Tag: black swan

Mila Kunis Career Milestones

Mila Kunis Career Milestones

Birth Name: Milena Markovna Kunis
Birth Date: August 14, 1983
Birth Place: Chernovtsy, Ukrainian SSR, USSR [now Chernivtsi, Ukraine]

Mila Kunis most recently turned in stunning performances in both Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller Black Swan, opposite Natalie Portman; and in Albert and Allen Hughes’ post-apocalyptic drama, The Book of Eli, in which she starred alongside Denzel Washington,

Kunis was awarded the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actress for her performance in Black Swan at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. The actress was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her performance for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe, and Critics Choice Awards. Black Swan was also named as one of AFI’s Movies of the Year (2010).

Having established herself as one of Hollywood’s most sought after and engaging young actresses, Kunis has fostered an impressive body of work that includes both major motion picture and television roles and is probably best known for her roles on two of Fox’s most successful shows:That 70’s Show, where she played Jackie Burkhart; and the animated Family Guy, where she brings the character of Meg to life. Notable film credits include Date Night, Extract, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Max Payne.

The actress will soon begin filming Ted, to be directed by Seth MacFarlene, starring with Mark Wahlberg. This summer, Kunis will shoot Disney’s Oz, The Great and Powerful. A prequel to the classic The Wizard of Oz, Kunis will play Theodora opposite James Franco. The film will be helmed by Sam Raimi and produced by Joe Roth.

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Natalie Portman Career Milestones

Natalie Portman Career Milestones

Birth Name: Natalie Hershlag
Birth Date: June 9, 1981
Birth Place: Jerusalem, Israel

Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, the only child of a doctor father (from Israel) and an artist mother (from Cincinnati, Ohio), who also acts as Natalie’s agent. She left Israel for Washington, D.C., when she was still very young. After a few more moves, her family finally settled in New York, where she still lives to this day. She graduated with honors, and her academic achievements allowed her to attend Harvard.

She was discovered by an agent in a pizza parlor at the age of 11. She was pushed towards a career in modeling but she decided that she would rather pursue a career in acting. She was featured in many live performances, but she made her powerful film debut in the movie Léon (1994) (aka “Léon”). Following this role Natalie won roles in such films as Heat (1995), Beautiful Girls (1996), and Mars Attacks! (1996).

It wasn’t until 1999 that Natalie received worldwide fame as Queen Amidala in the highly anticipated US$431 million-grossing prequel Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999). She then she starred in two critically acclaimed comedy dramas, Anywhere But Here (1999) and Where the Heart Is (2000), followed by Closer (2004/I), for which she received an Oscar nomination.

Natalie Portman most recently received her second Academy Award nomination and first Best Actress win for her performance in Darren Aronofsky’s critically acclaimed film, “Black Swan.” For her role, Portman also received a Golden Globe, BAFTA Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Critics Choice Award.

Upcoming, Portman will be seen in David Gordon Green’s “Your Highness,” co-starring with Danny McBride, James Franco and Zooey Deschanel. The story focuses on an arrogant, lazy prince who must complete a quest to save his father’s kingdom, with Portman as his love interest. The Universal Pictures film is set for release April 8, 2011. Following “Thor,” she will be seen in Spencer Susser’s “Hesher,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rainn Wilson. The film, which Portman also produced, is slated for release on May 13, 2011 by Wrekin Hill / Newmarket Films.

On screen, Portman has starred in over 25 films. She made her debut in Luc Besson’s 1994 film, “The Professional,” and went on to star in “Heat,” “Beautiful Girls,” “Everyone Says I Love You,” “Mars Attacks!,” “Anywhere But Here” (Golden Globe nomination), “Where the Heart Is,” “Cold Mountain,” “Garden State,” “Closer” (Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe Award), “Free Zone,” “V for Vendetta,” “Paris je t’aime,” “Goya’s Ghosts,” “My Blueberry Nights,” “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” “The Other Boleyn Girl,” “New York, I Love You,” “Brothers” and “No Strings Attached.” Additionally, she starred in George Lucas’ “Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace,” “Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones,” and “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.” The prequels to the wildly popular “Star Wars” trilogy of the ‘70s and ‘80s rank among the top-grossing films ever produced worldwide.

On stage, Portman starred in Mike Nichol’s Shakespeare in the Park production of “The Seagull,” opposite Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Philip Seymour Hoffman; as well as in James Lapine’s Broadway production of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Behind the lens, Portman has taken turns writing, directing and producing. Her credits include “Eve,” which she wrote and directed, telling the story of a young woman who ends up on her grandmother’s date. The film debuted at the 2008 Venice Film Festival and stars Lauren Bacall, Ben Gazzara and Olivia Thirlby. She also wrote and directed a short film for “New York, I Love You,” about a day in the life of a father and daughter in Central Park. The film showcases 12 filmmakers who each directed a vignette illustrating the universal theme of love within the five boroughs of New York City. Additionally, she executive-produced and starred in Don Roos’ adaptation of Ayelet Waldman’s novel “The Other Woman,” opposite Scott Cohen and Charlie Tahan. The film revolves around a young woman who tries to recover her marriage through her relationship with her stepson.

Portman is currently developing film projects through her production company, HandsomeCharlie Films. Together with producer Annette Savitch, the company is focused on finding intelligent, accessible films across varied genres, as well as female-driven comedies. Upcoming projects include The New York Times bestselling novel “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” which is set up at Lionsgate with a script by David O. Russell, and they are partnered with Plan B at Paramount to produce “Important Artifacts,” based on the book by Leanne Shapton, with Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman attached to star, and Greg Mottola to write. Completed films include “No Strings Attached,” starring Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, and directed by Ivan Reitman; and “Hesher,” starring Joseph Gordon Levitt, Natalie Portman and Rainn Wilson, and directed by Spencer Susser.

Portman became the first Ambassador of Hope for FINCA, an international village banking microfinance program providing small loans and savings programs to the world’s poorest families so they may create their own jobs, raise household incomes, and improve their standard of living, thereby reducing poverty worldwide. As the Ambassador of Hope, Portman has proved to be a globally aware and dedicated individual who supports the work of FINCA through her advocacy and visits to FINCA International programs in countries such as Guatemala, Ecuador and Uganda. She has also met with high-level United States Members of Congress to lobby for support of international microfinance funding.

A Harvard graduate with a degree in psychology, Portman has also studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she learned Arabic and Hebrew, and studied the anthropology of violence and Israeli history.

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Natalie Portman responds to allegations on Black Swan

Natalie Portman responds to allegations on Black Swan

Suddenly everything is coming up Natalie Portman, who is. First, she won an Oscar for “Black Swan”. Then she teamed with Oscar-nominated and Oscar disastrous host James Franco in a bid to appear very strange, “Your Highness”. Note the last word in the title because this sword and sorcery film is very high on something other than a queen or princess.

Of course, the real meat of the matter Portman is the accusation against him by Sarah Lane. The advertising campaign and pushing for Portman Oscar, you will recall, was based largely on the fact that Portman has learned to dance ballet, so it is rarely needed to be doubled to end the illusion that she was a ballerina prima donna. The problem is that it is looking increasingly like that is less and less a reality. Shortly after Portman accepted her gold Oscar for Best Actress, Lane came forward to announce that it has up to 95% of dance credited Portman in “Black Swan”.

In the wake of “Your Highness” to be released in theaters, Portman has finally made a public comment on the controversy. The meat of the question, Portman has not directly responded to Lane’s remarks, but said she will always be the proud owner of the work she did in “Black Swan” without nasty gossip going around. In other words, Portman has failed to clarify the issue.

Another quote from “Your Highness” seems much more interesting compared to the whole controversy ballerina. Portman announced that it has been a big fan of stoner movies, including “Your Highness” is certainly one of the strangest representatives. But it’s not the interesting quote. What is interesting is Portman admitted to smoking marijuana at university, but assures her fans that she is too old and matronly to engage in such foolishness now.

Portman has until the controversial “Black Swan” dance managed to maintain a rather creaky clean, free from any form of intrusion of the ugly reality ala Mel Gibson. Thus, it seems rather strange that she choose this moment in time to announce it just sorta had acted a little less squeaky clean. Some Portman fan club members are probably surprised by this admission, while others are probably much more suspicious of the assertion that his days smoking weed are everywhere.

Certainly, assuming that you smoked marijuana in the university is not enough to get you busted ala Robert Mitchum these days and hardly fair with public collapses experienced by Gibson and, more recently, Charlie Sheen. But the fact remains that the controllers movie stars tend to derive their right to hair of their head to comments like those made by Portman.

Unless, of course, these observations were designed for the express purpose of taking attention away from Natalie’s company much more unpleasant to prove she was not involved in the bald face lied when she been on the press junket for “Black Swan” and investigators say it does much more than just 5% of the dance itself. At the very least, one would think that Portman degree in psychology would have been enough to alert her to the fact that Sarah Lane is a recognition of the daily demand for its efforts.

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The Social Network wins big at Golden Globes

The Social Network wins big at Golden Globes

The Facebook film takes home awards for best drama, director, score, and screenplay.

The Facebook tale “The Social Network” won top honors Sunday at the Golden Globes with four prizes, including best drama and director, solidifying its prospects as an Academy Awards favorite.

Winning the dramatic lead-acting prizes were Colin Firth for the British monarchy saga “The King’s Speech” and Natalie Portman for the psychosexual thriller “Black Swan.”

Lead-acting honors for the Globes’ musical or comedy categories went to Annette Bening for the lesbian-family story “The Kids Are All Right” and Paul Giamatti for the curmudgeon tale “Barney’s Version.”

The boxing drama “The Fighter” earned both supporting actor Globes, for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo.

David Fincher, directing winner for “The Social Network,” said he thought it was strange when “The Social Network” script came to him, since he usually makes dark character studies about misanthropes or films about serial killers. His films include the murder tales “Seven” and “Zodiac.”

“I’m personally loath to acknowledge the kind of wonderful response this film has received for fear of becoming addicted to it, so suffice it to say, it’s been really nice,” said Fincher, whose film also won the Globes for screenplay for Aaron Sorkin and musical score for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Sorkin, creator of TV’s “The West Wing,” had kind words for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network.”

“Mark Zuckerberg, if you’re watching, Rooney Mara makes a prediction at the beginning of the movie. She was wrong. You turned out to be a great entrepreneur, a great visionary and an incredible altruist,” Sorkin said.

The win by Portman for her role as a ballerina coming unhinged amid a production of “Swan Lake” sets her up for a two-woman showdown for best actress at the Feb, 27 Oscars with Bening, who won for her role as a stern lesbian mom in “The Kids Are All Right,” which also won for best musical or comedy film.

It’s familiar territory for Bening. She won the same prize at the Globes 11 years ago for “American Beauty” and went in as the best-actress favorite at the Oscars, where she lost to Globe dramatic actress winner Hilary Swank for “Boys Don’t Cry.”

Portman thanked the film’s choreographer, her fiance Benjamin Millepied, with whom she’s expecting a child. He also appears in the movie, and his character doesn’t want to sleep with hers. “He’s the best actor! It’s not true, he totally wants to sleep with me,” Portman said, giggling.

Related Link: The Social Network Full Production Notes

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Golden Globe surprises and snubs

Golden Globe surprises and snubs

Halle Berry and Johnny Depp get unexpected nominations as two Oscar darlings are spurned.

The British monarchy tale “The King’s Speech” led Golden Globe contenders Tuesday with seven nominations, including best drama and acting honors for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.

Other best-drama nominees were the psychosexual dance thriller “Black Swan,” the boxing saga “The Fighter,” the sci-fi blockbuster “Inception” and the Facebook chronicle “The Social Network.”

Nominees in the Globes’ other best-picture category, for musical or comedy, are the Lewis Carroll fantasy “Alice in Wonderland,” the song-and-dance extravaganza “Burlesque,” the lesbian-family tale “The Kids Are All Right,” the action tale “Red” and the romantic thriller “The Tourist.”

Bonham Carter, a supporting-actress nominee as Queen Elizabeth II’s mother in the 1930s-era “The King’s Speech,” said the Globe nominations had some medicinal value for her and romantic partner Tim Burton, director of “Alice in Wonderland,” which had three nominations. She and their children were nursing colds at their London home, while Burton was suffering from kidney stones.

She was uncertain if the Globe nomination might help secure her the same honor at the Academy Awards, whose nominations come out Jan. 25. But she had stronger expectations for co-star Firth, a best-actor nominee as King George VI, the reluctant monarch struggling with a lifelong stammer.

“I’ve had a Golden Globe nomination before and then didn’t get an Oscar nomination,” Bonham Carter said. “But I presume Colin will get one, and I presume Colin will win.”

“The Social Network” and “The Fighter” tied for second with six nominations each. Among nominations for “The Social Network” were Jesse Eisenberg as best dramatic actor, Andrew Garfield as supporting actor and David Fincher as director.

“The Fighter” earned four acting nominations, best actor for Mark Wahlberg and supporting honors for Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. Its nominations also included a directing slot for David O. Russell.

Wahlberg, also a producer on “The Fighter,” stars as Boston-area boxer Micky Ward, who overcame family strife to get a title shot in his mid-30s with help from his half brother (Bale), a former fighter whose life unravels amid crime and drugs.

“Micky Ward was one of my heroes growing up. Doing what he did against all odds, he’s just a very special individual,” Wahlberg said. “Growing up in that neck of the woods and his family being so similar to mine and all the struggles, it’s very inspiring.”

“We were hopeful for a couple, but to get this number was unexpected, exciting, and when it comes to the actors, so well-deserved on their front,” said “The Fighter” producer Ryan Kavanaugh. “Everyone brought their A-game.”

Johnny Depp earned two nominations, as best musical or comedy actor for “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Tourist.”

Along with Eisenberg, Firth and Wahlberg, best dramatic actor contenders are James Franco for the survival story “127 Hours” and Ryan Gosling for the marital tale “Blue Valentine.”

Nominees for best dramatic actress are Halle Berry for the multiple-personality drama “Frankie and Alice,” Nicole Kidman for the grieving-parent tale “Rabbit Hole,” Jennifer Lawrence for the Ozarks crime yarn “Winter’s Bone,” Natalie Portman for “Black Swan” and Michelle Williams for “Blue Valentine.”

The news of her supporting-actress nomination for “Black Swan” came as a wake-up call for Mila Kunis, who co-stars as Portman’s ballet rival for a production of “Swan Lake.”

“It’s good news to wake up to, for sure,” Kunis said. “Being woken up at 5:30 in the morning, it was very funny, people were screaming on the phone, and my poor dogs were like, ‘What’s happening?'”

Along with Fincher and Russell, directing nominees are Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan,” Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech” and Christopher Nolan for “Inception.”

Story: ‘Tourist,’ Depp nods among Globes surprises
Nolan’s sci-fi hit also earned nominations for screenplay and musical score, but its cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, was snubbed for acting slots.

Joel and Ethan Coen’s Western “True Grit,” starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, was shut out completely.

Joining Depp in the musical or comedy actor race are Paul Giamatti in the curmudgeon chronicle “Barney’s Version,” Jake Gyllenhaal in the romance “Love and Other Drugs” and Kevin Spacey in the Jack Abramoff saga “Casino Jack.”

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