A “hero” and a cartoon at Mill Valley (but not in Mill Valley)

Saturday night, I attended a Mill Valley Film Festival screening at the BAMPFA, of Asghar Farhadi’s new film, A Hero. Then, on Sunday, I streamed The Bears’ Famous Invasion.

I’ll start with the more serious film. It’s also the one I saw first.

A Hero

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi first caught my eye with A Separation in 2012. He followed that up with The Past in 2014. In 2017, I saw his then-latest work, The Salesman. I gave all three of these films an A, the highest grade I give to a new film.

But I’m not so sure if A Hero is as good as his previous three films. Perhaps I just don’t know enough about the Iranian legal system. Rahim (Amir Jadidi) sits in prison for an unpaid debt (sounds Dickensian) – except when he gets out on leave. When his fiancée finds a purse full of some very expensive baubles, returning it to the owner becomes very difficult. Whatever he does, it’s wrong.

I can only give A Hero a B+.

There was no Q&A after the movie.

Unfortunately, there are no more Mill Valley screenings of A Hero. But I suspect it will be available in the USA soon.

The Bears’ Famous Invasion

Did you know about the war between bears and people? (Or the difficult peace.) You’ll discover it in Lorenzo Mattotti’s sometimes sweet, sometimes frightening, hand-drawn feature from France and Italy. There are good individuals on both sides, but it’s usually the people that tend to lie and cheat. The animation is a bit cheap, but very imaginative.

This is definitely a family movie, as long as your children can either read or understand French.

I give The Bears’ Famous Invasion an A-.

Unfortunately, the one theatrical Mill Valley screening of The Bears’ Famous Invasion has already happened. But you can do what I did – watch it online.

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