There is no doubt Amos adores his mother. She’s doting and loves to tell stories, and there is no uncertainty about the bond between the pair. But this is less a relatable mother/son story than an idealized one. The dialogue is particularly overstuffed, with characters persistently speaking in stagey, unnatural parables and aphorisms, padded with pieces of wisdom for almost every situation. Perhaps the point is to indicate the imaginative and intellectual foundation in which Amos took root, which was also aided by his father, a librarian and aspiring writer Arieh (Gilad Kehana). But the result creates another layer of separation between the characters, audience and feelings Portman wishes to transmit, and it’s a crucial failing that really comes to the fore in the film’s latter half.