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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 09/ 2/2010

Natalie Portman, apparent soon-to-be Oscar winner

By Jen Chaney

Natalie Portman, at the "Black Swan" premiere in Venice. (Associated Press)

Evidently Natalie Portman already has this year's Academy Award for best actress all sewn up. At least the media buzz coming out of the Venice Film Festival -- where her "Black Swan" just premiered -- is making it sound that way.

Deadline.com puts Portman in Oscar front-runner position based on reviews coming out of London newspapers. ("Portman is astounding," says the Times of London).

Indiewire also positions her in the award-worthy category, with critic Anne Thompson noting that director Darren Aronofsky "pulls the best performance ever out of Natalie Portman." (For the record, veteran film critic Todd McCarthy -- also writing in Indiewire -- praises the "almost frighteningly credible" performance by Winona Ryder. Maybe this will finally mark a more solid comeback for her?)

And New York Magazine's Vulture blog also elevates Portman's status with yet another post chock-full of critical plaudits for the former Queen Amidala's performance. Given the recent positive response to the "Black Swan" trailer (a positive response that presumably wasn't entirely related to Portman's kiss with Mila Kunis), overall prospects are looking positive for this ballet thriller. (There really aren't enough horror movies that feature pliés, in my humble opinion.)

Of course, it's obviously a wee bit early to start marking ballots for the Oscars. Other potentially very worthy performances from some fine actresses haven't been seen yet.

But for those who relish the frantic, often nebulous world of trophy-potential buzz, not to mention Portman herself, this is good news. Despite the fact that Labor Day hasn't even arrived, this means that award season is totally on.

By Jen Chaney  | September 2, 2010; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Awards Season, Movies  | Tags:  The Contenders  
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Comments

Well, if Winona does'nt win an Oscar, she can always lift one - maybe she'll take Natalies's.

Posted by: CubsFan | September 2, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Is this that actress that appeared in the movie where Harvey Keitel was naked? No wait, it was that OTHER child actress.

Posted by: reddragon1 | September 2, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The real question is, can she dance?... It's a ballet movie, you have to be able to dance like a ballerina, not just act like one. I am excited to see the movie, mainly for the dancing, but the rest of it sounds great, too!

Posted by: aludholtz1 | September 2, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Did she gain weight? Is she wearing a prosthetic nose? Has she gone make-up-free? If so, the golden statuette is hers.

Posted by: kbockl | September 2, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Good one, redragon1!

Forgive me, but I cannot fathom the actress who played Queen Amidala anywhere near an Oscar (unless Winona threw it at her to catch when she was being chased by the cops for theft). Yeah, I know Natalie was nomimated before for one, but still.

This represents my view of Natalie Portman's acting (skip to 0:32): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogoDUmqLg4c

And it would take one heck of a ballet movie to change that.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | September 2, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

she's the best thing to come out of The Charles E Smith school in Rockville yet!!

Posted by: SoTired | September 2, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

”Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo" is the single worst line in the entire prequel trilogy. Which is quite an accomplishment.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 3, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Did she gain weight? Is she wearing a prosthetic nose? Has she gone make-up-free? If so, the golden statuette is hers.

>>Are you psyco,crazy, or just plain Looney Tunes? Natalie is one of THE most beautiful women in THE world, AND she's also one of the better talents in Hollywood that is also a nice role model.I've never even heard rumors of bad and or scandelous behavior.
Granted, she's not always taken the utmost fantastic roles, IE STAR WARS, and in which I'm a very big fan of, at least the original 3, #'s 4,5,6 that I grew up with, but other than that pretty much she's very selective of her roles and also performs so very well at the characters she portrays. i hope she wins, and even more so i wish to meet her, but that will never happen. Well, i guess one should never say never, but since i'm happily married i guess it would be just a tease and pointless anyway, yea, that's true, as if i'd have a shot anyway. ;p

Posted by: ursofakingdumb1 | September 3, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

”Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo" is the single worst line in the entire prequel trilogy.
____________________________________

No, it wasn't. Anything said by Jar Jar Binks is the worst line in the entire prequel trilogy. "Me no ha-ha."

Posted by: bs2004 | September 3, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Did she gain weight? Is she wearing a prosthetic nose? Has she gone make-up-free? If so, the golden statuette is hers.

>>Are you psyco,crazy, or just plain Looney Tunes? Natalie is one of THE most beautiful women in THE world, AND she's also one of the better talents in Hollywood that is also a nice role model.
-------------------------------------------
I don't think you got the point of the original snarky post which was that in recent years, if an actress "uglifies" herself for a role (Charlize Theron - "Monster", Nicole Kidman - "The Hours", etc) then she's almost guaranteed an Oscar.

Posted by: beaker1 | September 3, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

You had me at "Natalie kisses Mila."

Posted by: yawn | September 3, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

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