Does Portra exceed 12 stops? Most quality DSLR'S can produce 12 stops. If it is that good then why scan it? The obvious answer is that you are trying to extend the DR? As to toning down the light area then that would be easy in Photoshop assuming a little skill and no imagination required. A layer set to multiply and the layer inverted would do it with a little masking. Better still a Viveza plug in. I don't know how Justan exposed the original but a spot meter for the lightest area - exposure lock - and EV + 2 would have exposed that area better and the shadows would have been lightened as well. Most photographers have left film behind because digital can handle the issues with less hassle. The cost of a scanner and extra knowledge is a burden most photographers don't want to use. BTW the highlight doesn't look blown to me, just too light? I had a look at the link. It is for movie images and not stills so I don't see the relevance? The guy sounded knowledgeable but opinionated and smug. I would have to see some knowledgeable rebuttal before making up my mind. As to the sun looking ugly that is because the DR has been exceeded. No medium can capture it properly nor can filters tone it down but post Photoshop can tame it nicely, if you know how.
Oh heavens yes way over 12 stops and your common DSLR is nearer 8-9 stops and what 12 bit?, less when you start upping the iso, even Phaseone only claim about 12.5. You scan because a digital file is more useful these days, the scanner cannot extend the DR it can only try and get the information out of the negative not put it in. Toning down the highlight by making it grey or a colour tint is not really an answer, you need detail in it or at least a smooth progression to no detail, even the surrounding areas of yellow sky are mostly blown out, there is no tone to the yellow, just blocks of yellow. That is not a special criticism of this image which I do like, but an example of what people now except in a picture, no plugin in the World can work with information which is not there. I would hate for anyone to just take my word for it. You can pick up a film camera for pennies, pay to have a roll processed and pay to get a decent scan of say one or two images, at least that way you could judge wether you think it's worth doing or not. If you can stretch to a half decent MF camera you would get a better idea. A MF would be more than pennies, something like a Yashica Mat or Mamiya C33 might be a hundred or two, but you would not lose much reselling after shooting a few rolls. What I would say is if you do try one just take that out with you and a tripod, leave everything else at home and get to grips with the reversed image, slow working pace etc these cameras force you to work at. There is a chance you might find it a more enjoyable way of working, if not sell it again.Nothing lost but an experience gained.
It is relevant what he says about walking in front of the Sun and retaining detail in the shadow side of the face, that applies to still photography as well, as for him being knowledgable well yeah did you read what he does and what his credits are for? Smug? he's given his opinion as to why he works a certain way when he has a budget that would let him work anyway he chooses.