A Very Ordinary Citizen

103 minutes 2015

The title character of this dark Iranian comedy is a solitary and taciturn old man in Tehran whose days revolve around napping and buying bread. His son, exiled to Canada, wants his father to visit, so he hires a young female travel agent to help the old man make arrangements; the father takes a shine to her, though his means of showing affection make her increasingly uncomfortable. Souren Mnatsakanian gives a wonderful, poker-faced lead performance—it's never clear whether the old man is senile or just extremely aloof—and director Majid Barzegar (Parviz) fashions a deadpan visual style to match. The character humor is ingratiating, and the unexpected plot twists provide some genuine shocks. Jafar Panahi collaborated with Barzegar on the script. In Farsi with subtitles.

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