Critics Picks: 'Footnote,' 'Paul McCartney's Live Kisses,' dogshaming.com
Three things Seattle Times writers love this week: the droll yet trenchant "Footnote," a 2012 Oscar finalist for best foreign-language film, now on DVD; the Great Performances documentary 'Paul McCartney's Live Kisses,' on PBS; and the laugh-till-you-howl blog dogshaming.com.
Teapot tempests can be trivial affairs — except when you're smack inside the teapot, getting buffeted around. That's what happens when two Talmudic scholars, father and son, become entangled in an academic-prize mix-up in this droll yet trenchant movie, a 2012 Oscar finalist for best foreign-language film. When the elder professor is accidentally informed he's won an honor intended for his son, the son scrambles to keep his father, whose ego is both fierce and fragile, from finding out about the mistake. Israeli director Joseph Cedar ("Beaufort") observes the painful aftermath with a wicked wit, while a simultaneously merry and edgy musical score adds to the acerbic fun.
Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times arts writer
'Paul McCartney's Live Kisses'
When Sir Paul McCartney wants to get some pals together to make music, it's time to gather 'round the TV. In this Great Performances documentary, debuting at 9 p.m. Sept. 7 on PBS, you can watch the Beatle extraordinaire performing new original tunes and timeless standards ("Bye Bye Blackbird," "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter") from his latest record, "Kisses on the Bottom," with an all-star combo that includes jazz stars Diana Krall and John Pizzarelli. Added plus: interviews with Sir Paul collaborators Stevie Wonder and Eric Clapton.
Misha Berson, Seattle Times arts writer
I don't even have a dog, and I regularly laugh myself silly at this blog. Simple formula: Dog does something bad, owner uses tape or string to attach handwritten "scarlet letter"-like indictment to said dog, takes photo of criminal and evidence, and posts. Some recent examples: "I wasn't invited to Shakespeare in the Park so I ate all the Shakespeare on the shelf." "I purposefully loiter by the apartment doors of dogs I don't like until they bark at me so I can bark back without getting in trouble." It's hard to tell which is funnier: the photos in which dogs look truly shamed, or the ones in which the offenders look to be laughing.
Melissa Davis, Weekend Plus editor