2011 Oscars Challenge: Black Swan

Who knew the story of a twisted ballerina could become such a sensation that it grabs five nominations at the Academy Awards? Natalie Portman and Darren Aronofsky both receive recognition for their work. Neither are strangers to nominations. Portman was nominated in 2005 for her performance in “Closer” while Aronofsky was nominated for his 2008 cult hit “The Wrestler”. Unfortunately, for Aronofsky, he will have to wait for another year. Portman, however, should already be handed the gold.

No one deserves the Oscar for Best Leading Actress more than Natalie Portman. As a conflicted ballerina, Portman immerses herself in the role and embodies every aspect of her character. Consider the amount of work involved in her part compared to the other actresses up for the award. Did any of them have to learn an entire choreographed ballet and become not only an actress but a realistic dancer on top of that?


Sorry to burst the bubble but Annette Bening only has to display conflicted emotions while trying to hold her family together in “The Kids Are All Right”. Natalie Portman has to take the reigns as a conflicted soul, attempting to overcome her fragile mental stability and struggles as the lead dancer of “Swan Lake”.

Natalie Portman is the only actress that deserves the award this year and if Bening is given the gold just for reaching the edge of her career, then I will be greatly disappointed. Portman, on the other hand, proves early on in her career that she deserves acclaim and attains my utmost respect. With her performance in “Black Swan”, she has graced her way into becoming one of my favorite actresses.


Just like last year, with Sandra Bullock pulling off a career shifting stint in “The Blind Side”, I had a gut feeling that she would blow her competitors away and the same goes for Natalie Portman this year. Portman rises above her opponents for the award in every single capacity and I will be completely shocked on Oscar night if her name is not called from the envelope.

“Black Swan” is also up for Best Film Editing, an award that it could actually have a chance at. Most people argue that either “The Social Network” or “The King’s Speech” take this one, but again, did any of those films have to cut around all the dancing and constantly moving sequences? “Black Swan” actually shows a true feat of editing and if a film were to display all the qualities needed to win the award, “Black Swan” does so. The same praise goes for the Cinematography of the film. “Black Swan’s” visuals struck me unlike any film has ever struck me before. The constant motion, grace, and effectiveness of the cinematography, especially dealing with dancers and their movements, becomes instant award winning work. In my personal opinion, “Black Swan” is a great candidate for these categories.


Best Director will probably land on David Fincher’s lap. If not Fincher, the Director’s Guild pick Tom Hooper might be the runner-up. Darren Aronofsky definitely deserves recognition for “Black Swan”, but will probably pull a close third to Fincher and Hooper.

Best Picture of the Year appears unlikely for “Black Swan”, but Portman’s performance winning its respected award will be all the justification I need. If it can pull of Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography, I will be even more justified. I wish the best for this film and hope that its buzz helps Darren Aronsofsky into future Academy Award nominated work.

(25 OF 41 FILMS REMAINING)-(19 DAYS TO OSCARS)


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