Friday, December 24, 2010

Spotlight On: Natalie Portman

This week's Spotlight is on the beautiful and talented Natalie Portman. She has been one of my favorite actresses for the longest time and has done a fantastic job in her many roles that she has done. Here are some of my favorites of hers:

The Professional

In The Professional, Natalie played Matilda, a little girl whose whole family gets murdered. Set on getting revenge, she learns how to be a hitman from a "cleaner" named Leon. This was Natalie Portman's first movie and also one of her best performances. She was only 12 or 13 at the time, but she did a great job acting alongside more experienced actors like Jean Reno and Gary Oldman.

Star Wars: Episodes I-III
Starting in 1999, Natalie become a part of the greatest movie franchise of all time by starring as Queen (then Senator) Padme Amidala in Episodes I, II, and III of the Star Wars franchise. Granted they are nowhere near as good as the original Star Wars Trilogy, Natalie does a great job playing the future mother of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa. Plus, Padme has the greatest wardrobe, especially in Attack of the Clones.

Where the Heart Is

Next, is one of my biggest guilty pleasures, Where the Heart Is. Natalie plays Novalee Nation, a young pregnant girl who lives at the Wal Mart after her redneck boyfriend leaves her there. She ends up giving birth at the store, then lives with a complete stranger played by Stockard Channing, and falls in love with a local guy. The whole story of this movie is kind of rediculous, but my sister and I watched the VHS for this movie so many times that we completely ruined the sound for it.

Cold Mountain

Next is the movie that turned me into a total sap. Before Cold Mountain I never cried during movies, but for some reason I was bawling while watching this, and have been huge sad movie crybaby ever since. The scene that made me cry was the scene with Natalie Portman. She has a pretty small role in this movie as a lonely war widow named Sarah who lives by herself in the middle of the woods. There is a scene when some Yankee soldiers find her house and ask her for food. When she says that she has none, they tie her to a pole and lay her baby on the ground. What made me cry was her crying and screaming for her sick baby and begging them to cover him up. She was so frightened for her baby that I just started bawling my eyes out.

Garden State

I loved Natalie as Sam in Garden State because it shows that she can be funny. In most of Natalie's movies she just has to look beautiful and cry, but in this movie she did a great job of showing her comedic side. Her character Sam is a patholigical lying epileptic girl who loves The Shins, and falls for Zach Braff. It is definitely different than all of the other roles that she has played and is different that basically all female roles in comedies. Usually in comedies it is the guys who get to be eccentric and funny, while the female characters counter that by being uptight and serious. In this movie, though, Sam is goofy and strange and is probably the most interesting character in the whole movie.

Closer

Now onto the movie that won Natalie a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. She plays a stripper named Alice who is in love with Jude Law even though he is in love with Julia Roberts. Overall, Closer is just fantastic movie (one of my favorites) and has some of the best dialogue I have ever heard, much of which is said by Portman. "Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off. But it's better if you do." If I were to recommend one scene from this movie to show how amazing she is in this movie I would have to say the strip club scene with her and Clive Owen. The two of them have great chemistry together, and it is one of the best scenes in the whole movie.

V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta is one of my favorite movies. The movie pretty much belongs to Hugo Weaving's performance as V, but Natalie Portman is also great as Evey Hammond, a woman who somehow becomes involved with a mask-wearing "terrorist" known simply as the letter V. Natalie is a trooper for shaving her head for this role, and I have to admit that she does look great bald.

The Other Boleyn Girl
While in Garden State she got to show her comedic side, in The Other Boleyn Girl she got to show her villianous side. She plays the infamous Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII. She does a great job as the ambitious, scheming Boleyn, who screws over both her sister and the Queen of England in order to marry the King and become Queen herself. Natalie does a great job at making her seem viciously evil at some parts, and completely sympathetic at other parts. You hate her for being so cruel, and yet you still want her to succeed.

Black Swan

If Natalie doesn't win the Golden Globe, SAG Award, and Oscar for this movie I will be very surprised and disappointed. She was perfect as Nina Sayres, the ballerina who is slowly losing her mind in preparation for her role as the black swan. This was my favorite movie of the year, and Natalie Portman as Nina Sayres was my favorite performance.

Upcoming Movies: You will soon see Natalie in the movies No Strings Attached with Ashton Kutcher, Your Highness with James Franco, and the superhero movie Thor with Chris Hemsworth.

And just because I think that it's hilarious...

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