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Nina's Tragedies (2005)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 12

Modern Israeli life is put under the microscope in this well-acted, if contrived, tale by director Savi Gabizon.


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 4

Modern Israeli life is put under the microscope in this well-acted, if contrived, tale by director Savi Gabizon.



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 579

My Rating

Movie Info

Israeli filmmaker Savi Gabizon directs the tragi-comic drama Ha-Asonot Shel Nina, also released as Nina's Tragedies (A Very Sad Comedy). Teenaged boy Nadav (Aviv Elkabeth) is secretly in love with his beautiful Aunt Nina (Ayelet Zurer). When her husband dies and his parents get divorced, Nadav is more than willing to go live with her. However, many strange things start to happen just after he arrives. Nadav's estranged father (Yoram Hattab) suddenly wants to reconnect with him after many years.


Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Savi Gabizon

Sep 13, 2005


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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (12) | DVD (1)

The dry humor is disarming. The ensemble cast is engaging and interesting to watch. And the main plot, as it were (will Nadav and Nina find respective happiness?), is suspenseful.

July 29, 2005 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A gently quirky, touching comedy from Israel about a young boy's infatuation with his aunt.

June 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nina's Tragedies is full of gentle, labyrinthian turns, sly and sweet.

June 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Engagingly odd and full of sad, funny moments.

May 26, 2005
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's well acted, and well written, but it rarely delivers the emotional resonance you keep expecting.

May 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
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The chief problem with this exasperating and shamelessly contrived award-winning Israeli movie: It doesn't know when to stop telling and start showing.

April 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A dark, morose, confusing hodgepodge of uninteresting and unbelievable characters.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Ayelet Zorer gives Nina grace, sexiness and a real personality. She's someone you'd want to see a movie about, though maybe you'd wish the movie were a little more polished than this one.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source:

Israeli society is one that has ample experience processing grief, and Nina's Tragedies explores that challenge with humanity and humor.

August 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Passing eccentricities of character, but serious trouble staging honest and coherent emotional scenes....a surplus of preciousness and a deficit of truth-ringing reality.

July 29, 2005
Groucho Reviews

The comedy is feather-light and the emotions are drawn on situation, rather than on genuine involvement with substantively developed characters.

July 24, 2005 Full Review Source:

A humorous warts-and-all portrayal of a family.

June 9, 2005
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Gavison's whimsical and melancholy tragicomedy keeps the Israeli-Arab conflict in the background.

May 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A richly evoked family drama.

May 27, 2005
Philadelphia Daily News

A sad little comedy with enough surprises to keep the viewer guessing, and fine performances by all.

May 21, 2005 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

A film about the whole panoply of life and love and death, blah blah blah.

May 13, 2005
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

You want to get caught up in Nadav's world and ride his emotional roller coaster, but the movie keeps you at a distance (like watching through a window).

May 13, 2005 Full Review Source:

A thoughtful and satisfying film of the sort American filmmakers rarely achieve.

April 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

[An] intricately woven screenplay, captivating characters and observations of the complexities of modern Israeli life.

April 1, 2005 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

Audience Reviews for Nina's Tragedies

Nina's Tragedies is a well-done serio-comical look at a young boy growing up in the midst of chaos. The one constant in Nadav's (Aviv Elkabeth) life is his puppy-love for his aunt, Nina (Ayelet Zurer). His father moved out, his mother entertains a string of lovers, and he gets his fondest wish when the woman of his dreams needs someone to help her deal with the sudden death of her husband. The cast is terrific, and the comedy is low-key while dealing with some serious issues of love and trust and abandonment. The pace is slow, to the point of almost losing momentum altogether, but picks up again before complete paralysis takes over. This would have benefited from a slightly firmer hand in the editing room, but was still quite entertaining.
January 17, 2011
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic][color=teal]"Nina's Tragedies" is a movie from Israel that starts out with a funeral, It then goes back two days when Nadav's uncle is reading his journal which he had lost some days before. The movie is told from teenage Nadav's viewpoint, through his journal, as he observes what goes on in his family's life, especially his young aunt, Nina, who has just become a widow. Nadav is a Peeping Tom(I haven't seen it but did "Brighton Beach Memoirs" have a teenage character whose main goal in life was to see a naked woman while eating ice cream?). It's even more disturbing and creepy when you consider that his partner in crime is a middle-aged man. What's his story?[/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=#008080][/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=#008080]There is nothing in "Nina's Tragedies" that we have not seen before. (Especially when you compare it to last year's "Broken Wings", also from Israel.) The framing device takes over a movie that should be about the grieving process of the title character. The most memorable parts of the movie involve such tiny details as a wobbly wheel and tracheotomy patients. This is a movie that wants to come to a tidy conclusion for all of its characters. On the plus side, Ayelet Zurer, as the eponymous lead character, is very good. [/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=#008080][/color][/font]
March 31, 2005
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Nina's Tragedies (Ha-Asonot Shel Nina) (DE)
  • Nina's Tragedies (Ha-Asonot Shel Nina) (CA)
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