Natalie's Back (And Really Kind Of Basic)

If there’s one thing I think we can all agree on, it’s that disappointment is a terrible feeling. (I mean, all it takes is one experience with your parents telling you, “We’re not angry, just disappointed,” to know what I’m talking about.) And it’s possible that I’m being a little bit dramatic here, but feeling disappointed when it comes to one of your favorite celebrities is truly devastating. And I don’t mean disappointed over their insistence on getting back together with that skeezy boyfriend (ahem, Selena Gomez) or their decision to post a controversial #TBT photo on Instagram (yes, you, January Jones), though both of these situations will certainly leave you feeling pretty let down.

I mean disappointment over a missed style opportunity — a chance to really shine and make a major comeback after being out of the spotlight for a notable period of time. And that kind of disappointment is exactly what one of my favorite actresses, the always lovely Natalie Portman, left me feeling over the last several days with a trio of Christian Dior ensembles that — while fine and pretty and generally flattering — were simply a little boring in terms of the gorgeous star’s long-awaited red carpet return.

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Making a rare red carpet appearance at a Miss Dior exhibition opening in Shanghai, Portman showed up in an all-white Dior ensemble featuring a structured, slightly peplum top and draped, pleated silk skirt. Pairing the little white dress with a basic black pump, envelope clutch, and simple watch, her black-and-white ensemble perfectly matched the event’s houndstooth-print carpet. Finishing the look off with a feminine, curled bob and pretty red lip, the actress looked — if not necessarily show stopping — then undeniably feminine.

Staying in Shanghai over the weekend, Portman then attended a press conference on Sunday wearing a simple LBD featuring a classic fit-and-flare silhouette, which she complemented with sleek locks, ankle-strap pumps, and the same Richard Mille watch that completed her Miss Dior event ensemble.

Wrapping up her stay in the Chinese city later that evening, Portman attended the closing ceremony of the 2014 Shanghai International Film Festival donning a Christian Dior column gown that featured a printed bodice and flowing silk skirt. Keeping the look enviously elegant with a classic updo, drop earrings, and, yes, that same black watch, Portman was the picture of red-carpet grace.

But as beautiful as the Oscar-winning actress looked on each separate occasion, I still find myself feeling a little let down, especially when you compare her to stars like Kerry Washington and Emily Blunt — both of who made a major splash with their first red-carpet appearances after taking months away from the limelight.

And sure, Portman’s never been one to go all edgy and over the top on us on the red carpet (even her last stunner of an ensemble featured nothing more than a beautifully beaded and structured top and a basic pair of pants). However, after retreating from the spotlight for quite some time, you can’t blame me if I expected a little more excitement or effort when she finally showed her flawless face and stunning sense of style yet again.

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But don't worry, Natalie: I'm ready to forgive and forget as soon as you start looking like your normal, fabulous self again in ensembles that are just a wee bit more thrilling than your last three.