Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Eliezer and Uriel Shkolnik are both eccentric professors, who have dedicated their lives to their work in Talmudic Studies. The father, Eliezer, is a stubborn purist who fears the establishment and has never been recognized for his work. Meanwhile his son, Uriel, is an up-and-coming star in the field, who appears to feed on accolades, endlessly seeking recognition. Then one day, the tables turn. When Eliezer learns that he is to be awarded the Israel Prize, the most valuable honor for scholarship in the country, his vanity and desperate need for validation are exposed. His son, Uriel, is thrilled to see his father's achievements finally recognized but, in a darkly funny twist, is forced to choose between the advancement of his own career and his father's. Will he sabotage his father's glory? (Sony Pictures Classics)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Apr 9, 2012
    Nothing has exploded on the screen in recent years as violently as that mad quarrel in a tiny room - a room that is Israel itself. [16 April 2012, p.86]
  2. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mar 7, 2012
    Footnote is itself a perfect little piece of Talmud, full of text, commentary, and colorful argument.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Mar 10, 2012
    Footnote has two of the best performances I've seen in world cinema over the past year: One from Shlomo Bar Aba (apparently best known in Israel as a stand-up comic and stage actor), playing the aging, bitter philologist Eliezer Shkolnik, and the other from Lior Ashkenazi, one of the country's best known movie stars, as his son and rival, Uriel.
  4. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Mar 6, 2012
    Cedar's idiosyncratically brilliant script also has a moral question at its heart: Is lying to spare someone's feelings ever justified? Surely the Talmud has a thing or two to say about that.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Mar 23, 2012
    Most footnotes don't get a passing glance, but this one proves worthy of careful study.
  6. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Mar 7, 2012
    The love, jealousy, and stubborn pride of the relationship between Ashkenazi and Bar-Aba is the heart of the film, and that makes the deliberately uncertain note of the ending particularly frustrating.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Mar 4, 2012
    Joseph Cedar's Footnote is a sour, rather unpleasant affair that hinges on acts of Jews behaving badly.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Apr 22, 2012
    A brilliant film. Academic infighting provides the comedy, and father-son relationship provides the pathos. Not for anyone who does not know what "philology" is, but for audiences that lament the absence of intelligent films, this is a must. Expand
  2. Apr 21, 2012
    This is an intense (& sometimes funny) story about scholarship and competition between a father & son researching & writing in the same academic field The academic tensions & jargon are enough to warrant a trip to the theater, but the complex family relationships give the film just the right amount of emotional content. Scholarship is shown as active, intellectual work, & I've never seen the painful act of writing & striving for just the right word depicted as well. The rivalries & betrayals that academia engenders are violent in their passionate intensity. I'm looking forward to more films by Joseph Cedar. Expand
  3. Dec 12, 2012
    An impeccably written character study from Israel that is at times exhilarating, angry, passionate, funny, provocative, and is never less than absolutely absorbing. The writing, first of all, is due the most praise. It is so focused and attuned to the tone of the story that I instantly knew these two men. I was never left scratching my head at any point, lost in all of the talk of Talmud scholarship. The acting is amazingly restrained. The two actors who play father and son, competing in the same, very small field, are astounding. I feel as though they have lived these lives and completely understand the relationship they have and only through their eyes. I would only dismiss Expand
  4. Lyn
    Oct 7, 2014
    This tense but at times funny film takes father-son tension to a place we haven't really seen before -- the Talmud runs through it. Not a single character is wholly sympathetic, which makes the drama brave and engrossing. It is wrenching to see the son's fierce defense of his father -- in a tiny room crowded with academic egos -- and wonder not only whether he'll ever receive anything back, but whether he'll be able to do better with his own son. The action slows down and I did wish for a bit of resolution that never quite came. Expand