Oscar Does a Plié to Natalie Portman

The Harvard-educated Black Swan star wins best actress.

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman ’03, star of the film Black Swan,  recently profiled in Harvard Magazine, won the 2011 Academy Award for best actress. Portman played a driven, tortured ballerina in the tense psychological thriller, directed by Darren Aronofsky ’91, who received an Oscar nomination for best director. Portman had previously been  nominated in the best supporting actress category, in 2005, for her performance in Closer. (The New York Times added kudos of a different type for Portman, reporting on her high-school achievements in the Intel Science Talent Search, "the nation’s most elite and demanding high school research competition.")

Another Crimson tie-in at the February 27 awards ceremony: The Social Network, a feature film based on a book by Benjamin Mezrich ’91 about Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg ’06 and set largely at Harvard, garnered awards for film editing, original score, and adapted screenplay.

Ceremony co-host James Franco went home without any awards (he was nominated for best actor for his role in 127 Hours), but he does hold one past honor from Harvard: the Hasty Pudding Theatricals named him "Man of the Year" in 2009. His co-host, actress Anne Hathaway, was the Hasty Pudding "Woman of the Year" in 2010.


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