A Tale of Love and Darkness

The story of young Amos Oz, growing up in Jerusalem in the years before Israeli statehood with his parents; his academic father, Arieh, and his dreamy, imaginative mother, Fania.


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  • ★★★½ review by Dawson Joyce on Letterboxd

    Although often melodramatic and muddled, A Tale of Love and Darkness makes for an assured, engaging, and admirable debut from Natalie Portman as both a director and a screenwriter that's also home to one of her best performances.

  • ★★★★ review by Lu on Letterboxd

    Every shot, every line, the whole story, the acting, the cinematography, literally everything about this film is incredible, i'm not saying this only because natalie portman is the love of my life but she actually nailed it as a director, writer and, as always, as an actress, it's probably a project very close to her heart and it blew me away!

  • ★★★½ review by drewbby on Letterboxd

    “It’s better to be sensitive, than to be honest”

    Melodramatic, Heart Wrenching, and Muted all at once. It’s very clear that this was Natalie’s directoral debut, but it shows tremendous potential. The story gets pretty clunky right before the final act of the film, but when it comes back around it’s a brute punch in the stomach that has the full potential to leave you full of emotion. Portman, as always, shines brightly in this film as the lead role. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. And not just because I was reading the subtitles.

  • ★★★½ review by ButtNugget on Letterboxd

    Natalie Portman’s labor of love is a delicate drama about the birth of the Israeli state as seen through the eyes of a child in late 1940s Jerusalem, of young Amos Oz who went on to become one of the country’s most influential writers as well as a proponent of the two-state solution. This is a very impressive and self-assured directorial outing by the actress, demonstrating a keen eye on detail and knowledge of history. She also shows a high degree of empathy when portraying Islamic-Jewish relations within the story. In addition to directing, Portman plays Amos Oz’s troubled mother, a frail but loving woman who went on a downward spiral of depression because of the events transpiring around her. I was irked, though, by some of the contrivances in her character arc, but thankfully Portman downplays much of the sentimentality. Anyway, this is quite a pleasant surprise and I’d really love to see more of director Natalie Portman in the future.

  • ★★★★ review by isa on Letterboxd

    natalie portman's talent makes me shok

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