Close-up (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Close-up (1999)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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, Rovimore
Rating: R (for violence, language, drug content and brief nudity)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Abbas Kiarostami
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 19, 2002
Zeitgeist Films - Official Site


News & Interviews for Close-up

Critic Reviews for Close-up

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5)

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

Full Review… | March 24, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | April 11, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 13, 2002
Village Voice
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | September 25, 2001
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | September 14, 2012

Audience Reviews for Close-up


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

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

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

Super Reviewer

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