NATALIE PORTMAN — STAR AND LEADING WOMAN
Natalie Portman made her sensational debut as a teenager in the 1990s in Léon: The Professional, and was 15 when she performed opposite Al Pacino, who played her stepfather in Heat in 1995. That same year, she played the youngest role in Beautiful Girls alongside Uma Thurman.
But it was in playing the Queen of Naboo in George Lucas’ Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999) that she made a lasting impression as a sovereign devoted to her people, and also as a world-renowned actress. At only 18, she had already collaborated with such greats as Michael Mann, Woody Allen and Tim Burton.
After studying at Harvard, she made one ambitious film after another, from Anthony Minghella’s Gold Mountain (2003) to Mike Nichais’ Gloser (2004), which offered one of her most interesting roles, as the first film that treated her as a woman.
ln 2007, she portrayed a poker player alongside Norah Jones in Wong Kar wai’s My Blueberry Nights. Ali of these roles are marked by her ambivalent presence, a blend of strength and fragility (V for Vendetta, 2006, and The Other Boleyn Girl, 2008).
Her thirst for discovery led her from Amos Gitaï’s commitment with Free Zone to the Marvel Universe with Thor: Love and Thunder, by way of Terrence Malick’s asceticism (Knight of Gups, Song to Song).
Her career took a pivotai turn in 2011 with Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky’s thriller in which she played a schizophrenic ballerina. Her portrayal earned her the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Actress.
ln 2017, she was nominated for an Oscar again for her performance in Pablo Larrafn’s Jackie.
ln 2014, the actress moved behind the camera and directed A Tale of Love and Darkness, an adaptation of the novel by Amos Oz.
Natalie Portman has tackled one demanding role after the next, shaping a protean and dedicated career. Throughout her journey, she has been able to prove her ability to portray all types of characters with depth and accuracy.
The great actresses, from Garbo to Dietrich, from Ava Gardner to Meryl Streep and Jessica Chastain by way of Marilyn Monroe, have all contributed to cinema’s mythology … So has Natalie Portman.
lt’s high time for the Deauville Festival to present her with a Deauville Talent Award. On this occasion, she will present the premiere of Todd Haynes’ May December, which played in competition.