Riding the tail feathers of Black Swan, The Other Woman finally arrives in theaters tomorrow, a month after it began its on-demand run. As I said when I reviewed it on VOD, Don Roos’ drama about a woman mourning her dead child and trying to adjust to being a stepmother is an irredeemable muddle; even Natalie Portman’s fierce performance can’t save it. Here’s a link to that review.
And here’s what’s happened to Portman in the month since:
— She survived the opening of the tepid Ivan Reitman romcom No Strings Attached, in which she plays a workaholic doctor who wants a sex-only relationship with Ashton Kutcher, a TV writer she knew as a child. The film opened pretty well at the box office for dreary January, but the couple was totally unconvincing. When Kutcher’s character tells Portman’s “You grew up to be a lot smarter than me,” you just know it’s true; not a great recipe for long-lived romance. Plus, he’s Ashton Kutcher and she’s Natalie Portman. That will not work.
— She became the frontrunner for the Oscar and officially the season’s best giver of acceptance speeches. Picking up her Critics Choice award she thanked Darren Aronofsky, who directed her as the anorexic ballet dancer in Black Swan and introduced her to the film’s choreographer, with whom she’s expecting a child. “You made me very skinny and now you’re indirectly responsible for getting me fat,” she told Aronofsky. Accepting her Screen Actors Guild award, she thanked her parents for raising her to “never be an asshole.” Now those are great thank-yous.
The Other Woman is still a terrible movie, but it bookends a pretty good Month in Natalie Portman.