Most of the time, child actors are precious and mannered and seem chosen based on their "cute" factor; rarely do they make much of an impact. Occasionally, though, someone comes along who seems wiser than that, sadder perhaps, or with untold depths. These people are full of promise. They are the ones that make us say, "She's going places."

Natalie Portman was one of those.

Her career now 17 years old, with more than 20 major feature films, she has more than lived up to that promise. She's 29 now and an Oscar winner for 'Black Swan,' a polarizing movie of the kind that usually doesn't win Oscars. She has worked with major international directors (Woody Allen, Tim Burton, Amos Gitai, Milos Forman, Wong Kar-Wai, Wes Anderson and others). She has charmed art house crowds and multiplex crowds; she would be welcome at both snooty cocktail parties and at comic book conventions. She has been called this generation's Audrey Hepburn, for her delicate, princess-like manner, but she's also capable of something hilariously vulgar and lowbrow such as her infamous 'SNL' rap; she even managed to make Ashton Kutcher look good earlier this year in 'No Strings Attached.'
categories Columns, Cinematical