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.
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.
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.
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.