Footnote (2012)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


Movie Info

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. While 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 … More

Rating: PG (for thematic elements, brief nudity, language and smoking)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Joseph Cedar
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 24, 2012
Box Office: $2.0M
Runtime:
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site

Cast


as Eliezer Shkolnik

as Uriel Shkolnik

as Yehudit Shkolnik

as Dikla Shkolnik

as Josh Shkolnik

as Yehuda Grossman

as Noa - Newspaper Repo...

as Yair Fingerhaut

as Dikla Shkolnik

as Dvir Oded

as Eliezer Shkolnik
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Footnote

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (35)

At the last... Footnote is so intelligently and deftly made that we are glad it exists.

Full Review… | June 18, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

"Footnote" deals with ambition, isolation, the dangers of too much success and the inevitable gap between generations.

Full Review… | April 13, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

[A] mix of dry humor and bleak drama.

Full Review… | August 15, 2014
Under the Radar

a consistently inconsistent drama that could and should have been so much better.

Full Review… | August 10, 2014
Reel Film Reviews

Who knew scholarly politics would be so boring?

Full Review… | September 8, 2013
Trespass

Cedar remains in stylistic second gear for the rest of the film, and interest fizzles out long before the finish line.

Full Review… | April 21, 2013

Audience Reviews for Footnote

½

A man who has followed in his father's footsteps in the study of the Talmud give up a prestigious prize for his father's benefit.
There are moments in Footnote that resonate with any academic. The satire of the cramped rooms and the highfalutin conversations in academic babble is sharp, biting, and accurate. This also has the distinction of being one of the few films about academe that doesn't include a relationship between a teacher and a student, and for that it deserves applause. Not limited to satirizing the academy, the film is also about fathers and sons and the tough love fathers sometimes bone-headedly think their sons need. This plot is poignant and universal.
What bothers me about the film are the ending, where I though we needed more clarity, and the film's misogyny. The women are all either idiots or supporters, and when Eliezer's wife finds out the film's primary secret, her response is merely to support more. The female characters lack any agency in the home or the profession, and while it's true that some sections of academe are miniature boys' clubs, the film doesn't seem to level its satire bullseye at the phallocentrism of the academy.
Overall, there's a lot to like about this film, but where it fails, it fails big.

hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

½

"Footnote" should have been a short. Israeli writer/director Joseph Cedar took what was essentially a compelling short film and dragged it out to feature length. Forty minutes' worth of story never works well in a feature film.

"Footnote" is also directed and acted like a short. Everything about it screams short. Why it was nominated for a Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar I will never understand. Thank God it lost (to the vastly superior "A Separation"). The corruption in the Foreign-Language category is legendary. It appears that nominations are simply auctioned off to the highest bidders.

Cedar's film does have interesting content. As a short, it would have been great. A father and son, both Talmudic scholars in present-day Israel, have a rivalry of sorts. The father grows quite bitter as he watches his son win far more accolades than he ever did. The father believes the new generation's scholarship is less serious and not truly focused on the Talmud.

The father wins a highly prestigious award that he has pined after for decades, giving him a tremendous feeling of vindication. But the nominating committee calls the son in for a private meeting, where they say that the award was really intended for the son. They want the son himself to break the news to the father. I won't reveal what the son does.

One more complication develops, the details of which I won't get into. But still there's just not enough going on for a feature film. The directorial style is also quite flat and bare-bones. Only one sequence in the entire was fully written. Everything else is sketchy, like the script never got past the outline phase. The cinematography is completely pedestrian.

Because this short was stretched to feature length, there's quite a bit of repetition and slackness as well, as scenes are forced to go on longer than they need to. "Footnote" to me feels like a good film-school project. It demonstrates that Cedar has the talent to become a real filmmaker. I hope someday he does develop into one, learning how to write a fully developed screenplay and how to do cinematography.

Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

The story of two Professor Shkolniks: father Eliezer is a bitter Talmudic scholar whose life work can be reduced to one footnote in a major reference work, while son Uriel is a rising academic star who has outshone his father but remains loyal to the old man. It sounds dry, but there's surprisingly juicy drama (and comedy) about lifelong grudges, office politics, and the complex father/son dynamic inside the professorial premise.

366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Footnote Quotes

– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

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