In honor of the second anniversary of ‘Vox Lux’ on December 7th, here are the top five Natalie Portman films to watch now!
Written by: Tea Kingley – December 10th, 2020 3:29 pm pst
Natalie Portman has been in the business for a long time, with her first major role in Léon: The Professional at age 12. But did you know that the actress, now 39, has a dual American and Israeli citizenship, and went to Harvard University to study psychology while still continuing her acting career? Portman has starred in everything from blockbusters to indie films, and one such indie film is 2018’s Vox Lux, where she plays a pop star who has a history of trauma and is now struggling to make a comeback. Vox Lux got mixed, although fairly positive, reviews from critics, and Portman herself gives an amazing performance that makes it definitely worth the watch. Vox Lux was released two years ago this week, so in honor of this anniversary here are the top five other Natalie Portman films to watch now!
Naturally, I had to kick this list off with the ever controversial Star Wars prequels, in which Natalie Portman stars as Padmé Amidala, queen of Naboo. Some fans love them, most fans hate them, but I personally enjoyed the prequels for what they are — campy, bad movies. Regardless, they’re an essential for any current or future Star Wars fan, and Portman filmed them while studying at Harvard which is pretty cool if you ask me.
Credit: Buena Vista
As previously mentioned, Portman broke onto the scene back when she was only 12 with her starring role in 1994’s Léon: The Professional. The film follows Portman’s character, Mathilda, who is reluctantly taken in by Léon (Jean Reno), a professional hitman, after her family is murdered by a corrupt DEA agent (Gary Oldman). From acclaimed director Luc Besson, who you may know from films such as La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element, Léon: The Professional is a great watch for sure.
Credit: Warner Bros.
V for Vendetta (2005) is a dystopian political thriller, written by the Wachowskis (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas, Sense8) and directed by James McTeigue. Based on the 1988 DC limited series of the same name, the film is set in an alternate future in the UK where a neo-facist totalitarian regime has taken over. The titular character, V, is an anarchist freedom fighter who wears the film’s iconic mask, and Natalie Portman plays a young working class woman who gets caught up in his schemes. The film is an excellent one and I really loved it, so I’d definitely recommend giving it a watch.
Credit: Niko Tavernise via Fox Searchlight
Black Swan is one of my favorite movies from one of my favorite directors Darren Aronofsky, and Natalie Portman gives an absolutely powerhouse performance in the lead role (roles?). Portman plays a ballerina who will stop at nothing to achieve perfection in her lead role in the Swan Lake ballet. The film explores the psychological and physical effects of this kind of pressure, and both the black and the white swans show themselves in Portman’s inner life. A truly interesting psychological thriller, Black Swan is more than worth your while to watch — the film was nominated for five Academy Awards, and Portman even won Best Actress for her performance!
Credit: Paramount Pictures
1. Coming in at number one is one of Portman’s most recent films, Annihilation (2018). This sci-fi thriller from director Alex Garland (Ex Machina) is based on a novel of the same name and follows a group of people (including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and Portman herself) who go into a place called “The Shimmer,” an expanding shimmery bubble of alien origin that causes all land and wildlife inside of it to mutate. They all go in for different reasons, and Portman’s is that her husband (played by Oscar Isaac) went in previously with the military and came back in a coma. This film is horrifying and beautiful, and I saw it 4 times in theaters, so you’re just gonna have to trust me on how damn good it really is. For me, this is one of those movies that made me sit in silence and awe as the credits rolled, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards either (hence why I’ve seen it so many times). So naturally, this is the number one best Natalie Portman film to watch right now, and I really highly recommend it.
About The Author:
Tea Kingley is a senior at Emerson College who is majoring in Marketing and Film. She is passionate about all things entertainment and loves being both in front of the camera and a member of the crew. Tea also enjoys marketing, social media, and writing. She’s a TV, movie, and pop culture aficionado. Tea is always eager to discuss the latest releases and news.
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