Natalie Portman And Julianne Moore Share The Roles They Wish Had Won Them Oscars

The actors are ending 2023 atop a wave of awards season buzz for their chilling performances in May December.
Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore
Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore
Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images

Thanks to their acclaimed performances in the new film May December, Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman are both closing out 2023 atop a wave of early awards season buzz.

Both actors are, of course, no strangers to critical acclaim. In 2011, Natalie’s chilling portrayal of a tormented ballerina in Black Swan won her an Academy Award for Best Actress. Four years later, Julianne took home the same honour for Still Alice, in which she played a college professor grappling with an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.

Appearing on Watch What Happens Live, however, the two women shared the past film performances they thought were better than their Oscar-winning ones.

“I felt like Jackie was a big one for me,” said Natalie, referring to her portrayal of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in Pablo Larraín’s 2016 biopic.

Though the actor was nominated for her performance in that film, she lost to Emma Stone, who won for the movie musical La La Land.

As for Julianne, it was her portrayal of flustered 1950s housewife Cathy Whitaker in 2002’s Far From Heaven that she felt should’ve taken home the Oscar. That year’s Best Actress Oscar went to Nicole Kidman for The Hours, in which Julianne also had a supporting role.

Julianne reunited with Far From Heaven director Todd Haynes for May December, which was loosely inspired by the tabloid frenzy that surrounded the real-life case of Mary Kay Letourneau.

It the new movie, she plays Gracie Atherton-Yoo, a woman living in relative seclusion with her much younger husband, Joe (Charles Melton), and their children after her release from prison. The couple began a relationship when Gracie was 36 and Joe was a 13-year-old seventh grader.

Gracie and Joe’s seemingly staid lives are upended by the arrival of Elizabeth Berry, a television actor researching Gracie’s life for a movie.

Whether May December will give either actor a chance to add a second Oscar to her mantel remains to be seen. Reviews of the film, however, have already named both actors as 2024 Academy Award frontrunners.

Charles Melton, who sheds all traces of his Riverdale past in his performance, also seems poised to land on the Oscars shortlist.


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