In this new feature, we will profile five of our favourite things in a given category. What we feature will vary according to our whim, but we’re always open to suggestions.
Our inaugural post centres on the filmography of Ms. Natalie Portman. Around this time last year, you couldn’t open a magazine, turn on a TV or read a blog without hearing about Portman’s astounding performance in Black Swan. It’s been nearly a year since her Oscar win and the new mother has practically disappeared from view. As we don’t like to put anyone in a corner, we decided to honour her award-winning year with our five favourite Natalie Portman movies:
1. Black Swan
Directed by Darren Aronofksy, Black Swan is a psychological thriller set in the world of New York City ballet. The film co-stars Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel, and was the site of Portman’s introduction to her baby-daddy, Benjamin Millepied. Portman underwent a year of rigorous ballet training to transform her body into that of a prima ballerina, though many people may best remember the film for her sapphic love scene with Kunis.
2. Leon: The Professional
A mere 13 years old at the time of shooting, Portman’s debut performance is arguably one of her most badass to date. Leon: The Professional tells the tale of Mathilda, a young girl whose entire family is massacred while she’s out shopping. She takes refuge in her strange neighbour, Leon’s apartment, where she learns he’s an assassin and begs to be taught his trade. The film tracks their quest for revenge and the birth of their unlikely friendship. Their relationship verges a little into Lolita territory, but it’s Gary Oldman as a two-faced cop that will really creep you out.
Closer is a dangerous love story about four strangers and how their lives become complicated when their relationships begin to intersect. Portman plays Alice, a tough-yet-vulnerable stripper, alongside heavy-hitters Jude Law, Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. This role has been touted as Portman’s first foray into more “adult” roles, due to the sexual nature of her performance.
4. V for Vendetta
We take back what we said earlier, THIS is Portman’s most badass role of all-time. V for Vendetta is a dystopian film set in a futuristic Britain, where a fascist government controls its powerless population. Early in the film, Portman’s Evey Hammond is saved by a masked anarchist named V (Hugo Weaving) and becomes his unlikely ally. Most people will remember this film for two things: “Remember, remember the fifth of November” and Portman’s shaved head.
5. Saturday Night Live
Okay, so this might not be a movie, but this SNL Digital Short is the funniest thing Portman has ever done (we are trying to forget No Strings Attached ever happened). Basically, this is all you need to know: Natalie Portman + rap = magic. Enjoy!