This is a summary. To read the whole story subscribe to BostonGlobe.com
“The Past,” the new film from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, isn’t on a level with his Oscar-winning “A Separation,” but it’s taut, quiet, democratic, and observant -- a fine meal made with rare and subtle ingredients. Set on the outskirts of Paris, it stars Bérénice Bejo (“The Artist”) as a working-class Frenchwoman whose bad luck with men is catching up with her and whose estranged husband (Ali Mosaffa) tries to make things right.
An impeccable work that moves forward steadily and without much dynamic modulation, it’s a movie not for people who want to escape the world but for those who want to understand it better. One walks away holding beautiful pieces of the puzzle in one’s hands, trying to see how they fit.