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Natalie Portman Appreciation Post

by Jack on June 9, 2013
Film

I don’t mean to criticize anyone in any way that I wouldn’t criticize myself. I think people should have fun, and have a good time, and enjoy the luck that we have to be lazy and dwell in consumerism. But I think that it’s a balance. And our job as actors is empathy.

Happy 32nd Birthday, Natalie Portman!

Beautiful, talented and inconsistent describe Natalie Portman. Anyone who knows me will be aware that I may have a little obsession with her. All you need to do is watch the Dior adverts and understand why I’m so in love with her. Moving on, I respect Portman for how hard she works when preparing for a role, I’m sure everyone is aware of how hard she trained for Black Swan. 

However, despite giving some great performance, she is definitely inconsistent, I wouldn’t say she’s given many bad performances (although many may disagree with me), she definitely does struggle at times. The Star Wars prequels, No Strings Attached and Your Highness are good examples. She was just plain bad in The Other Boleyn Girl. I’d say she also struggles with having chemistry with some on-screen partners, I think most of you will agree that she had no chemistry with either Ashton Kutcher or Hayden Christensen. Having said that, I thought she worked well with Chris Hemsworth, Jean Reno, Gary Oldman and Hugo Weaving.

As a woman, Portman is very charitable and seems like she does a lot of good. However, she has said a lot of stupid things in the past, such as..

  • Star Wars’ hasn’t changed my life at all.
  • Being Queen Amidala is like the stupidest accomplishment.
  • I don’t want to ever be working for money because then you are no different to a prostitute.
  • I’m not black, but I know what it feels like!

Most of these were said a long time ago, so I’m assuming she’s learned from her mistakes. She is wrong by saying Star Wars didn’t change her life though, just my opinion.

I don’t love studying. I hate studying. I like learning. Learning is beautiful.

 

My favourite Natalie Portman performance is Black Swan. She displays her transformation from a sweet girl to the psychologically obsessed, attempting to embody both the White and Black Swan, driving her towards insanity. Portman shows a contrast from being so fragile at times that you fear for her life, to being corrupted at others that you hate her. Portman captures the multiple layers of her character perfectly. Her awkward moments and unfitting facial expressions are part of the character, and Portman makes it all work to a great advantage. Her whole transformation from a once promising talent to a powerhouse talent is just marvelous to watch.

As for her upcoming films, I’m certainly excited for all of them. Jane Got a Gun has definitely had its numerous problems, but I’m still excited (Star Wars reunion!) Portman also filmed two Terrence Malick films back to back last year, I’m more excited for the cast rather than the films themselves. I’m no Malick fan, but with a cast with names such as: Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Christian Bale, Michael Fassbender, Cate Blanchett and Holly Hunter, how can you not be excited? It was also recently announced that the actress will be playing Lady Macbeth alongside Michael Fassbender, I can’t say she would have been my first choice to play the iconic woman, but I’m trusting that she will prepare for it in advance. Oh, and Thor: The Dark World looks awesome.

Top Five Films

  1. Leon: The Professional
  2. Black Swan
  3. Closer
  4. V for Vendetta
  5. The Star Wars Prequels (don’t judge me!)

Top Five Performances

  1. Black Swan
  2. Closer
  3. Leon: The Professional
  4. Cold Mountain
  5. V for Vendetta

Worst Film: Ugghh, it’s a tie between The Other Boleyn Girl, Your Highness and No Strings Attached.

Worst Performance: Anne Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl. I can’t even begin to explain what is wrong with this performance. Sati, if you’re reading this, help me out here.

Top Five Film Quotes

  1. Closer: Lying’s the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off – but it’s better if you do.
  2. LeonI don’t give a shit about sleeping, Leon. I want love, or death. That’s it.
  3. Black SwanI felt it. Perfect. I was perfect.
  4. Closer: It’s a lie. It’s a bunch of sad strangers photographed beautifully, and… all the glittering assholes who appreciate art say it’s beautiful ’cause that’s what they wanna see. But the people in the photos are sad, and alone… But the pictures make the world seem beautiful, so… the exhibition is reassuring which makes it a lie, and everyone loves a big fat lie.
  5. Your Highness: That feeling is all too familiar. It’s been burning in my beaver since the day I lost my brothers.

Nominations/Wins

Best Actress in a Leading Role, Leon: The Professional * (I still need to see more of this year)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Cold Mountain

Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Closer *

Best Actress in a Leading Role, V for Vendetta

Best Actress in a Supporting Role, My Blueberry Nights (I still need to see more of this year)

Best Actress in a Leading Role, Black Swan *

Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Hesher

7 nominations – 3 wins

Top Tens for: Garden State and Beautiful Girls.

Can we all appreciate how awesome both of her raps are?

 
 

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16 Comments
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  • June 10, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Yep, Black Swan has the best performance I have seen from her (though I still need to see Closer). Nice post. What did you think of Garden State? People seem to either love it or hate it.

  • June 10, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Yup, to me Leon was her best performance. Overall, lots of charisma on screen and she’s easy on the eyes. ;)

  • June 10, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I really wasn’t a fan of Closer. In fact, I couldn’t stand it, but I can’t argue that she’s good in it. I think Portman is pretty under-appreciated to be honest, I think she’s a great actress. Nice piece :)

  • June 10, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    I agree about some of her poor choices for roles. I don’t think there’s a great deal she’s starred in that’s genuinely great, except for Leon and Black Swan. I still think we’ve yet to see the best from her. I think that’s what makes her interesting in a way.

  • June 11, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Awesome post! I love her performances in Black Swan (win), Closer (win), and Leon: The Professional (nomination). I also like the Star Wars prequels by the way. :)

    • June 11, 2013 at 2:08 am

      I’m a big Star Wars fan, she definitely struggled, but she was okay for the most part.
      Glad you liked her performances in Black Swan, Closer and Leon :)

  • June 11, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Oh where to begin with Other Boleyn Girl….she just got everything wrong. Her performance felt as if she never even read about Anne Boleyn. She was ridiculous, especially comparing to Johansson who managed to do a great job with poor script.

  • June 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Reading your post, she’s pretty daring than I thought she is (and pretty outspoken too)! I recently saw Your Highness (and survived it!) and thought she’s the best thing in it. I love her too in Black Swan. She’s very talented and quite a hard worker for an actress. And yes, she definitely have no chemistry with Kutcher.

  • June 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Awesome post. I loved the rap she did for snl. It showed her range as an actress and proved that she could be just as funny and raw as other comedians. That quote you mentioned from Black Swan still gives me chills when I think about it. Nice job

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