Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Joseph Cedar
Screenwriters: Joseph Cedar
Starring: Shlomo Bar-Aba, Lior Ashkenazi, Aliza Rosen
Screened at the 2011 Telluride Film Festival.
Kept expecting to become annoyed by the style, which is bouncy and a little bit precious, with intertitles and cute little graphical illustrations and the like. But these visual flourishes turned out to be in keeping with the theme of this unexpectedly sharp, purposeful drama, which is essentially truth vs. truthiness, and the notion that in a world that’s human and imperfect, truthiness wins out. Also helps that the film, directed by Joseph Cedar (Time of Favor), has a wicked, wonderfully dry sense of humor — what might be the key scene in the film takes place in a crammed conference room, causing a laborious cascade of rising and chair-shuffling every time someone comes in and leaves. (Not sure why I found this so funny –maybe it’s a Jewish thing — but I basically lost it.) Some may find the ending a little too nifty, but I liked the grandiosity of its presentation, and found it monumentally sad in its implications. Certainly this is the most thrilling movie you are ever likely to see about dueling father-son Talmudic scholars.
— Eugene Novikov