Saturday 4th August marked a glorious night of athletics for Team GB at the London 2012 games but while this was going on, across the globe Natalie Portman was busy breaking the hearts of the male population the world over. The fan boy favourite, Harvard graduate, Oscar winner and more recently, mother, was married to her ballet dancer boyfriend Benjamin Millepied in a ceremony in Big Sur, California.
Born in Jerusalem, Natalie Hershlag took on her grandmother’s maiden name, Portman, when she won the role of Mathilda in Luc Besson’s Leon: The Professional, 1994. Just 13 at the time she has since been able to succeed where many have failed and transcend her child prodigy status and establish a hugely successful film career that continues to go from strength to strength.
Still only 31, Portman’s filmography shows very few missteps. Until 2010’s Black Swan, for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Portman had never really been a critic’s darling yet she’s always commanded respect. Portman’s performances and demeanour consistently carry a dignity and intelligence occasionally found lacking in some of her Hollywood counterparts.
Her back catalogue is diverse and ambitions, never being one to settle into a particular type of role, an option that would have been easy for an actress of her talents, should she have so wished. Whilst not shying away from big budget blockbusters, from a relatively early turn as Padme Amidala in George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels to a more recent supporting turn in summer comic book movie Thor, Portman’s career flits from indie, to comedy, to period drama and back again. This is set to continue, reprising her role as Jane Foster in blockbuster sequel Thor: The Dark World expected in 2013, as well as being involved with indie hero Terrence Malick’s next two efforts including The Night of Cups alongside Christian Bale.
So in celebration of the newlywed, here are 5 Natalie Portman performances that rule, though because it’s hard to be completely thrilled that she’s decided to commit this rather selfish act of matrimony, there are also 5 that sucked.