Monday, March 28, 2011

In Natalie Portman's Defense

That's it! Everyone knows that Natalie Portman didn't do all of her ballet sequences in Black Swan. She's ruined forever. Well, not quite.

Ms. Portman is a brilliant actress and there's nothing wrong with Hollywood bringing in a body-double to perform her most difficult ballet scenes.

The stand-in - American Ballet Theatre dancer Sarah Lane - griped "Of the full body shots, I would say five per cent are Natalie... I do want people to know that you cannot absolutely become a professional ballet dancer in a year and a half no matter how hard you work. I've been doing this for 22 years."

Well note to Ms. Lane, when you're hired to do a job in a film, just do it and shut up!
Hollywood is all about creating an illusion and telling a story, it is a work of fiction and Ms. Portman did not claim to do all of her scenes in the first place.

The bad press is doing nothing to remove any of the shine from her abilities as an actor. Portman worked for a year and half to learn ballet and become more fluid in her movements. That speaks volumes about the dedication she has to her craft and the respect she has for the world of ballet.

In a  noble move to defend Ms. Portman, Fox Searchlight issued the follwing statement:
"We were fortunate to have Sarah there to cover the more complicated dance sequences and we have nothing but praise for the hard work she did. However, Natalie herself did most of the dancing featured in the final film."

Natalie, you did your job. You acted the part perfectly, and we don't care which scenes were you in and which you were not. As moviegoers and film lovers, we subscribe to the story and we release ourselves from expectations that everything we see is real. It's the movies for God's sake.

By Paul Brighton

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