best film: Heat. Heat is a top 100 film of all-time and I’m just not there on Black Swan though I think that film is also a masterpiece and of course Portman is a much larger part of that film(frankly she’s not on the list without it). Although Heat centers on De Niro and Pacino it’s a sprawling epic saga and features a rich ensemble. That ensemble (which includes Portman in some really well acted crucial scenes) are simply wonderful and a big part of the film’s artistic success.

best performance:  Black Swan. The choice is easy here. She does great work as a child actor in the professional and heat and I love her work in the four-character chamber piece Closer—but Black Swan is amongst the greatest female-led masterpieces of the last twenty years. I think it’s a top 10 female actor performance of all-time.

stylistic innovations/traits: There’s a bit of a frustration here that she hasn’t capitalized on her performance (and oscar win) in Black Swan. Portman is beautiful and talented and has been acting (breaks here and there) for nearly 25 years now in Hollywood. Her work in the mid-90’s as a young teen count for her of course—she’s great in those films. Annihilation here just recently in 2018 is another solid work with an interesting director.

directors worked with: Nobody more than once—Michael Mann, Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Malick all once.

Top 5 Performances:

  1. Black Swan
  2. Closer
  3. The Professional
  4. Heat
  5. Annihilation

Archiveable films

1994- The Professional
1995- Heat
1996- Everyone Says I Love You
2003- Cold Mountain
2004- Closer
2004- Garden State
2007- Darjeeling Limited
2010- Black Swan
2015- Knight of Cups
2016- Jackie
2018- Annihilation