Box art for Footnote

Footnote

drama, foreign


FOOTNOTE is the tale of a great rivalry between a father and son. Eliezer and Uriel Shkolnik are both eccentric professors, who have dedicated their lives to their work in Talmudic Studies.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    89%
  • Audience Score
    71%

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    89%
    reviews counted: 20
    see all Footnote reviews
  • Audience

    71%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Its energy and eccentricity assert themselves in funky graphics, imaginative camerawork and everyday moments of awkwardness and absurdity.

- Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fresh: Writer and director Cedar does a great job of ratcheting up the tension by filtering the story through a simmering family rivalry.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fresh: It speaks to anyone who's been on either end of a grudge or family antagonism. And it saves its best for those who have witnessed clusters of the best and brightest descend to the level of grade school kids on the playground.

- Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News, Thursday, March 29, 2012

Audience Reviews

2 stars

"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.

- dunmyer, Saturday, June 2, 2012

4 stars

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, Wednesday, May 23, 2012

4 stars

'Footnote'. Pride is at the forefront of this complicated, but hilarious father-son relationship. Acting, writing, direction. Tick tick tick.

- c0up, Sunday, April 22, 2012