In any sort of fair and just world, Berenice Bejo‘s performance in Asghar Farhadi‘s The Past would be, at the very least, nominated for Best Actress. She is riveting, volatile, vulnerable, ferocious and anguished in this exceptionally complex and poignant film. I’ve rarely felt as riveted by the complexities and recriminations of a family’s domestic drama, and Bejo’s portrayal of a mother grappling with enormous guilt and divided loyalties is sad and penetrating and lasting. What are her chances then? Not so hot apparently. The apparent locks are Blue Jasmine‘s Cate Blanchett, Saving Mr. Banks‘ Emma Thompson, Philomena‘s Judi Dench and Gravity‘s Sandra Bullock…and not one of these performances can hold a candle to Bejo’s or, for that matter, Adele Exarchopoulos‘s knockout performance in Blue is the Warmest Color. The fix is in, life is unfair, etc.