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Reza

Iran 2018. Dir: Alireza Motamedi. 94 min. DCP

A flirtatious architect muddles through the aftermath of his failed marriage — and writes a book about his tribal ancestors, ancient migrants to the historic city of Isfahan — in Iranian writer-director Alireza Motamedi’s quirky and affecting first feature. “A sign of the ongoing renewal in Iranian cinema is the whimsical originality of films like Reza, an utterly relaxed take on modern marriage and romance laced with the poignant ironies of a Woody Allen comedy. The droll, bearish hero, Reza (winningly played by Motamedi), is a model of lethargy and passivity, and the film’s running gag revolves around the women dropping in and out of his life without his lifting a finger ... The story is as captivating as a fable come to life against the backdrop of a fairy-tale city ... Every turn of this offbeat comedy undercuts audience expectations” (Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter).