Critic Reviews



Based on 26 critic reviews provided by
Portman has made a film with something serious and interesting to say about Israel, a nuanced portrait of the place that demonstrates a commitment to, and connection with, her home country. This is an assured, heartfelt debut.
Writer and director Portman's film seems conflicted over whether it is about young Amos or his mother, whom she portrays as a beautiful, cultured woman with a head full of romantic fantasies.
The film feels like a personal project for Portman, but thankfully never a vanity one. It's a fine piece of work - and you sense there's better to come.
There are undoubtedly kinks to iron out - the film has a particular problem with pacing during a section that requires careful handling - but this is a handsome and assured feature and certainly suggests a bright future behind the camera for Portman, who also stars.
Screen International
An overly self-conscious somberness infuses the film, keeping this heartrending tale from being as poignant as it could be.
Portman's screenplay shortchanges the dramatic potential of the material in favor of a by-the-numbers period piece.
[Portman's] drearily empathetic film lacks whatever universality has made “Tale” such an international phenomenon.
Portman's emotional connection to the material couldn't be more obvious, yet the film itself is still largely inert.
A Tale of Love and Darkness seeks to blend serious political history and probing psychological analysis. The effort does not succeed, coming across disjointed and grim.
Portman wants to articulate something beyond the ordinary, and while she hasn't found it in this picture, perhaps there are lessons here to be learned before she mounts her next effort.

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