A Tale of Love and Darkness

A Tale of Love and Darkness

Natalie Portman (2015)

12 Certificate


Our Score
Natalie Portman directs herself in this sweet if simplistic adaptation of Amos Oz's emotionally powerful memoir, which recounts his upbringing and relationship with his mother (played by Portman) in Jerusalem in the years leading up to the creation of Israel. The film perfectly encapsulates the trauma of war, and the creative roots Oz's mother passes on to him through her stories, which become intermingled with real life. Sadly, the necessary complexity and nuance to make the film truly effective is not there, with the script struggling to filter a complicated political climate through the eyes of its young lead. The sombre nature of the setting also overpowers the story as a whole. Nevertheless, the passion in Portman's fragile but spirited performance shines through, and she bonds well with young co-star Amir Tessler. While the film's backdrop proves too big for the film, the conviction of all involved ensure this historical drama just about gets its message across.


Historical drama based on the memoir of acclaimed writer Amos Oz, exploring the founding of the state of Israel and a young writer's relationship with his mother. Written, directed by and starring Natalie Portman, with Shira Haas.

Cast & Crew

Fania Klausner Natalie Portman
Amos Klausner Amir Tessler
Old Amos Moni Moshonov
Arieh Klausner Gilad Kahana
Director Natalie Portman

Other Information

Language: Hebrew, English, Arabic, Polish +subtitlesColourGuidance: Violence, some swearing.
Drama Arts