David Letterman loves some of his female guests more than others. Brazenly flirting with said guests in a way that’s simultaneously awkward, harmless, smarmy, and endearing is part of his shtick. Natalie Portman is one of the guests who inspires this reaction, and Dave can be relied upon to shower her with praise any time she visits his show. Her appearance on the Late Show last night was no exception, and Letterman joined the cacophony of voices who think she ought to win an Oscar for her performance in Black Swan. “I looked at this thing, and anyone else who thinks they got a shot at being nominated or winning an award, they should just go see this movie,” Dave said, “because they’re not even gonna be close to this.” (You can see the compliments here, starting at around the 3: 25 mark.) But is Letterman’s approval really a boon? It hasn’t been in the past!
Last year, David Letterman was totally in the tank for Natalie Portman’s Brothers, single-handedly trying to make some awards magic happen for the film. At the time, he said of Brothers, as you can see below, “This is a real movie. It couldn’t be more timely. There’s just not a false note in the entire thing. You must be thrilled to be a part of it. I don’t remember when I saw a movie that I was this impressed with … It’s the finest movie made in the last twelve, twenty years.” Needless to say, all of this love did not help that movie or Portman at all. So Dave, maybe not that reliable a prognosticator when it comes to Natalie Portman projects. Though, we are looking forward to his “it outta be a contender” speech for No Strings Attached.