There’s not much of a case that can be made for keeping A Separation out of the Best Picture race when so many inferior but more heavily-marketed movies made the cut. It’s distasteful, actually. This film did wind up on the Foreign Language list (coming from Iran, that alone is quite an achievement), and the screenplay was rightly nominated … but are there nine movies better than this from last year? No. Ostensibly a domestic drama about the difficulties of a couple on the outs, A Separation details in a beautiful way the cultural challenges of an Iran crawling inch by inch out of its pit of fundamentalism. The film’s complexity extends to society, religious mores, gender roles and, as it happens, filmmaking. A quiet masterpiece, and a film that deserves more attention.