Footnote Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: Hebrew DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
- Subtitles Color: White
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: PG
- Run Time: 106 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: July 24, 2012
- List Price: $35.99
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(All Blu-rayDefinition.com screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Director Joseph Cedar’s Footnote takes what could have been a painfully boring subject, Talmudic studies, and turns it into a witty and cutting examination of hypocrisy, family dynamics, and vanity. Footnote is the tale of two professors in the Talmud department of Hebrew University in Israel. The father, Elezier (Shlomo Bar-Aba) is a stubborn, long-suffering purist who has never been awarded for his work in the Talmudic studies who believes the establishment has gone astray and has been recognizing those who succumb to the popular whims of the public. Uriel, on the other hand, is a rising star in the field, and a complete opposite of his father, who feeds on praise and accolades. After twenty-years of toiling in near obscurity, however, the tables turn when Elezier is informed he is finally going to be awarded the coveted Israel Prize in recognition for his work. Reveling in this instant recognition and praise, Elezriel begins to lash out at the establishment and criticize his son in the press. He also allows his personally vanities to emerge. The father and son rivals have already been on thin ice, but in an ironic twist, Uriel is presented with the opportunity to take the award away from his father. Even though he is happy to see his father so overjoyed, it presents him with a difficult decision — should he allow his father the happiness he has so obviously sought, or should he tear it away?
Footnote is a wonderfully comedic look at not only family infighting, but the vanities we tend to bottle up inside. It’s like a delicate dance, a ballet of humor and drama that succeeds in turning the impossibly dull into something completely fascinating. From the Mahlerian score with its comedic tone to the absurd settings – at one point Uriel meets with the selection board in what seems like the world’s smallest meeting room – Footnote is simply fantastic.
Footnote has a good, film-like image of its Super 35mm source in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement from Sony. Shot on the usual assortment of Kodak film stocks (Kodak Vision3 250D 5207, Vision3 200T 5213and Vision3 500T 5219) the image is clean and nicely textured with a thin amount of natural grain and seems in keeping with these film stocks. The midrange color reproduction is rich and shadow delineation nicely nuanced even as black levels are rather deep. There’s a strong sense of contrast as well. Close-ups yield a strong amount of texture that extends nicely as you move farther into the backgrounds.
There’s good sense of balance in the Hebrew DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack that uses the surround channels rather well, considering this is a mostly dialogue-driven film. The film’s score by Amit Poznansky, which plays a prominent role in the film, is nicely woven into the mix and often brought to the fore. On the other hand, when the classically-inspired music rises, it often sounds just a little boxy, rather than having the lush sound one feels they were going for.
There isn’t much on offer here, but the brief behind the scenes and Q&A do offer a bit of insight into Joseph Cedar’s process.
- Behind the Scenes of Joseph Cedar’s Film: Footnote (1.33:1; SD; 00:24:01)
- An Evening with Joseph Cedar (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:09:35) – Q&A
- Theatrical Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24;Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Footnote Soundtrack – Still promo for the Footnote soundtrack.
The Definitive Word
Footnote is just the sort of well thought out comedy that is often difficult to achieve, but when it succeeds is so satisfying. It hits you on multiple levels – we all know about family dynamics, rivalries, and the drive to succeed and it captures it all. Recommended.
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