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Movie Review: 'Footnote' -- 3 stars

Shlomo Bar-Aba in the Israeli movie “Footnote.”

Shlomo Bar-Aba in the Israeli movie “Footnote.” Credit: Shlomo Bar-Aba in the Israeli movie “Footnote.”

3 stars
Directed by Joseph Cedar
Starring Shlomo Bar-Aba, Lior Ashkenazi and Aliza Rosen
Rated PG

Joseph Cedar's "Footnote" imbues a classic moral dilemma with a fraught, fascinating twist.

The Israeli movie, a nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at last month's Oscars, traces the rivalry between two Hebrew University Talmudic scholars who clash over methodology and more - and happen to be father and son.

When dad Eliezer Shkolnik's (Shlomo Bar-Aba) research earns Israel's highest honor, son Uriel (Lior Ashkenazi) struggles to contain his disbelief. The cantankerous Eliezer is an outcast in the department, while Uriel is perhaps its biggest star.

It all seems strange, and a plot twist soon reveals why, leading to the irrevocable collision of both men's personal and professional lives.

There are no flashy confrontations or outsized dramatics here. Sympathetically shifting perspectives, this relatable modern fable transcends its specific setting to find the subtle truths in the story of two men struggling to make sense of their complex lives and conflicted pasts.

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