Nasser Ali Khan (Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
) is the most celebrated violin player in 1950s Tehran, but his heart is broken. His true love is long lost, his marriage is passionless, and his most precious instrument has met its demise. Crippled by the pains of an unrequited love and a life without music, he resigns to bed and loses himself in a series of reveries: fantasies about his children's future lives, visits from the angel of death, and remembrances from his youth, which all come together through a fractured chronology to illuminate the cause of his despair.
In the follow-up to their Oscar-nominated debut Persepolis
, directors Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud team up to adapt another of Satrapi's award-winning graphic novels. This effort largely favors live action over animation, vividly realized with a wide stylistic palette of aesthetics ranging from fantasy-tinged period piece to bubbly pop caricature to glowing nostalgic daydream. The result is a stylish, melancholy fairy tale full of humor, whimsy, and—above all—romance.