What's the Time in Your World?

This Iranian art film begins as a naturalistic character study but increasingly focuses on the characters’ dream lives; to complicate matters, writer-director Safi Yazdanian maintains the same languid tone throughout, so one is never sure when the story crosses over into fantasy. Leila Hatami (A Separation) stars as a successful painter who returns to her hometown, a medium-sized city on the Caspian Sea, after living in Paris for several years. From the moment she arrives, she’s hounded by an old schoolmate (Ali Mosaffa, Hatami’s real-life husband), who keeps offering to do nice things for her, and though she doesn’t remember him, her relatives treat him like a surrogate family member. Many movies are described as poetic, but this actually feels like a poem, the narrative serving as a framework for leitmotifs and observations of the intangible. In Farsi with subtitles.