Harsh 'Variety' Editors Take Official Stand on Natalie Portman's Acting Skills All she wanted to do was direct, and now look: The gang at Variety all but scoffed today at Natalie Portman's forthcoming feature helming debut, scare-quoting an implicit vote of no confidence in the job she has now. But she'll show the "trade paper" yet, with her short-film bow on the the way in the omnibus New York, I Love You and more outstanding performances to come in 2009. Seriously — this is an Oscar nominee! Have they not seen Closer ? Or that film she did years ago with Luc Besson ? Oh. Wait. [Variety ]