Natalie Portman Movies 1

01 Feb 2016
Author:  cerebcerdas
Posted under: News

The Star Wars Prequels

Before she was old enough to drive, Natalie Portman carried roles that called for her to be a hitman’s apprentice, attempt suicide, and seduce Timothy Hutton; after all that, taking a part in the most eagerly anticipated prequel trilogy of the late 20th century must have seemed relatively easy. Which is not to say that taking on the role of Queen Padmé Amidala — a.k.a. Darth Vader’s wife— wasn’t a fraught endeavor, or that spending three films in front of a green screen doesn’t require an impressive level of acting commitment. But all things considered, Portman acquitted herself admirably throughout the second Star Wars trilogy, evolving from regal figure to action heroine to the doomed object of the central character’s corrupted, all-consuming love — even if more than a few critics were put off by the many ways George Lucas’ vision for the films failed to live up to decades of hype and impossible expectations. And all’s well that ends well: after taking in the trilogy-concluding Revenge of the Sith, Pete Vonder Haar of Film Threat mused, “It did what I thought was impossible after the previous two films — it made me a Star Wars fan again.”

Anywhere but Here (2000) 64%

AnywhereButHere

The Phantom Menace might have taken Portman into a galaxy far, far away in 1999, but she quickly returned to Earth with Wayne Wang’s Anywhere but Here, an adaptation of the Mona Simpson novel about the struggles faced by a single mother (Susan Sarandon) and her teenage daughter (Portman, natch). Even this early in her career, Portman had a clear idea of what she was willing to do for a role; she famously turned down Anywhere after discovering the script contained a sex scene for her character, forcing Wang and screenwriter Alvin Sargent to conduct a rewrite. (Fortunately for everyone, the rewritten sequence was repeatedly singled out as one of the film’s finest.) Portman had already acted with some of Hollywood’s finest at this point, but Anywhere placed her squarely toe to toe with Sarandon for pretty much the entirety of the film, and she emerged none the worse for wear. In the words of John R. McEwen of Film Quips Online, “Natalie Portman is my new hero.”

Garden State (2004) 86%

GardenState1

In the years since it turned into an indie phenomenon, it’s become fashionable to mock Garden State for the slew of scripts about morose middle-class dudes it triggered — not to mention the many sensitive singer/songwriters who found inspiration in its soundtrack — but Zach Braff’s writing/directing debut struck an undeniable chord when it was released in 2004, and even if you were annoyed by the trends State sparked, it isn’t hard to see what audiences were responding to. Nor is it difficult to determine why Braff’s character, a disaffected Hollywood actor who’s returned to his New Jersey stomping grounds for his mother’s funeral, would find himself shaken out of his ennui by the joie de vivre of Natalie Portman‘s character, a hoodie-wearing, Shins-loving compulsive liar named Sam. Sound too quirky by half? Perhaps it is. But it’s also, in the words of Tom Long of the Detroit News, “The kind of movie that reminds you why you love movies so much, a film so filled with unexpected energy and ambition and sly intelligence it gives you hope for the future.”

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