Movie Review: A SEPARATION and WANDERLUST - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Terry's Take

Movie Review: A SEPARATION and WANDERLUST

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In spite of the presence of Paul Rudd and Jennifer Anniston, WANDERLUST is an unfunny comedy--- an early candidate for worst movie of 2012.
While A SEPARATION, in spite of its Oscar win and almost universal acclaim, left me frustrated and worn out.
 
A SEPARATION is about an Iranian couple at an impasse.

She wants to leave the country so that her daughter will have a better life. He feels compelled to stay so that he can take care of his elderly father who has Alzheimer's.

But an Iranian judge won't grant them a divorce.
And their bickering sets the movie's tone in a story where nobody gets what they want and everybody has good reasons for doing what they do even though the outcomes are fairly disastrous.

The wife moves out; the daughter stays with her father who hires a poor, pregnant, very religious woman to take care of his father while he's at work. But this woman's problems and her bad decisions lead to conflicts that land both her family and his in a courtroom.
 
Handheld camera work and poorly composed shots on video (not film) only added to my frustration in watching these people struggle. I could sympathize with all of them but didn't really like anybody except the kids.

Still, you should know that 98 percent of the critics in this country have praised A SEPARATION. So maybe, I just didn't get it.
 
I'm a lot more confident of my reaction to WANDERLUST, a truly offensive comedy about a married couple that moves to a 1960's style commune when the husband loses his job.
Its a shame that such talented actors agreed to appear in such silly nonsense.