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Natalie Portman bares the burden of steamy Asian romance

Luffy | Friday, September 28, 2007 | 0 comments
Hollywood startlet: Natalie is set to impress with her racy role

Natalie Portman made me go "wow!" - and that was a first.

What was it about her in Wes Anderson's Hotel Chevalier - a 13-minute, short-film prequel to his impressive feature-length movie The Darjeeling Limited - that got my attention?

Actually, she had me the minute she knocks on screen ex-boyfriend Jason Schwartzman's Paris hotel room door.

She's wearing a belted raincoat, her hair stylishly gamine. She sits on the bed and Schwartzman pulls off her knee-length boots. It's a very sensual moment and then she all but disrobes, giving us undisguised views of her slender figure.

She's really sexy and grown up in this film, with or without the shots of her derriere.

Anyway, Hotel Chevaliar sort of paves the way for the tale of three brothers - Schwartzman, Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson - in The Darjeeling Limited, which is the closing movie for the Times BFI London Film Festival on November 1. (It goes on general release on November 23.)

In that picture we see how Schwartzman's character is still obsessed with his ex (Portman).

The story has the three brothers on a spiritual (kinda) quest in India. Actually, the film has some really lovely, cool moments and I particularly liked the way the locals aren't depicted in that patronising, subservient way we often see in movies.

Instead, they lay down the law and I liked Waris Ahluwalia's chief steward on the train and Amara Karan as his assistant (she'll be seen next in St Trinian's).

Their encounters with the brothers are sometimes hilarious.

So far, Hotel Chevaliar has been shown with The Darjeeling Limited at film festivals and wasn't going to be shown with it on general release, but I hear there has been a change of heart and the plan is for this little treat to be shown with the big guys.
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Wow factor: Natalie Portman gets steamy in new film Hotel Chevalier
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Sealed with a kiss: Natalie with ex-boyfriend Josh Schwartzman
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Well heeled: Natalie in the 13-minute short-film
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Baring all: Natalie keeps her feet warm, wearing nothing but socks
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