“The Other Woman” offers another strong Portman performance

- Advertisement -

The Other Woman

Directed by Don Roos

2011, USA

The Other Woman, or as it is known under its better title Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, features what might be Natalie Portman’s first grown-up performance.  She has always been a good actress, but her work here in Don Roos’ film adaptation of Ayelet Waldman’s novel might be her best performance to date.  The film premiered in 2008 at the Toronto International Film Festival, and is just now getting a limited release on video-on-demand and in theatres due to the buzz around Portman’s performance in Black Swan.

Portman plays Emilia Greenleaf, an aspiring lawyer working in a powerful law firm run by Jack Woolf (Scott Cohen).  When they fall in love and get married, Emilia becomes pregnant, but her child dies only three days after its birth.  The film mainly focuses on Emilia’s relationship with William, her stepson, played wonderfully by Charlie Tahan.  Emilia is trying to get over the death of her newborn daughter, and William is struggling with the fact that he has to accept his stepmom as part of his family.  The scenes between those two are the best of the film, and Roos lets them play out with a tender touch.  Portman and Tahan have a wonderful chemistry.

Complicating things is Carolyne, Jack’s ex-wife, played by Lisa Kudrow.  She clearly does not approve of Emilia taking care of William and she lets everyone within hearing distance know it. While Carolyne’s rants might be too on-the-nose sometimes, she is played perfectly by Kudrow and we are allowed to empathize with her.

Michael Cristofer does a beautiful job as Emilia’s father, who she still has yet to forgive for his absence from her childhood.  There is a wonderful scene where Emilia breaks down and loses it at a memorial walk through Central Park where she is accompanied by Jack, William, and her two co-workers Mindy (Lauren Ambrose) and Simon (Anthony Rapp).  Roos allows the scene to play without any pyrotechnics and he follows through with its natural consequences.

Roos has shown throughout his career that he is especially adept at writing strong female characters, and this is definitely another example of that.  He allows his women to be flawed yet strong.  In different hands, these characters would have been clichés, but in Roos’s, they are gratifyingly three-dimensional characters.

Josh Youngerman

10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
Ice Cube at Straight Outta L.A. at Tribeca Film Festival in 2010
10 Best Ice Cube Movies When You Want to Watch Ice Cube
Luke Evans at the Los Angeles premiere of Beauty And The Beast held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
10 Best Luke Evans Movies (He did that?)
Football movie being filmed
The 25 Greatest Football Movies of All Time
12 Different Types of Cellos
4 Different Types of Cauliflower (Plus Health Benefits)
12 Different Types of Pecans
28 Different Types of Pineapple
20 Different Types of Limes
10 Different Types of Tow Trucks
Electric mountain bike on the trails
18 Things to Know Before Buying an Electric Bike
Side and rear view of black 2017 Audi A7
23 Things to Know Before Buying an Audi A7
Motorhome on highway going through Bryce Canyon in the USA
13 Types of RV’s (Recreational Vehicles) for All Kinds of Vacation Fun
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
Baseball player hitting ball
10 Types of Baseball Bats that Rip the Leather Off the Ball
16 Types of Barbells for All Types of Lifts and Workouts
Camera, lenses and other photography equipments.
45 of the Best Online Photography and Camera Stores
9 Different Types of Website Hosting
5 Different Types of Pulleys (Plus Examples in Daily Life)
Apple Wallet icon on iPhone
15 Things to Know Before Setting Up Apple Pay
Natural herbal vitamins.
10 of the Best Online Vitamin Stores