In 2011, director/writer Joseph Cedar ("Ha-Hesder", "Campfire", "Beaufort") released his film "Footnote" starring Lior Ashkenazi and Shlomo Bar-Aba.
A film about a troubled family relationship between father and son who both teach at the Talmud department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A school which Joseph Cedar studied philosophy and history before graduating New York University's film school.
The film would win the "Best Screenplay Award" at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, win nine prizes at the 2011 Ophir Awards and would become the official entry from Israel for the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.
"Footnote" is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 Aspect Ratio). Picture quality for "Footnote" is excellent with amazing detail and clarity, especially of the closeups of the cast, the use of colors and the really good positioning of characters and lighting, "Footnote" looks great on Blu-ray!
During my viewing, I didn't notice any artifacts or banding. If anything, "Footnote" is another film from Sony Pictures Classics that looks awesome on Blu-ray!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
"Footnote" is presented in Hebrew, Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD MA. The film is primarily dialogue driven. There are moments of crowd ambiance through the surround channels, but for the most part, this film is dialogue and music and is center-channel and front channel driven and lossless audio is crystal clear!
Subtitles are in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
"Footnote" comes with the following special features:
Behind the Scenes of Joseph Cedar's Film: Footnote - (24:00) Featuring the making of "Footnote" with behind-the-scenes footage.
An Evening with Joseph Cedar - (9:35) A live Q&A with director/writer Joseph Cedar.
Theatrical Trailer - (1:58) Theatrical trailer for "Footnote".
"Footnote" is a very smart and clever film. And the film no doubt spotlights on the conundrum between father and son and problem of father receiving an award meant for the son, and the son having to break the news to him.
Director and writer Joseph Cedar manages to take these two individuals, who are literally complete opposites but yet are blood related and gives us somewhat of a comedic take, especially when revolving around Eliezer. A Narcissistic individual that seems very bitter that his son has achieved grand success for his type of research, that goes everything against what Eliezer believes in.
But where the film becomes quite exciting is to see Uriel, a man who has accomplished so much but a man who cares for his father, despite the father not exactly doing the same for him. Uriel defends his father against his rival but at the same time, the more he looks into his father's work, he realizes that his work is not that good and therefore, his peers have not supported him.
While Uriel has received many accolades for his work, his father has nothing but a footnote. And the film revolves around this problematic situation of how Uriel will respond to the error of his father being given the Israel Prize. A prize that Uriel and his father have both dreamed of having.
But it's a double-edge sword with an unfortunate twist which may leave those viewing this film, fulfilled or unfulfilled, depending on which character you sympathize for.
I enjoyed "Footnote" because of Joseph Cedar's clever and really smart writing. The film does showcase how things are behind-the-scenes among scholars, especially when it comes to voting for a prize of who is worthy, who isn't and blocking individuals from awards due to spite.
While the film does feature Talmudic teachings, one is not expected to be an erudite to comprehend Jewish culture, if anything, anyone can understand strained relations between father and son but also the importance of family.
While the acting by Lior Ashkenzi and Shlomo Bar-Aba are wonderful, it's the attention to detail of Joseph Cedar's screenplay that captivates your attention. Cedar is specific on details and to help balance the film is the cinematography of Yaron Scharf. Scharf was able to capture the conflict and together, both men achieve efficacy because it is a film that not only is a comedy, but spotlights on conflict and an intriguing twist, that spotlights on the conflict.
Without spoiling the ending of the film, the ending of the film will surely leave viewers feeling content or disappointed.
Joseph Cedar's "Footnote" is indeed bittersweet, thought provoking and for the most part, clever and compelling. Recommended!