the premise is promising-a wry look at adults through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy in love with his beautiful aunt-and one suspects the French could have done wonders with it. But in the hands of filmmaker Savi Gabizon, Nina's Tragedies is a dud.
The story has young Nadav (Aviv Elkabets) confiding to a diary, whose occasionally salacious contents become the object of concern. Of more concern is the behavior of the adults around him, including his love-hungry, divorced mom Alona (Anat Waxsman), who sends him off to live with her gorgeous sister Nina (Ayelet July Zurer) after her husband Haimon (Yoram Hatav) loses his life in a terrorist attack.
Nina quickly sidelines grief to take up with Avinoam (Alon Aboutboul), a handsome photographer with robust looks but little personality. Nadav befriends Menahem (Dov Navon), a somewhat sleazy Peeping Tom. Somehow, Menahem's quirk meshes nicely with Nadav's new hormonal rush. Things grow more complicated, though assuredly not more interesting, when Nina has visions of late hubby Haimon running naked through the streets of Tel Aviv. Curiously, another character later shows up who is the spitting image of the unappealing Haimon. This latter incarnation takes up with sultry Russian immigrant Galina (Evganya Dodina), who initially materializes as the girlfriend of oddball Menahem.
Overall, Nina's Tragedies is a dark, morose, confusing hodgepodge of uninteresting and unbelievable characters. It's hard to miss with a likeable boy sharing his coming-of-age pain and observations of the foolish and inspiring adults around him who will be shaping his life. But this film's main tragedy is its lost opportunity (even with Nadav's voiceover attempting some kind of cohesion to all that transpires).