel the Oscars?

Caitlin PenzeyMoog: The Oscars are more than three weeks away but have been a topic of discussion recently thanks to Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban,” so called because it targets immigrants of predominantly Muslim countries. Under the new executive order, Iranian filmmaker and Oscar contender Asghar Farhadi wouldn’t be…

Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema to host The Salesman screening benefiting the ACLU

Though Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman was only playing in three theaters, it had the highest per screen average of any film this weekend. Sadly, that probably isn’t simply because it’s a fascinating piece by one of the medium’s masters—which it is—but because of how Farhadi was affected by Trump’s immigration ban aimed…

A Separation’s Asghar Farhadi on how theater influenced his new Oscar contender

The final monologue of Arthur Miller’s American classic Death Of A Salesman is devastating on its own, but in Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman, it’s couched in a separate domestic tragedy—this one taking place in modern-day Iran. The film’s main characters, married couple Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh…

The Salesman star won’t go to the Oscars because of Trump’s “racist” visa ban

Asghar Farhadi’s latest film, The Salesman, was nominated for an Oscar earlier this week as Iran’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film. Today, its star announced she will not be going to the ceremony: Taraneh Alidoosti said in a tweet she will boycott because of Donald Trump’s “racist” policies. It recently…

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Closing Cannes with Farhadi, Verhoeven, and best-of-the-fest picks

Having concluded with two cheery films about the aftermath of sexual assault—so radically different that “cheery” is only sarcastic as applied to one of them—the Festival De Cannes now takes a breather while we await tomorrow’s awards ceremony, to be presented by a jury headed by George Miller and including Arnaud…