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Why Natalie Portman won a 2005 EW.com Award

Natalie Portman

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Natalie Portman, Closer

Why Natalie Portman won a 2005 EW.com Award

FOR Closer

WHY? For a decade, Portman’s résumé was stocked with roles as eerily mature young girls and teens, from The Professional and Beautiful Girls to the Star Wars prequels and Cold Mountain. Even in 2004’s romance Garden State, she plays a wise-beyond-her-years naif in a pink hoodie and braids. But then came Closer and the fully grown-up role of Alice, a stripper caught in a romantic quadrangle of sexual betrayal and viciousness. Working with a thoroughly adult director (Mike Nichols), screenwriter (Patrick Marber), and cast (Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Clive Owen), Portman pulls off the movie’s most difficult role — the mysterious, manipulative, look-but-don’t-touch Alice. So it’s official: The 23-year-old Harvard graduate has outgrown words like precocious and prodigy and is ready to act her age.

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture)