Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Derek Malcolm says hello.

I was going to write “Del-Boy Malcolm says hello.” But Mr Malcolm, one of the deans of film criticism, deserves a tad more respect. Properly informed readers will remember that he worked as The Guardian’s film critic for some decades. …

Fri, May 13, 2011, 22:11

   

I was going to write “Del-Boy Malcolm says hello.” But Mr Malcolm, one of the deans of film criticism, deserves a tad more respect. Properly informed readers will remember that he worked as The Guardian’s film critic for some decades. He later moved towards the Evening Standard.

We met after a screening of Joseph Cedar’s Footnote, an Israeli comedy, in the Salle Debussy. (This space is the area in front of the press boxes, where we pick up our invitations to Serbian animations and so forth.) It’s a really interesting film. Telling the story of a Professor of Hebrew who ┬áreceives a prize intended for his son, also an academic, Footnote offers a masterclass in the art of making something thrilling (and hilarious) from a potentially mundane story. The scenario could have been plucked from Saul Bellow or Philip Roth. But the film has a mad, mildly post-modern energy all its own.

I thought that it was a triumph from beginning to end. My new friend Derek felt that the later innovations saved it from a slow start. Mind you, I can’t see it winning any of the big prizes. There are just too many big beasts in the main competition this year.

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