When you walk out of a theatre shaking your head and asking yourself, “What was that all about?” a few questions follow such are you so dense you can’t follow the plot of a movie? Or was source material so unreliable? Was the screenwriter just not up to the job or was it the fault of the director? The actors and were interesting to look at and listen to even if you weren’t able to follow the story. Was it the fault of the director? The script? Or?????

Natalie Portman stars in “A Tale of Love and Darkness”. Natalie Portman directed “A Tale of Love and Darkness”, her first attempt as a director. Natalie Portman wrote the screenplay for “A Tale of Love and Darkness”, which is the third she has done. Did she take on too much? I am sure there wouldn’t have been funding for the film if she didn’t star in it and many actors want to direct but I think in this case she should have let the screenplay to someone else. Maybe the author, Amos Oz, of the book it is based on, an autobiography of when he was a child, wasn’t available, just didn’t want to do it or Portman felt so deeply about the story she felt she had to write it.

We don’t know if the story is being told from the mother’s point of view or maybe the son, an old man now looking back at his childhood or even the young boy himself. Is it a story about the mother and son’s relationship? Or the mother, father and son‘s relationship? Is it about the mother’s illness? Or the fantasy land she inhabits? Is it about the birth of Israel in 1947 and/or the relationships between Arabs and Jews? Is it about the cruelty inflected on the mother by her own mother or the disdain her mother-in-law shows her? A couple of her fantasies, stories that she tells her son, are cruel, while others involve a handsome hero who plays all sorts of roles in her life. Is it about all these things or none of them? With all the above there is not enough emotion to involve the audience with one exception involving the mother in a scene unaware that her son is watching.

Portman, the actress, as the mother Fania, Amir Tessler as the 8 year old son Amos, with the exception of a couple of scenes, Gilad Kahana, as the intellectual academic father Arieh, Moni Moshonov, as the old Amos, are all competently directed by Natalie Portman the director as is the ‘handsome hero’ played by Tomer Kapon. She does have a few missteps with Tessler but whether that is her fault as a director or his as a young actor is hard to tell.

“A Tale of Love and Darkness” is a film I can only recommend you see so that you can tell me what it was/is about.

Movie Trailer



Posted August 28, 2016 by greatmartin in MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

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