Entertainment

Natalie Portman Movies for your Watchlist

Digging into the oeuvre of Natalie Portman, the actor, director and activist 

 

The Israeli-born actress has given us some hypnotic performances creating quite a magnum opus for cinephiles to experience.

 

Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller navigates the paranoia of ballet dancer Nina Sayers—naïve, fragile, vulnerable and susceptible to full-blown nervous breakdown with detailed hallucinations. Her mental health goes downhill in tandem with her rehearsals of Swan Lake. The film has some beautiful symbolism and with its high subjectivism might remind you of Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby. 

 

Winona Ryder, the pathologically disturbing mother-daughter bond and Portman’s outstanding ballet performance dipped in naiveté and passion—providing a cathartic ending to the film, are some of the reasons why the Oscar-winning Black Swan deserves a watch.

  

The Other Boleyn Girl

The film adaptation of Phillippa Gregory’s historical novel brings together Portman and Scarlett Johansson and portrays the claustrophobia of Henry VIII’s court, dramatising the political mudslinging and family pathos. Portman manages to shine in this somewhat deadpan script of Peter Morgan and brilliantly salvages the spicy history of England from fading into oblivion. 

 

V for Vendetta 

The James McTeigue thriller based on a dystopian and totalitarian regime in Britain has innumerable symbolic references in pop culture and political rhetorics, and remains a politically relevant film even decades after its release. The retro-futurist plot vaguely reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984 remains brilliant with clever twists and execution. 

 

Trivia? The stage of V for Vendetta is precisely where Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was filmed. 

 

Léon

This hitman thriller with subtle tints of paedophilia and problematic fantasies remains a story of excruciating pain and dramatic melancholia besides being a masterpiece of a thriller. Portman’s 13-year-old Mathilda sharing a dynamic and controversial space with Jean Reno’s Léon sure raged a storm amongst critics and masses, yet the film retains its romance irrespective of the apparent normalisation of paedo-sociality. 

 

Vox Lux

In this phoenix-like rise of a pop star from the ashes of violence after a violent burning, Portman’s portrayal of a dark and morbid world of fame is astounding. The disquieting and amoral first half allows a new dimension for viewers waiting to be shaken free of certain complacency in cinema, life and otherwise.

 

Hotel Chevalier 

In this Wes Anderson world of eccentric beauty, Portman shines in this 15-minute minimalist prologue to the epic travelogue Darjeeling Limited, set in the titular Parisian hotel the cinematic experience is deeply rooted in the visual aesthetics, symmetry and illustrations. 

Puja Sinha

Coffee addict. Daydreamer. Hitchcock Fan. A post-grad in English Literature, Puja is a forever enthusiast of traversing long distances by rail. Her verticals of choice are entertainment, art & society. She can be found lazing in the garden when not fidgeting over deadlines.
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