Natalie Portman made a powerful debut in 1994, playing the role of the little assassin in Leon: The Professional. Later, she appeared in the Sci-Fi movies Mars Attacks and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which introduced her to global stardom. She worked with some greatest directors in her career, including Wes Anderson, Milos Forman, Wong Kar-Wai, and Darren Aronofsky. She is one of the stars who won the Best Actress Oscar very young for her role in Black Swan. Portman has remained off the screen for a few years, coming back in Thor: Love and Thunder. We celebrate Portman’s return with an insight into the top 10 movies of her career.
- Black Swan (2010)
Black Swan helped Natalie win the Oscar for Best Actress. Darren Aronofsky directed this complex and exhilaratingly trashy ballet movie. The movie starts with creepy psychological manipulation, leading to full-on jump scares and body horror. Portman plays Nina in the movie. She unexpectedly gets promoted to principal dancer for the production of the ballet project Swan Lake. Her trademark fragile appearance helped her portray self-harm and psychosexual disturbance. Portman deserved the Oscar for her great performance in this mind-twisting movie.
- Annihilation (2018)
Annihilation is a slow-burn sci-fi movie with Alex Garland at the helm. Garland’s previous direction in Ex Machina had become a cult hit. In this movie, Natalie physically roughens up after her epic encounters with terrifying, nameless interstellar. The plot gives her the acting scope to add emotional fragility and tough intellectualism to the role. She is the biologist on an all-female mission investigating a mysterious zone, “the Shimmer .”We hope to see her more in such roles.
- Jackie (2016)
Portman drowned in her role in this movie, going all in for the Chanel suits, bouffant hairdo, and pillbox hats. She performed in the movie with Audrey Hepburnish enthusiasm under the direction of Pablo Larraín. Portman plays Jackie Kennedy, whose world is completely shattered after her husband’s assassination. Her performance as traumatized and grieving widow made her a nominee for another Oscar. Despite her amazing performance, the movie seems slightly overwhelmed due to the subject matter.
- A Tale of Love and Darkness (2015)
A Tale of Love and Darkness adapts the memoirs of an Israeli novelist Amos Oz. The plot spans the early years of Israel’s foundation. Portman has gone the extra mile to simultaneously work as director and actor for the movie. She plays the Hebrew-speaking lead character of Fania, Oz’s mother. She kind of explores her own Israeli roots in the flick. The movie beautifully attempts to reconcile the consequences of the Middle East conflict.
- Planetarium (2016)
The planetarium is an intriguing French film directed by Rebecca Zlotowski. Natalie plays a bespectacled nightclub performer in the movie. She and her sister (Lily-Rose Depp) are trained to be a medium to communicate with ghosts. The story took a hike when they met a film producer who put Natalie Portman to work as an actor. Planetarium is undermined, but Portman’s performance is a sight in the film.
- Hotel Chevalier (2007)
Although it is only 13 minutes in length, this hotel-room short film directed By Wes Anderson is a masterpiece of the genre and significantly better than The Darjeeling Limited, which was intended to be a prologue. Portman, who plays a fascinating, sexy woman within her capabilities, returns to the room to rekindle a past relationship with Jason Schwartzman. Portman brings genuine empathy to her role. The emotional depth of the role is only heightened by the stirring Euro-ballad from Peter Sarstedt’s 1960s, Where Do You Go (My Lovely).
- Thor/Thor: The Dark World (2011 and 2013)
Portman, who had avoided blockbusterdom after the Star Wars prequels films, joined the Marvel roster in the female-empowering role of an astronaut. She said that this was mostly due to Kenneth Branagh’s involvement. Thor was entertaining and easy to watch – thanks to Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston. They have a comic timing and neurotic intensity. Portman was eventually given the role of straight-(wo) and was then offered a larger part in the sequel. However, that meant that most of the fun had been removed surgically.
- Jane Got a Gun (2016)
It is impossible to predict how this could have ended if Lynne Ramsay had not left the revenge western due to her clash with the “producers,” one of which was Portman. Gavin O’Connor was Ramsay’s replacement. Although he made a very watchable film, it fell short of the inspiring vision everyone expected from Ramsay. Portman is a masterful actor playing the role of the tooled-up avenger in the title. He takes on Ewan McGregor, a vicious outlaw, with the assistance of Joel Edgerton. Although it’s good stuff, it’s hard to forget that there could have been more.
- Anywhere But Here (1999)
Portman won many awards for her role as a prickly/sulky teenager in the film about mother-daughter relationships. It proved that she could keep the camera away from the fanciful fantasy characters. Portman plays an unhappy teenager forced to move from Wisconsin and California with her mother, Susan Sarandon. She is forever embarrassed by the midlife-crisis shenanigans of the latter. Portman does a great job in this role. She is believable and empathic, which signifies greater things ahead.
- Vox Lux (2018)
Portman was the executive producer for the movie. Presumably, she was keen to act in this project to work with writer-director Brady Corbet. She played a slightly thankless role of a singer. Later her career is tainted due to her connection with a terrorist act. Portman acted out a bit like Gaga, a bit of Madonna. But, actually, she acts more like Raffey Cassidy, playing a dual role of her younger self and daughter.