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The Willow Tree

The Willow Tree (2007)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

79

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 17,767

My Rating

Movie Info

After years of refusing to let his handicap get in the way of his success, a blind professor whose vision is restored experiences a dramatic shift in personality in this drama from director Majid Majidi. A renown professor of poetry at a Tehran university, Youssef (Parvis Parastui) has been blessed with a loving wife, a beautiful daughter, and a picturesque suburban home. Despite being blinded in a childhood accident, Youssef has successfully overcome his disability to live a happy and rewarding

May 20, 2008

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August 2, 2007:
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All Critics (16) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (2) | DVD (2)

This is powerful stuff.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Majidi infuses his simple yet eloquent tale with stunning imagery designed to make us relate to Youssef's reawakening.

September 10, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A perfectly worked out story and a marvelous new step forward for Iranian director Majid Majidi. It is also, in some ways, yet another step forward for his country's cinema, a national art that grows more accomplished every year.

August 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
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Explicitly religious, intensely poetic meditations, filled with recurrent symbols and suffused with a spirit of divine apprehension. [It is] sad beyond measure.

August 3, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A beautiful, strange film, deeply moving and no surprise from [director] Majidi.

August 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
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A beautiful film, both simple and profound, which suggests that bargaining with God is a bad idea in all cultural traditions.

August 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perhaps Majidi intended wry commentary and observation of the dubious influences of Western culture on Iran, where outside scientific, technological and material advances impart a knowledge that is not necessarily likewise wisdom, enlightenment or virtue.

May 15, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze
NewsBlaze

Teeters on the edge of overwrought melodrama but is saved by the convincing performance of Parvis Parastui.

May 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Iranian director Majid Majidi... takes his place alongside Robert Bresson as a master of sacred cinema. His Iran is a place of natural beauty so intense that even the sightless can experience its splendor.

January 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Children of Heaven won me over with its slow gentle build and big sweet heart. I was expecting more of the same with Willow Tree. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

October 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Hollywood Report Card
Hollywood Report Card

A spiritual masterpiece on gratitude, transformation and surrender to God by the gifted Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi. Rumi would love it!

August 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Anchored by Parastui's luminous, heartfelt performance, [director] Majidi also revels in the joy of sight, especially as manifested in the beauty and lovely colors of nature. The Willow Tree is a powerful and ultimately optimistic movie.

August 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

The filmmaker compels us to see in the dark, to recognize beauty in the absence of color and light.

August 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The film is dignified by Parvis Parastui's memorable performance, which partially offsets Majidi's symbolic heavywork.

July 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Willow Tree

It needs a patiece to enjoy and watch this sort of movie.
December 13, 2009
ScoopOnline
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "The Willow Tree," Yusef(Parviz Parastui) is a university professor in Tehran married to Roya(Roya Taymourian) and father of a young girl, Maryam(Melika Eslafi). He has also been blind since the age of eight. While at a hospital in France to have a tumor beneath one of his eyes removed, he learns his retinas are not totally gone and there is a chance that he may regain his sight...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Willow Tree" is an insightful and thoughtful parable about how we see the world with our eyes but also how the blind live in the world, especially by how they listen to sounds. Yusef's losing his sight when he was a child irrevocably changed not only his life and the direction it would take, but also how people see him. So, I cannot condemn him for his actions, as he seeks to discover the kind of person he could have been.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Early on in the film, Yusef takes a fall and is later seen unconscious in a hospital bed but his recovery is not shown nor is this event again mentioned. So, it is possible that the later events in the film are simply dreamed by him, imagining what it would be like to have his sight back.[/font]
August 12, 2007
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

The Willow tree can be described as a companion piece to Majidi's, Color of Paradise, where the father saw his blind son as a burden and not as a blessing. Here, the characters of the father and the son are embodied in a single person: Yusef. Who after 38 years of being blind regains his sight. What he sees, however, is quite different to what he "saw" as a blind man, and not necessarily more beautiful or rewarding. The world around him is totally different and he struggles even more. He is not able to cope with what he sees and his image of his wife and the family and his mother all confuse him.
Majidi takes the viewer to a higher, more spiritual world and in doing so creates another masterpiece. His movies are visually stunning and have such a profound effect on the viewer. As in all Majidi films, there are scenes which will stay with you long even when the movie is over.It does for me. A superb movie. Love it..
May 23, 2009
mvieaddict
Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

There's more than meets the eye in this gem from Iran. A fascinating story that is executed both beautifully and brilliantly. Parviz Parastui gives an emotionally charged, yet subtle and masterful performance, which polishes this film. Like "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", the viewer will have their perception of beauty and reality challenged, while taking away a sort of sad inspiration from this film. Perspective dictates happiness and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
September 6, 2008
sportsphenom1

Super Reviewer

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