About Elly (2009)
February 25, 2016 7:31 AM - Subscribe

The mysterious disappearance of a kindergarten teacher during a picnic in the north of Iran is followed by a series of misadventures for her fellow travelers.

Movie by Asghar Farhadi, who also made A Separation (2011) and The Past (2013). Though this movie is older, it was in distribution limbo before coming out in the U.S. last year.
posted by Cash4Lead (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I saw this on Netflix more or less by accident (clicked on it when I actually meant to click on something else) and really liked it. Very well-done character study, and managed to communicate a lot without a lot of flashy technique or fanfare.

I was a bit uncertain about the end: was the dead woman at the morgue actually Elly? I'm assuming it was because her fiance cried when they showed him the body, but I thought Farhadi left it a bit ambiguous because we didn't actually see the woman's face up close.
posted by holborne at 11:50 AM on February 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have to say that I enjoyed About Elly even more than A Separation and The Past. Although 'enjoy' might be the wrong word here - the movie is quite infuriating. The whole thing is basically about how the moral shields of the upper class are on the edge of braking down; about how the (supposedly) drowned woman demands to be taken just as a human tragedy, and not as a playground for others' social and class relations. In the end of course, the only character on whom Elly seemed to have any influence, Sepideh, also retreats back to her warm and comfortable cocoon, staying true to her estranged but wealthy morality. But, on the other hand, 'enjoy' is exactly the right word since About Elly is quietly suspenseful and every minute of it is intruiging.
posted by sapagan at 6:38 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

I liked this movie, it is fun to piece together the character interactions. Golshifteh Farahani as Sepideh has SO MUCH charisma, she really lit up the screen, as required being kind of the central figure of the group. She is the captain of that group of friends. I haven't seen A Separation but Payman Maadi as Peyman also captured the eye very well, I can see turning around and putting him in anothr movie. But really everyone was good, even the kids.

The guy who played Ahmed, the bachelor, looked a lot like a Duplass brother lol.

I don't know the culture well, but to me while the details of the story were obviously marked with class, it didn't feel like the substance of things had much to do with it. By which I mean, it seemed like their concerns about 'politeness' and worrying a lot about what people will think, and a woman's honor... it felt like it didn't have much to do with social privilege. Poor people fear social disapprobation, too. It's hard for me to sneer at Sepideh for daring to think that with her charisma she could, the tiniest bit, flout some sexist social norms.
posted by fleacircus at 10:37 PM on March 17, 2020

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