Read the collected comics, and watched the movie after returning from Israel. The influence of Maus is profound. Like Art Spiegelman, Marjani Satrapi is deeply ashamed of an upbringing that, in comparison to her family members, is shallow and frequently pathetic. She's even more honest, and far less self-pitying than Spiegelman, in fact. I admire her family for staying in Iran, especially when it would have been easy for them to move to Los Angeles like the rest of the privileged Persian population.
As for the movie, the dual casting of Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve -- a real-life mother and daughter playing Satrapi and her mother -- was genius. Sean Penn, as Marji's father, was significantly less so. He sounded like Spicoli on quaaludes.