Natalie’s writing and directorial feature debut has finally been seen and the early reviews are across the board. No real consensus beyond “it doesn’t suck”.
The most positive so far has been via The Guardian.
Homely, bespectacled Arieh (Gilad Kahana) and even glum little Amos (Amir Tessler) are inevitably overshadowed by Portman’s near-radioactive screen presence. But its on her achievement as a director that her role in this film will be judged, and it’s accurate to say she has done an impressive job, easily the equal of Angelina Jolie, who went similarly serious for her first feature, the Bosnian war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey.) 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.
The Telegraph gave the film 3 stars.
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.