FFR Profile: Natalie Portman

This week I highlight some of my favorite films from one of the best actresses of my generation, NATALIE PORTMAN.

Name: Natalie Portman
Age: 28
Date of Birth: June 9th, 1981 (Jerusalem, Israel)

These days I find myself watching more and more classic films.  The sad truth is I live in a time where the actors of my generation are better known for not wearing underwear then they are for quality film roles.  Natalie Portman is one of those rare exceptions that has beauty and brains -not just anyone can be a Harvard graduate – and without ridiculous scandals to keep her name in the press, is in every way a star.  Portman’s been in plenty of movies I love, but today I’m going to highlight what I feel is her best work.

WHERE THE HEART IS (2000) is Portman’s first role where she shos the world her star potential.  She plays a pregnant woman who’s been abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma with 5$ in her pocket.  I’ve owned this film for almost ten years now and every time I watch it I still get that warm and gooey feeling all over.  Definitely pick it up if you need a pick me up.

GARDEN STATE (2004)  Portman stars as Sam, a compulsive liar who gives failed actor Andrew (Zach Braff) a new lease on life when he comes home for his mother’s funeral.  Peter Sarsgaard is also great as an old friend of Andrew who’s wasting his life as a cemetery worker.  In this film Portman shows that a love interest can be more then a beauty that boosts the male protagonist ego, they can have real depth and still be the right person for the male hero.  This is the quirky indie in all its glory and I love every minute of it.

CLOSER (2004) Portman plays stripper and American ex-pat Alice, a young woman living in London. In the most dramatic and complex role of her career, Portman rightly earned her first of what I’m sure will be more Oscar nominations. Most of my friends hate this film because of how serious and dramatic it is, but I love how Portman shows her range by not playing it cute but rather being hard, cold and full of dark secrets. Since it is such an intense, brutal film it’s not something you’re going to wanna watch constantly but it’s absolutely worth checking out at least once.

V FOR VENDETTA (2005) is the film where Portman kicked it up a notch and showed that not only was she able for complex dramatic roles but she could carry an action movie as well.  This movie is great at any time with anybody and an absolute must for your DVD collection.

BROTHERS (2009)  I’m looking forward to this remake (release date is December 4th, 2009) of the Danish movie of the same name about a woman who begins a relationship with her husband’s brother after he goes missing in Afghanistan.  She then has to deal with the consequences when her husband is found and returns home.

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