The Weekend Rent: Four Natalie Portman Favorites

The Weekend Rent: Four Natalie Portman Favorites

Jan 21, 2011

Natalie Portman seems to be everywhere right now. The 29-year-old actress is the star of Darren Aronofsky's award-winning Black Swan, which is still in theaters, as well as the romantic comedy No Strings Attached with Ashton Kutcher, which opens today on the big screen. If you're feeling a little Nat-ty this weekend, here are four of Portman's movies available for rent that show the range of this versatile young star.

Léon: The Professional: Portman plays a 12-year-old girl named Mathilda who is taken in by the titular hitman (Jean Reno) after her family is murdered by corrupt police agents (including Gary Oldman). Portman's unusual relationship with Reno is the heart of the story and makes an unforgettable screen debut for the young actress. The film is available on both DVD and in a theatrical and extended edition on Blu-ray.

Closer: "Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off," says Portman in the ensemble picture starring Julia Roberts, Clive Owen and Jude Law in which she plays an American living in London who strips to make ends meet. This is probably Portman's most provocative role to date even though the actress stops short of actually doing nudity for the camera. Mike Nichols's drama is available on both DVD and Blu-ray.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: The only woman who received more jabs for her hairstyles in George Lucas's sci-fi opus than Portman is Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in the original trilogy. In the three prequels, Portman plays Padmé Amidala—the mother of Leia and Luke Skywalker as well as the forbidden love of Anakin Skywalker, a.k.a. Darth Vader. We can argue about the integrity of the Star Wars prequels until Tatooine freezes over, but Revenge of the Sith is easily the best of the three and the most dramatic for Portman's character. Episode III is only available on DVD at the moment, but it was announced at CES as coming to Blu-ray in September.

V for Vendetta: Portman plays Evey Hammond in this rousing dystopian thriller set in London. Evey is a working class girl who is rescued from attackers by V (Hugo Weaving)—a masked freedom fighter who is out to exact revenge on those who disfigured him as well as ignite a revolution against Britain's fascist government. Evey's emotional transformation from a meek wallflower into a shaved-headed warrior woman is awe inspiring. Available on DVD and Blu-ray, both contain Portman's hilarious rap segment on Saturday Night Live that was shot during the time of this movie.

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