Parents' Guide to

The Salesman

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Oscar-winning Iranian film has violence, some language.

Movie PG-13 2017 125 minutes
The Salesman Poster Image

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Two-time Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) returns with another mature familial drama; though it doesn't quite rank with his best, it may still satisfy savvy viewers. Winner of the 2017 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, The Salesman has several interesting motifs, including its use of Death of a Salesman and the images of the crumbling apartment building. But the movie doesn't really keep up with these motifs -- and, as it goes on, it becomes clear that Emad is a truly awful character, impatient, rash, and flat-out mean. It's difficult to stick with him.

In the end, the movie feels more like a soap opera than anything. Regardless, Farhadi conjures some striking, memorable visuals, and his understanding and treatment of marriage is still above reproach; his characters feel alive and real. Best of all, he's arguably the most universal director Iran has ever produced, appealing to a wider Western audience than anyone before him -- and he manages to make his characters' concerns relatable.

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