Natalie Portman...every time I see her she impresses me more and more.
Last night I saw the sneak preview for Where The Heart Is, the first lead role for the illustrious Natalie Portman. (Anywhere But Here was more like a co-lead with Susan Sarandon.)In Where The Heart Is, Natalie IS the star. That's not to say that she's the only star in the film; Ashley Judd, Stockard Channing, Joan Cusack and Sally Field are also in the film.
But it's really all Natalie...which is why I wasnted to see it.

The truth is Where The Heart Is is a melodramatic chick flick. There's no getting around it. I mean just look at the cast I mentioned so far...all well known, powerful women. But the men in the film are all unknowns. Well, at least I didn't know any of them.
I wasn't particularly impressed with the direction either. And to be honest, I have no interest in reading the novel the movie is based on.
All that being said, it was an enjoyable movie.

Ashley Judd is really a great actress. I think this might be my favorite role I've seen her in, although I have to admit, I haven't seen much of her stuff. Stockard Channing is really incredible. It's so weird that Rizzo from the Grease movie has become this really great actress, even if she is pretty much relegated to supporting roles. She steals every scene she's in. Joan Cusack, to be honest, is kind of wasted in her role here. But even with the little on screen time she has, she shines as usual!

That brings us back to Natalie Portman. The eighteen year old actress gets better and better. She somehow becomes more and more beautiful too. I mean, soon she'll just be a porcelain doll!
She was totally believable as a pregnant, slightly white trashy dreamer. Then as her character develops, she's just the epitome of the classic girl next door, albeit an extremely beautiful one.
She is such a great actress. It's just a pleasure to watch her create her characters, whichever one she is playing.
I have no idea what her next movie is. Hopefully I don't have to wait until the next space blockbuster from George Lucas, which I'll only see because of her involvement. But whatever her next film is, I'm there!