Film Clip: Footnote

Rated 4.0

A simmering conflict between a father (Shlomo Bar-Aba) and son (Lior Ashkenazi), rival professors of Talmudic Studies at a Jerusalem university, boils over (as much as anything in academia ever comes to a boil) when one is chosen to receive the prestigious Israel Prize. A twist in writer-director Joseph Cedar’s script leads to a situation where the father goes out of his way to humiliate his son at the exact moment his son is going out of his way to avoid humiliating him. In Cedar’s hands, what might have made a roiling domestic melodrama (think All My Sons) becomes instead a sort of comedy, albeit a bitter and mordant one that evokes winces instead of laughs. It makes for a very interesting movie, marred only by a muddled, inconclusive ending and an obnoxious, irrelevant musical score by Amit Poznansky.