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Natalie Portman is going to Venice and to Space

by Murtada

Remember when Natalie Portman’s Jackie appeared seemingly out of nowhere in competition at the 2016 Venice Film Festival and put her on the top of the best actress Oscar list? Two years later Portman might have a similar scenario in store for us.

Vox Lux is her new film, directed by Brady Corbet and co-starring Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Stacy Martin. It will be playing Venice next month in competition and will probably appear at some other fall festivals as well. While it remains without distribution, it will sure be snapped up if it's warmly recieved. This time however Portman is not playing an Iconic American but rather a pop star. The film charts its lead character's rise to superstardom.

Rooney Mara was first cast when the film was announced 2 years ago, with Sia providing the music...

No word yet if Sia is still involved. Interestingly Portman will again be competing against Emma Stone, as The Favourite is also in the Venice competition, for the best actress Volpi Cup. Last time Stone won for La La Land (2016).

And that’s not all from Portman this week. She recently started production on Pale Blue Dot, the fictionalized but based on true events story of a NASA astronaut (Portman), who drove 900 miles from Houston to Orlando with a knife and a BB gun in order to confront her former lover and fellow astronaut (Jon Hamm), and his new girlfriend (Zazie Beats). The stacked cast also includes Ellen Burstyn and Dan Stevens. The film is Noah Hawley's first foray into features after his success on TV with Fargo and Legion. Reese Witherspoon is a producer. Here’s your first look at Portman in character.

 What do you think of these two looks for Natalie?

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Reader Comments (29)

I called a longshot Oscar nod for best costumes when I saw the first pics of Portman in Vox Lux. I like the idea of her playing a pop star. I hope it turns out.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCash

On Pale Blue Dot: I liked the Fargo series, because "mock-buster Coen Bros." is a good hook for a TV series. But I haven't seen Legion and (even if I see it) I'm still not sure he has enough personality of his own to justify the leap to cinema. I'd probably prefer him actually writing this for the Coens on this as opposed to making it on his own.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Does Natalie even have a film audience? She seems like the Nicole Kidman of her time. Cold and opaque.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSister Rona Barrett

Alison Brie

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Her choices have become more and more interesting (and challenging for her as an actress) during this phase of her career and I couldn't be more excited. The initial plot description for Pale Blue Dot gave no indication that it was based on THAT story and now I'm fascinated to see how this turns out as far as the tone of the film goes.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Is Pale Blue Dot loosely based on that woman who wore a dipper to confront her lover and his mistress?

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I can’t believe no mention of her next directing effort where she’ll be playing real life twin advice columnists. I mean it’s her world we are just living in it.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEoin Daly

Now she is somebody who used her Oscar win wisely,still giving great performances in challenging fare.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Wot?? Sigh. Why the tendency to call actresses "cold and opaque" if they don't give off a "yeah, you can f*** me" vibe?

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDan H

I really admire all her post Oscar choices.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterFerdi

I don’t mind Natalie, but she has never been a box office star since Black Swan. She has appeared in Thor movies, but is kind of limited to quirky dramas (not a bad thing). She can’t do romance, comedy or sing, so like all of us she is making the best of opportunities that come her way.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJulia Roberts

"Is Pale Blue Dot loosely based on that woman who wore a dipper to confront her lover and his mistress?"


Don't forget she is also in The Life and Death of John F. Donovan. She is one of the most interesting actresses working today and I am really looking forward to all of her upcoming films.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Portman always has the potential to be gobsmackingly good (Jackie and Black Swan should have made her a two time oscar winner) or terrific (Leon, Closer, Cold Mountain and Garden State).

But she can be awful (star wars, thor) and/or serviceable or “good enough” (most of her other roles) but no one is perfect and film is a collaborative effort.

So I’m always excited for a new Portman project because we know that she can wow us like few others can.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterhuh

I can’t stand her and she needs to go away. In Every performance she seems like she doesn’t want to be there.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTony

I don't think Portman was in the awful Cold Mountain w/Kidman and zellwegger

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMark

She was SO GOOD in Jackie because she seemed like she didn't want to be there. That was a terrific performance, that became even better when you see it years later, during a flight. She is incredibly focused while refusing to play the likeability of Jackie.

And that movie really deserved a best directing nomination.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

huh: Honestly, its the worst Marvel Studios romance subplot by A LOT for a pretty big reason and anyone given that material would have been terrible. Usually the reason that characters loosely analogous to Jane Foster get "changed" to, on paper, hyper intellectual (usually science) people, is to, theoretically, put them on a more even intellectual keel to the hero they're next to and make the romance more fitting on paper. Examples include both film versions of Sue Storm, both film versions of Betty Ross, the MCU version of Pepper Potts, though to a lesser extent, and the MCU version of Janet Van Dyne. I'd still argue that makes the choice look distressingly common to the point of being a crutch, but that's not the issue. The issue is that, most of the time, there's at least the fig-leaf excuse of an attempt at "improving/modernizing the character dynamic." A usually bad attempt, because I'd argue only the Pepper Potts attempt really worked, but an attempt. But with Jane Foster/Thor? It puts her at a MUCH higher level than him on paper, essentially gender flipping the old school dynamic most of these are supposedly reframed to avoid. Whoops. Gee, Marvel, that makes it seem like leaving her a nurse would have been a better choice in this case.

July 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Ha. Someone mixed up Natalie and Nicole. I wish her the best and hope she prospers. We need the next legacy to be established. She has Liz Taylor - Anne Bancfoft - Patricia Neal potential. Artists need support.

July 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

These two looks are so superb tho!

July 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSTFU

Natalie Portman is like Nicole Kidman - a lot of bad/forgettable movies and then one good/very good gets her nomination/Oscar. She, like Kidman, would never get a nomination/Oscar with Erin Brockovich or The Blind Side - not that the movies are bad or the actresses who did, shouldn't have won; it's that Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock are different kind of actresses. Like Kidman I think she will get a second Oscar in a leading role(AMPAS is just expecting an oportunity, because like Kidman she will have a looong career). Like Kidman I suspect she made a career "against" Hollywood, she seems that likeable hardworking girl in school who isn't part of any group, she's more like they say, a lone wolf(not because she's a bitch or something). The one that everybody thinks could be dating the athlete of the class if she wanted. The one that would be prettier with more make up, fancy hairstyle and clothes. Like if she only succeeded because she has the admiration and respect of some in the industry.

July 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGiovanni

Natalie Portman is excellent in Cold Mountain. She should have got a Best Supporting Actress nomination (and perhaps even the win).

July 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

This post reminds me another one about the actresses that we don' t get. I' ve never been feel in love with her, specially in Black Swan where just the last part excited me. She always gives me the impression that want to try so hard that becomes exagerating, like a female version of Jim Sturgess.

July 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCesar Gaytan

for someone with so many strong performances under her belt for her age, she is very divisive.

I attribute it to her persona (people just don’t like her, i.e., she’s not a charm boat like Emma Stone used shamelessly to win the oscar), bad star wars memories (that performance is definitely in the running for one of the worst of all time AND everyone saw it) and some sexism (people would be much more “forgiving” of her male counterpart; also accomplished prickly/standoffish actresses get alot more flack than similar actors).

July 29, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterhuh

Portman was in Cold Mountain. Tiny role but she aced it. Jude Law & her actually work very well together (also: see Closer). they should pair up more often.

July 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Anonny: Yeah, it was a role a bit larger in raw screen time, but probably equal in percentage of screen time, to Beatrice Straight.

July 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I love Natalie Portman. So smart, interesting, and adventurous.

July 29, 2018 | Unregistered Commenteradri

in other news, Chastain was cut entirely from Dolan’s new film, said the film’s focus came together in the editing room as being between monthers and sons. Good news for Portman’s performance me thinks (who plays the main character’s mother) IF the film is any good that is

July 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Natalie Portman is her generation's Jodie Foster. Ridiculously talented, usually divisive, choices all over the map, aloof celebrity, and always, always interesting. In other words, I love her.

July 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Portman plays the game in such a fascinating way. I love that, personally. Like a "I dare you not to like me!" persona vs. the J-Laws and Emmas of the world who practically beg you to like them in each role and red carpet event. I'm eager to see what looks to be two highly diverse upcoming performances for Natalie. She's used her Oscar win beautifully. Not only is "Black Swan" one of the best lead actress wins ever, but she's winning another one in our respective lifetimes, in LEAD. Calling that shit right now. We're not worthy of her, really. Too damn smart and beautiful for her own good, and the world doesn't quite know what to do with a "difficult" woman like that. She should have won for "Jackie" BTW instead of the disgrace that did win.

August 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEvangelista

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