The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.
This month’s Genre has been chosen by Jordan of Epileptic Moondancer. He has chosen a genre that is well out of my own comfort zone but I am up for the challenge. We will be reviewing our favorite Foreign Language Films From 2013-Present.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of July by sending them to email@example.com Try to think out of the box! Great choice Jordan!
Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Foreign Language Films (2013-Present) …
Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Jul 2016)
Brief Synopsis – An elderly man looks back upon his youth to try and understand his relationship with his mother.
My Take on it – I have been interested in seeing this film ever since I heard about it last year.
Natalie Portman is a great actress and I have enjoyed most of her movies over the years.
She chose this story as her directorial debut because she wanted to try and reconnect with her Israeli roots and besides directing, she also stars as the main character’s mother.
The film is entirely in her native language Hebrew and despite being in Hollywood for over twenty years, she still seems quite comfortable in her mother tongue.
The story itself is an interesting one to film because it is told in flashback while being narrated by the main character who is now an old man.
The story tries to stay on a philosophical level the whole time and spends more time on abstracts than on proper storytelling itself.
Portman does an excellent job recreated the Israel of the 1940’s and we truly feel transported to another time and place that seems both familiar and foreign at the same time.
Unfortunately, even with its short 93 minute run time, there are too many scenes that drag on and therefore takes too long to finally get to its point.
It was nice to see (and hear) some great Israeli actors join in on this film like Ohad Knoller and Moni Moshonov.
Bottom Line – Interesting choice by Portman for her directorial debut. The story has its merits and its faults because it tries to get too philosophical and abstract. Really re-creates the Israel of the 1940’s and we feel as if we have truly been transported to another time and place. Despite its length of only 90 minutes, this film feels like it drags on too much and takes too long to get to its point.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Natalie Portman’s directorial debut. (From IMDB)
Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Not at all. I wanted to like this much more than I did, but it just doesn’t work as well as it could have.
Rating – BAFTA Worthy
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