Close-up (Nema-ye Nazdik) (1999)


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Movie Info

This Iranian film qualifies as a docudrama, and makes some telling comments on society as it tells its tale. In the story, Ali Sabzian, in a fit of whimsey, claims to a fellow passenger on the bus that he is the famous Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. So far, so good, but he then becomes involved with his fellow passenger and her family, claiming that he has cast the family's son in a major role and that the setting he intends to use is their home. At some point this tale comes unravelled, and the family takes him to court. A well-meaning judge persuades the family to drop the charges against this unemployed man. Ironically, while Ali is on trial, the maker of this current film (Abbas Kiarostami) decides to film the procedings, and also stages a reconstruction of the events leading up to the trial, using all the actual participants, but has the restaged trial end less happily. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Close-up (Nema-ye Nazdik)

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

In Kiarostami's furiously clear view, religious dogma suppresses the eye's observations through the dictate of the word; his calmly unwavering images, with their wry humor and generous sympathy, have the force of a steadfast resistance.

May 8, 2017 | Full Review…

The meanings of Close-Up shift, subtly and profoundly, with every viewing; the only certainty is that its rewards are boundless.

Mar 24, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Successfully blends fact with fiction to produce a work more compelling than any of today's infotainment programs.

Apr 11, 2002 | Rating: B

Kiarostami's film has artichoke-like layers which, once peeled, are forever resonant.

Mar 13, 2002

Kiarostami has made a film that looks into the heart of a man accused of a crime and, instead of evil, discovers only sweetness, longing and a sad confusion.

Sep 25, 2001

Does Close-Up reveal the truth? I'd prefer to say it reveals the beauty of distortion.

Sep 14, 2012 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Close-up (Nema-ye Nazdik)


Blending fiction and reality in ways that make it a unique experience, Kiarostami creates a fascinating piece of fiction-documentary hybrid that reveals always more and more about its characters and Iranian society (including social issues) than we could imagine to be possible.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


kiarostami's masterpiece, radical cinema. i went in not knowing much about it and i recommend that approach. 'i'm tired of being me'

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Had it not attempted to be so "artistic", and instead used cinematic liberties for better dramatization (again, with an entertaining instead of artistic approach) of this real life episode, I'd have enjoyed it far more than I did. Worth a shot in crisis.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

I think my cool reaction to Close-Up is an issue of cultural division. Where many Iranian viewers find considerable merit in this, I thought it was interesting, but staid and ugly and painfully dull. I prefer Certified Copy, which explores many of the same themes in much more vibrant ways, in every respect.

Drew Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

Close-up (Nema-ye Nazdik) Quotes

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