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Brainy, stylish Footnote 

Family drama mixes with dry comedy

click to enlarge If those are noise-cancelling headphones I am extremely jealous right now #loudoffice
  • If those are noise-cancelling headphones I am extremely jealous right now #loudoffice

This 2011 film from Israeli auteur Joseph Cedar was in contention for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars this year and won an award at Cannes for its screenplay. A story of father and son academics, Eliezer (Shlomo Bar Aba) and Uriel Shkolnik (Lior Ashkenazi), both authorities on Talmudic studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Eliezer wins a prestigious prize he's been long denied, but son Uriel learns it was a bureaucratic error: the prize was meant for him instead. What wows is the style of the thing—such as introducing character foibles in a slideshow presentation—as much as the intricate, cerebral script. There are comedic moments, sure, but they're dry like the desert, little observations of obsessive behavior and farce propped up with an insistent score. The backbone is a scorching drama about filial enmity, academic ego and communication breakdown.

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