Asghar Farhadi is back and in top form with “A Hero,” which premiered to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival over the summer. The filmmaker was awarded the Grand Prix by Spike Lee’s Cannes jury. The film is Farhadi’s follow-up to “Everybody Knows” and has been selected by Iran as the country’s official Oscar entry in the 2022 race for Best International Feature. Farhadi has won the category twice before thanks to “A Separation” and “The Salesman.” According to IndieWire’s awards expert Anne Thompson, “A Hero” is a near-lock to earn an Oscar nomination and is a leading frontrunner for the win.
The official synopsis for Farhadi’s latest reads: “‘A Hero’ follows the story of Rahim — a man in jail for a debt he can’t repay. When a plan to erase his debt goes awry, he unexpectedly gains unwelcome notoriety. And in his attempt to restore his reputation and family, he must reckon with a misunderstanding that has spiraled out of control.”
In his Critic’s Pick review out of the Cannes Film Festival, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich named “A Hero” Farhadi’s best movie since “A Separation,” adding, “Farhadi plays to his strengths with ‘A Hero,’ as he takes a classic premise and spins it around and around and around with enough centrifugal force to keep you rooted in place even as your sympathies fly in every conceivable direction. By the time this expertly constructed ethical clusterfuck finally slows to a stop, the simplest film that Farhadi has made since his international breakthrough 10 years ago has somehow become the most ambivalent, and also the best (although making such a pronouncement with certainty seems almost antithetical to the spirit of a movie that obliviates your judgement at every turn).”
“I don’t perceive being local and being universal as opposites,” Farhadi told Deadline at Cannes about the relatability of his Iran-set drama. “You can be extremely local and addressing only very specific local issues and being understandable and interesting for anyone from any other culture, as you can have very universal and general intentions and ambitions and not being understood by the closest person to you.”
“A Hero” will be released January 7 in theaters, followed by a streaming launch January 21 on Amazon Prime Video. Watch the official trailer for the movie below.