This year's field of originals and adaptations is incredibly dense
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"The Past" - Asghar Farhadi (Original Screenplay)
Pros: Two years ago, the writers were the only Academy branch to nominate Farhadi's "A Separation" outside the Best Foreign Language Film category, and he's only gained more of a following since then. Another tricky but fair-minded portrait of a relationship's dissolution, also submitted by Iran in the foreign race, this French-language follow-up again showcases Farhadi's gifts as a dramatist.
Cons: Except the consensus seems to be that it doesn't showcase them quite as well as its predecessor. Farhadi's reliance on melodrama here has some detractors making soap-opera comparisons, and the film overall isn't quite the unanimous critics' darling that "A Separation" was.
- Guy Lodge