“Cedar Finds A Universal Theme Of Father-son Rivalry In His Tragic-comic View Of Professorial Infighting.”
Footnote is itself a perfect little piece of Talmud, full of text, commentary, and colorful argument.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
A piercing satire, a poignant family drama and an investigation of the competing claims of honesty, loyalty, ambition and love.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
It's not easy to make Eliezer a sympathetic character, yet Bar-Aba's demonstration of fleeting vulnerability awakens inevitable, if equally brief, compassion.
Stephanie Merry - Washington Post
The film was a nominee for this year's foreign-language Oscar, and Cedar has a real grasp of how to create conflict and generate tension.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Something between a comedy of everyday absurdity and a family tragedy pushed into the realm of the hyper-real, Footnote uses its characters' differing relationships to authenticity as the basis for an enigmatic riff on representation.
Karina Longworth - Village Voice
A film this intimate must be finely tuned, and Cedar's screenplay is acutely observant about academia, familial dynamics and life in contemporary Jerusalem.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
"Footnote" does function as a character study, an exceptionally rich one.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
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
Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar's tale of two Talmudic scholars set in present-day Jerusalem, while not exactly side-splitting, is quietly riotous. And, yes, the guffaws are bittersweet.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
Footnote requires little knowledge of Judaism and its texts. Rather, it's about the complications of love, guilt, and rage.
David Denby - New Yorker
Unfortunately, when Cedar forges his fine-grained observations into a plot, the action turns broad, thin, and overwrought, and his images lose their tensile strength.
Richard Brody - New Yorker
In fact, it's one of the smartest and most merciless comedies to come along in a while.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
I've seen the film twice, gladly, and I can't wait to see what Cedar comes up with next.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Writer-director Joseph Cedar's understanding of the many levers of academic politics helps him inject a little steel into the movie; but it's eventually overcome by the mushy father-son drama.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Footnote is a film about the nature of truth, about sacrifice, hubris, hypocrisy. It's nothing short of brilliant.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
"Footnote" deals with ambition, isolation, the dangers of too much success and the inevitable gap between generations.
Tom Long - Detroit News
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
Cedar goes to great lengths -- indeed, too great -- to turn editing and music into the driving force behind the pic's liveliness.
Jay Weissberg - Variety
The film is more about questions than answers. But sometimes the questions are the point.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
Writer/director Joseph Cedar is wise to the comedy of frustration and alert to the tragedy of hubris.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
It's a wryly observed little picture that plays like an anecdote deliberately separated from some larger text that's hinted at yet never fully divulged.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
A father-son academic rivalry provides fodder for this caustic comedy set in the Talmud Department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
Both actors are tremendous: Bar Aba has the air of a near-boiling teakettle or an unexploded bomb, while Ashkenazi's Uriel looks on with a mixture of bafflement, exhaustion and reluctant affection.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
This is brainy, bravura filmmaking of the highest level, a motion picture that is as difficult to pigeonhole as it is a pleasure to enjoy.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
A dry academic tragi-comedy about academic blackballing, scholarship and taking stock of how you've spent, or misspent, your life.
Roger Moore - McClatchy-Tribune News Service
It remains painful to live in a world where Jack and Jill makes it into commercial cinemas and this superb Israeli film gets kicked into the underbrush.
Donald Clarke - Irish Times
Footnote is lighthearted in tone -- which is key to its success, even though it deals with serious family issues and also spotlights the stubbornness and hypocrisy of academic world.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
The Coen Brothers must be ticked that they didn't think of the idea first.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
...a drama about the internecine skirmishes - actual and metaphoric - fought between fathers and sons that might fairly be called Shakespearean.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
An intriguing and demanding film despite its flaws.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
The premise enables Cedar to spoof academic infighting and professorial egomania even as he dissects a love-hate blood connection that has been fraught with tension and mistrust ever since Abraham was willing to slay Isaac.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Cedar is mostly interested in the father-son dynamics, and he cast excellent actors.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
While neither father or son are likeable characters, Cedar still manages to make us care about what will happen to their tumultuous relationship. The end result is a gratifying treat.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Footnote has moments of humor and moments of pathos, but they often seem to be coming from different movies.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
"Footnote" has one of the most satisfying scenes I've seen in years.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A funny, sorrowful, sharp-witted look at ambition, ego, and fathers and sons.
Rich Heldenfels - Akron Beacon Journal
A dense and complex piece of filmmaking, made manageable through the warm and totally compelling performances of the two lead actors.
Simon Weaving - Screenwize
... a bitter and mordant comedy that evokes winces instead of laughs ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Light yet heavy comedy/drama no footnote in Israeli cinema
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
- Austin Chronicle
This is a film that skims the surface layer of politesse from human interactions and reveals us as the blustering bundles of ego that we all are.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
It's an interesting premise with an equally interesting structure and the use of music, injecting high drama alongside a curious cat and mouse curiosity, gives the film a unique slant
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Ultimately it's about how fathers and sons manage the added complexity in their relationship of professional rivalry - and the potential for deep wounds to be inflicted by one upon the other
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Cedar mines dark humor from the humiliations of identity checks and pecking orders.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
...the movie works best [when it's] sending up pompous bureaucrats, petty university politics and personal jealousies.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
A bright, smart and funny movie that evinces a real feel not only for the daily work of scholars but for the bloody minefields of academia.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
At times, the film seems to turn into a microfiche machine, with the story's sections divided by frames thumping past us as if propelled by a researcher, eyes scanning.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
A droll, deadpan satire of the professional contempt and personal rancor that breeds in any narrow field.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
- Miami Herald
"Footnote" gets sly, subtle comedy from the similarities between the two men, particularly since Uriel is unaware how much like his dad he is.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
A first half frivolous enough that it's not as ghastly sentimental as it seems like it could be, and with a second half brittle enough that it's not as frivolous as it was when it started out.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
While the premise delves into an alien landscape for most viewers not immersed in Talmudic study in Jerusalem, the universal feeling of familial irritation and begrudging respect shines right through.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
To many viewers the picture might seem as forbidding as a dense scholarly tome. But give it a chance, and you might find it as pleasurable as a good novella.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Writer/director Joseph Cedar (Beaufort) satirizes academic politics, personal integrity and generational resentment, but his stylistic choices undermine the points and punchlines.
Norman Wilner - NOW Toronto
Its energy and eccentricity assert themselves in funky graphics, imaginative camerawork and everyday moments of awkwardness and absurdity.
Amy Biancolli - San Francisco Chronicle
Footnote finally gets back on track as Eliezer puts his philological skills to use, but it's too little, too late.
Ann Lewinson - Boston Phoenix
Largely concerned with the prickliness and delicacy around legacy, and the attendant patrilineal complications...But it's as much about the egotism and dysfunction of academia, reflected in the complex personalities of Eliezer and Uriel.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
[A]cademic research has never been shown with such visual verve. . . [E]ach professor's personality and expertise [is put] in sharp relief both comic and poignant.
Nora Lee Mandel - Film-Forward.com
Footnote is at its best when it gets into the cutthroat dynamics of academic competition, which are both horrifying and amusing.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Eliezer's facial expressions consist of 'constipated' and 'slightly less constipated.'
Matt Pais - RedEye
Joseph Cedar's Footnote is easily one of the most exciting and creatively executed films about Jewish academics poring over the Torah ever made, excluding perhaps Joel and Ethan Coen's A Serious Man (which really does exist in a world of its own, anyway).
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
Leonard Maltin - ReelzChannel.com
Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar mines the richest vein in the world for his material: the quirks and foibles of human nature.
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
The modern Jewish parable Footnote imbues a classic moral dilemma with a fraught, fascinating twist.
Robert Levin - amNewYork
This material could, with just a few edits, be a serious and downbeat drama. But it's Cedar's knowing satire of academic politics (aided greatly by the sprightly and circus-like score by Amit Poznansky) that keeps the proceedings pungently bubbly.
Alonso Duralde - The Wrap
The movie is not a story but a text, and Cedar is its playfully intrusive interpreter.
Mark Jenkins - NPR
David Poland - Movie City News
Cedar's film would make a great double bill with the Coen Brothers' "A Serious Man."
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Cedar breaks up these father-son dynamics with visual flourishes, including nods to old-school slideshows, or footnotes about the characters thrown out onscreen.
Alison Willmore - AV Club
Cedar's off-handed, observational humor is so beautifully played by the casually brilliant cast.
Chris Barsanti - Filmcritic.com
The film pulls off an impressive balancing act: It's bitter though not cruel, satirical without veering toward obviousness, deeply moving but never maudlin.
Jon Frosch - The Atlantic
Cedar approaches his subject with so much wit and verve that he almost - almost - makes you forget you're watching a movie about a very small, cloistered subset of academic obsessives whose life's work is about as visually undynamic as you can imagine.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
A morality drama about Talmudic studies, ambition, a father-son struggle, and the quest for recognition.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
A father-son drama is given a healthy dose of Jewish humor in this Oscar-nominated Israeli film.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
Director Joseph Cedar somehow makes all of this enormously entertaining.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
Creates a tension that squeezes laughs out of the audience. It's the kind of family dynamic that Ingmar Bergman would appreciate - or Woody Allen.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Director Cedar finds universal truths about father-son rivalries in his satiric look at professorial infighting.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Joseph Cedar's Footnote is a wry, wise little film that revels in the cataclysmic import of a life's most ostensibly trivial details.
David Ehrlich - Boxoffice Magazine
Father son rivalry taken to the point of no return. On the other hand, is it to the point of no sense?
Ron Wilkinson - Monsters and Critics
Shows just what you can do with a carefully constructed plot and lovingly drawn characters - even if, in the end, neither of them is particularly lovable.
Nick Roddick - This is London
breezy comedy gives way to a depiction of calculated cruelty monstrous enough almost to qualify as horror, human enough to count as tragedy and nuanced enough to face viewers with a most unusual kind of dilemma, part intellectual and part moral.
Anton Bitel - Eye for Film
Joseph Cedar's Footnote is a sour, rather unpleasant affair that hinges on acts of Jews behaving badly.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
The most thrilling movie you are ever likely to see about dueling father-son Talmudic scholars.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Highlight of Israeli cinema and winner of major award at Cannes Fest, Footonote is an intelligent and complex film that's effective as a ferocious father-son Freudian drama and poignant staire of scholarship and recognition.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com