About Elly is the first film I have seen by the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi—his A Separation is famous for winning the Academy Award for best foreign language film in 2012. My conclusion? The man is a genius, and he deserves to win awards and be showered with praise.

About Elly, which was completed in 2009, is simple, elegant, and yet incredibly complicated and tense. The action, the bombs, and the drama are all in the details. If you do not catch every word, change of tone, and glance, you’ll miss a huge psychological, political, cultural explosion.

The story is about a group of middle-class and educated Iranians who to take a trip to the seaside. The whole business looks like lots of fun, everyone appears to be happy, but slowly we notice that one in the group, Elly, a schoolteacher, is a bit silent. Then something happens to her, the police have to be called, and a mystery must be solved. Excellent stuff. recommended