Footnote – Awesome, Brilliant, Beautiful, Gorgeous, Magnificent Gem of a Movie

I’ve heard the whiners cavil that for SI everything in life is either black or white.

No shades of gray for your favorite blogger.

A movie is either superb or it’s horrible.

A restaurant is awesome or a Satanic hell-hole manned by Stalin’s aides.

A Bollywood star can act (Vidya Balan, Tabu) or she’s the worst actress in the Milky Way (Priyanka Chopra, Trisha).

My readers are either schmucks or brainiacs.

Maybe, the whiners have a point that there’s more to life than ‘Either’ or ‘Or’ and things are better judged on a spectrum-scale.

Or maybe the whiners don’t have a point and I’m right, as usual. 😉

Trailer Inserted and Deleted because it gives away the story. Do Not Watch Trailer.

Footnote – Brilliant

Take it from the rare Indian  (Indian-American) who can recognize class at first glance – Footnote is a gorgeous, awesome, divine masterpiece.

A work of art, no less.

What a shame that Footnote missed the Oscar at the 2012 Academy Award ceremony where it was in the running for Best Foreign Film.

If it were up to yours truly, I’d have given the film a double Oscar!

Alas, the world isn’t run by geniuses (well, humility has never been one of my virtues) but geniasses call all the shots.

I watched Footnote on DVD last night and, man, I’m still on a Himalayan high.

Most movies fall in one of three categories – Romance, Action and Screwball Comedy (the world isn’t too enamored of tragedy).

If at all the movies differ, it’s only in some level of detail.

But Footnote is so different that it’s hard to even pigeonhole the category.

Yes, there’s a bit of comedy but it’s more of the sarcastic, mordant kind than the asinine junk you see in the Adam Sandler drivel.

And the movie itself is so much more than a comedy.

Written and directed by Joseph Cedar, Footnote is about relationships, the basic building block of what makes us (at least, some of us) human.

In the context of this movie, the relationship is between a father and son within the framework of their work as Professors of Talmudic studies (I’ve never heard of a more esoteric field of study).

Different Peas, Same Pod

Father and son couldn’t be more different.

One is outgoing and gregarious, the other taciturn.

One’s successful in the academic community, the other much less so.

One’s devoted to the old, traditional, ‘scientific’ techniques and methods of research, the other explores new frontiers.

You might say, they’re different peas in the same family pod.

When one of them wins a prestigious honor that’s long been denied to the other, it’s obvious the other is not pleased.

Soon, the other one too wins the high Israel Prize, a rare honor bestowed on few.

Now you’re face to face with Cedar’s brilliant writing and screenplay when he introduces an extraordinary twist in the tale.

Both Shlomo Bar Aba (who plays the father, Eliezer Shkolnik) and Lior Ashkenazi (son, Uriel Shkolnik) are remarkable actors who deliver outstanding, jaw-dropping performances.

Lior Ashkenazi has a bigger canvas to work in given the way the story is written and so he makes a bigger impression.

To my great delight, Footnote is not a movie where you can easily predict what’s gonna come next!

The writing, like the acting of the lead pair, is that good.

Like the Korean films that I so love, the lighting and photography in Footnote is remarkable. Not the pièce de résistance (of course, I’d give higher marks to writing and acting) but they’re a key contributor to the film’s magic.

Besides the Oscar nomination, Footnote has been the recipient of several other accolades including Best Screenplay Award for Cedar at the Cannes Film Festival.

Must Watch strongly recommends that you drop everything you’re doing and watch Footnote.

Beg, borrow or steal, but watch the film (actually, I’d prefer you rent it).

The Hebrew movie comes with English subtitles.

You can rent Footnote from Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster and Apple iTunes in the U.S.

2 Responses to "Footnote – Awesome, Brilliant, Beautiful, Gorgeous, Magnificent Gem of a Movie"

  1. araj   August 26, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Are U an Indian-American? U never told us….. Responds:

    Yes….mentioned it in a comment response a few years back.

  2. boopalanj   August 27, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Few years back? But was that not old SI?!

    So you’re not a totally new one!? Just one of the old gang members.. Responds:

    Like those famous phrases, ‘we’re all Berliners now‘ or ‘we’re all New Yorkers now,’ we’re all Indian-Americans now. 😉

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