The Past review

Farhadi returns with another emotional drama

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Asghar Farhadi’s follow-up to the terrific A Separation sees him moving from Iran to France.

Directing through an interpreter, he’s managed to coax a devastating performance from Bérénice Bejo (who took Best Actress at last year’s Cannes) as a serial monogamist mother.

Radically u-turning from the breezy charm of The Artist , she saves the film, mostly because its plot – Iranian husband (Ali Mosaffa) returns to France to divorce Bejo’s Marie, secrets are revealed – comes dangerously close to perpetuating rational man/hysterical woman stereotypes.

And however much the arthouse trappings try to hide it, the silly late act twists belong on an episode of EastEnders.

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