Blue bad, Nat good

Hi again

The Blueberry reviews are coming in all sorts of different flavours.

Time thought the film wasn’t up to par but went ga-ga over Nat:

It’s not until Portman shows up that you’ll find the sort of sizzle and sympathy Wong cooks up with ease in his best films.
Natalie Portman ? Best Actress? Yup. For once she’s not playing a waif or a child princess but a mature, full-bodied woman, probably a decade older than Portman is (25). She looks great, in a blond rinse and come-hither outfits, but she’s not coasting on her looks; they are only accoutrements to Leslie’s natural salesmanship. She uses her appeal to simultaneously flirt with and taunt the gambler across the table. And when the cards turn against her, Leslie is quick to hit on Elizabeth, who has naively mentioned a $2200 stash of her own. Thus begins a wary comradeship where it’s hard to tell who’s lying and who’s telling the truth.
There are other sweet scenes in the film ? notably the (perhaps imagined) kiss of a (possibly sleeping) woman. But the memory we’ll cherish is that of Portman’s vibrancy, grittiness and ache, all performed with a virtuosa’s easy assurance. She, not Jones, is the savory dish of movie magic in a mostly bland Blueberry Nights.

Jeff Wells hated it but had this to say about Nat:

The only player who delivers any sense of scrappy believability is Portman, but even she can’t overcome the H.M.S.Titanic vibe flooding this thing.

Filmmakermagazine says the film is beautiful to look at but not much more. It also has a quote from Wong about Natalie.

Wong: She’s very generous. And she’s very, very strong. And first of all, she never behaved like a star. Actually, she’s very caring and very generous. Because most of the scenes are with Natalie and Norah. And Norah needs to warm up. Natalie is so supportive, and her performance is great.

Austin Movie Blog says the film was a success and that Natalie was “a surprisingly believable Texas Hold ?Em player”.

Screen Grab gave the film a mixed review and said that Natalie was “the least convincing poker pro ever to have her four cowboys busted by a miracle gutshot straight flush.”

Guardian thinks the film is beautiful to look at but vapid. And that Natalie “toils against miscasting as a brassy gambler”.

Variety echoes the thoughts that its beautiful but a bit light on substance. Here’s what they said about Natalie:

Wong clearly delights in photographing Weisz in glamorized states of sultry disarray, but this proves just a warm up for his treatment of Natalie Portman, who pumps sass and energy into her portrait of a young, frosted-haired gambler who takes Elizabeth, now working as a Nevada casino waitress, for an emotional, financial and automotive ride.

Cinematical calls the film a “feast of beauty” and seems generally mesmerized. They say that Natalie “gives the film some much-needed acid tang as a confident conniver with a heart of lead.”

Now Toronto doesn’t like the film and says that “The good performances here are Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman, though Portman is not at the top of her form.”

Screen Daily isn’t impressed but says that “Natalie Portman also displays more spirit and conviction than she has brought to recent projects like Goya’s Ghosts.”

Time Out has a mixed review but thinks that Natalie shines.

Thanks to Thierry, Jenski and Harper.

To offset all that text, El_nota sent in a new pic from the Bjork Benefit.

Seeya soon