Author Topic: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In  (Read 11981 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Sabbyfrog2

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6754
  • I'm a Super Hero! Now where's my cape?
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #90 on: May 19, 2011, 08:50:34 AM »
The irony here is that both women are artists who answer to a powerful movie studio. One woman commands millions for her performances and is honored on national TV. The other will work for peanuts and retire at a young age, possibly with injuries, to promote an art that is constantly teetering on the brink of extinction. Many ballet companies can't even afford the lush, live music that Tchaikovsky scored in order to make Black Swan possible. If anything, Portman may have missed an opportunity to give a shout-out to the performing arts in general, as a fellow artist herself.

If this were a Tony award, and she were a theatre actress, or a dancer in a ballet company winning an award for that, I might agree with you. This is an Oscar. Oscars are for movies. They are not one in the same. No one refers to movies as "art" anymore. They are such different worlds that it doesn't surprise me that she didn't think to shout out the arts in general. Besides, I highly doubt that her shout out would do much to change the financial situtation that some ballet companies find themselves in.

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5185
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #91 on: May 19, 2011, 10:57:19 AM »
The irony here is that both women are artists who answer to a powerful movie studio. One woman commands millions for her performances and is honored on national TV. The other will work for peanuts and retire at a young age, possibly with injuries, to promote an art that is constantly teetering on the brink of extinction. Many ballet companies can't even afford the lush, live music that Tchaikovsky scored in order to make Black Swan possible. If anything, Portman may have missed an opportunity to give a shout-out to the performing arts in general, as a fellow artist herself.

If the ballerina wanted to be a movie star, she should have become a movie star rather than a ballerina.  I think a movie about ballet is a "shout-out to the performing arts" in and of itself, and I see no reason why Portman should be chastised for not doing more than she has.

KenveeB

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8220
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #92 on: May 19, 2011, 01:45:47 PM »
The irony here is that both women are artists who answer to a powerful movie studio. One woman commands millions for her performances and is honored on national TV. The other will work for peanuts and retire at a young age, possibly with injuries, to promote an art that is constantly teetering on the brink of extinction. Many ballet companies can't even afford the lush, live music that Tchaikovsky scored in order to make Black Swan possible. If anything, Portman may have missed an opportunity to give a shout-out to the performing arts in general, as a fellow artist herself.

If the ballerina wanted to be a movie star, she should have become a movie star rather than a ballerina.  I think a movie about ballet is a "shout-out to the performing arts" in and of itself, and I see no reason why Portman should be chastised for not doing more than she has.

Didn't Natalie Portman train as a ballerina until she was 13 or so, giving it up to study acting?  Seems like they made their choices and are reaping the results.  Besides, Portman and the other big stars are the anomaly on acting.  Most actors also work for peanuts and struggle just for bit parts.

Ceiling Fan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2236
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #93 on: May 19, 2011, 01:46:03 PM »
I finally saw this the other night, and was horribly disapointed after all the hype. This was in no way a 'psycho-sexual thriller', mainly because there was never any doubt that this was all in her mind (and very little sex). It was pretty much the story of one person's breakdown.

I have to say, the mom came off way more sympathetic than I was lead to expect (the problem with reading reviews ahead of seeing the film, I guess). I was expecting a raging stage-door-mommy-dearest-monster-mom, and instead got a very nuanced and surprisingly sympathetic performance by Barbara Hershey, who turned out to be pretty much justified with her concerns (but that masturbation sequence was pretty funny, I wonder if it was supposed to be?)

And, pretty much, I hated NP in the lead role. I get that this was supposed to be about the disconnect between a naive child-woman who just wasn't savvy enough to see the implications of, oh, that her director might have his own sexual agenda that might or might not have included Nina, and a prima ballerina who, by age (27? 28?) should have known about the sex and politics inherrent in the power-struggles of the company she'd been a part of for years.

I think this actually would have worked much better with a younger actress, where we could really believe that she was as naive as NP was supposed to be. Because, in the end, I just found it not credible. NP didn't do a good enough job of making me believe she was as naive as she was supposed to be.

And yeah, I was expecting much more of the dancing, after the hype and this thread (kinda 'meh?', when all was said and done, -and I did pratice ballet for 8 years, and was only allowed en pointe after 7).

June24

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 821
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #94 on: May 26, 2011, 01:43:16 AM »
As someone who trained for over a decade to become a ballet dancer, I absolutely do NOT believe that Portman learned this extremely challenging role in under a year. Not gonna happen.  ::) And it's unethical as well as insulting to professional dancers to suggest that you can master the technique just by working "really hard" for a year.  ::) The obvious lying really gets to me, and it goes way beyond etiquette. It's about ethics. I don't think that Portman needed to acknowledge the double in the speech, but the studio shouldn't have tried to obfuscate the truth.

ETA: While the dancing wasn't everything to the role, it was very important in setting the mood. After all, if the dancing didn't matter and only the acting was important, why have the dancing at all? I thought that the dance sequences and the expressiveness of the movements played a large part in character development.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 01:58:05 AM by June24 »

PeasNCues

  • Mind your PeasNCues!
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7366
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #95 on: May 26, 2011, 09:20:58 AM »
She didn't say she learned everything in a year - Natalie Portman had YEARS of training before she took up acting, I believe.
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

http://inanitiesofanidlemind.blogspot.com/

jimithing

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 19737
  • Life Is Too Short to Wear a Bad Outfit!
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #96 on: May 26, 2011, 11:30:27 AM »
As someone who trained for over a decade to become a ballet dancer, I absolutely do NOT believe that Portman learned this extremely challenging role in under a year. Not gonna happen.  ::) And it's unethical as well as insulting to professional dancers to suggest that you can master the technique just by working "really hard" for a year.  ::) The obvious lying really gets to me, and it goes way beyond etiquette. It's about ethics. I don't think that Portman needed to acknowledge the double in the speech, but the studio shouldn't have tried to obfuscate the truth.

ETA: While the dancing wasn't everything to the role, it was very important in setting the mood. After all, if the dancing didn't matter and only the acting was important, why have the dancing at all? I thought that the dance sequences and the expressiveness of the movements played a large part in character development.

I don't believe that Natalie ever said that she did every single move and learned en pointe, in a year. But she did work hard and did learn basic ballet moves.

Like stuntdoubles. Most people realize that many actors don't do their own stunts. But you don't hear stuntdoubles upset that they aren't talked about or given credit all the time.

violinp

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3372
  • cabbagegirl28's my sister :)
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #97 on: May 26, 2011, 11:51:17 AM »
I finally saw this the other night, and was horribly disapointed after all the hype. This was in no way a 'psycho-sexual thriller', mainly because there was never any doubt that this was all in her mind (and very little sex). It was pretty much the story of one person's breakdown.

I have to say, the mom came off way more sympathetic than I was lead to expect (the problem with reading reviews ahead of seeing the film, I guess). I was expecting a raging stage-door-mommy-dearest-monster-mom, and instead got a very nuanced and surprisingly sympathetic performance by Barbara Hershey, who turned out to be pretty much justified with her concerns (but that masturbation sequence was pretty funny, I wonder if it was supposed to be?)

And, pretty much, I hated NP in the lead role. I get that this was supposed to be about the disconnect between a naive child-woman who just wasn't savvy enough to see the implications of, oh, that her director might have his own sexual agenda that might or might not have included Nina, and a prima ballerina who, by age (27? 28?) should have known about the sex and politics inherrent in the power-struggles of the company she'd been a part of for years.

I think this actually would have worked much better with a younger actress, where we could really believe that she was as naive as NP was supposed to be. Because, in the end, I just found it not credible. NP didn't do a good enough job of making me believe she was as naive as she was supposed to be.

And yeah, I was expecting much more of the dancing, after the hype and this thread (kinda 'meh?', when all was said and done, -and I did pratice ballet for 8 years, and was only allowed en pointe after 7).


From what I have been told and from what I have seen in part of the movie, it sounds to me like Nina has schizophrenia or a schizoid disorder. For me, it was just sad and heartbreaking to see this woman slowly lose her mind. One has to wonder how long she was latently messed up.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9433
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #98 on: May 26, 2011, 01:29:23 PM »
And, pretty much, I hated NP in the lead role. I get that this was supposed to be about the disconnect between a naive child-woman who just wasn't savvy enough to see the implications of, oh, that her director might have his own sexual agenda that might or might not have included Nina, and a prima ballerina who, by age (27? 28?) should have known about the sex and politics inherent in the  of the company she'd been a part of for years.

I think this actually would have worked much better with a younger actress, where we could really believe that she was as naive as NP was supposed to be. Because, in the end, I just found it not credible. NP didn't do a good enough job of making me believe she was as naive as she was supposed to be.

Since the average dancer enters a company between the ages of 16-20, I also found her naivete odd. She's been in 6-10 years- she couldn't be that clueless. They should have used something like Darci Kistler's story- she became a principal dancer at 17.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Ceiling Fan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2236
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #99 on: May 26, 2011, 06:42:39 PM »
And, pretty much, I hated NP in the lead role. I get that this was supposed to be about the disconnect between a naive child-woman who just wasn't savvy enough to see the implications of, oh, that her director might have his own sexual agenda that might or might not have included Nina, and a prima ballerina who, by age (27? 28?) should have known about the sex and politics inherent in the  of the company she'd been a part of for years.

I think this actually would have worked much better with a younger actress, where we could really believe that she was as naive as NP was supposed to be. Because, in the end, I just found it not credible. NP didn't do a good enough job of making me believe she was as naive as she was supposed to be.

Since the average dancer enters a company between the ages of 16-20, I also found her naivete odd. She's been in 6-10 years- she couldn't be that clueless. They should have used something like Darci Kistler's story- she became a principal dancer at 17.

Yes, exactly! That would have been more credible. I just checked, NP was born in 81, so 28-ish when the movie was being made? Way too old to make that kind of innocense/naivete believable.

June24

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 821
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #100 on: May 26, 2011, 07:03:49 PM »
As someone who trained for over a decade to become a ballet dancer, I absolutely do NOT believe that Portman learned this extremely challenging role in under a year. Not gonna happen.  ::) And it's unethical as well as insulting to professional dancers to suggest that you can master the technique just by working "really hard" for a year.  ::) The obvious lying really gets to me, and it goes way beyond etiquette. It's about ethics. I don't think that Portman needed to acknowledge the double in the speech, but the studio shouldn't have tried to obfuscate the truth.

ETA: While the dancing wasn't everything to the role, it was very important in setting the mood. After all, if the dancing didn't matter and only the acting was important, why have the dancing at all? I thought that the dance sequences and the expressiveness of the movements played a large part in character development.

I don't believe that Natalie ever said that she did every single move and learned en pointe, in a year. But she did work hard and did learn basic ballet moves.

Like stuntdoubles. Most people realize that many actors don't do their own stunts. But you don't hear stuntdoubles upset that they aren't talked about or given credit all the time.

A ballet dancer isn't the same as a stunt double IMO, because it takes decades of very intense training from a young age, as well as a great deal of talent, to get to that level. A stunt double doing some tricks, while still challenging, is just not on the same level. The stunt double probably hasn't dedicated their entire life to learning the stunts, while the dancer has spent many hours a day in the studio and given up a LOT for their chosen career. Also, the dancing wasn't peripheral to this movie like a stunt would be - it was the major element.

Also, my problem is that Portman and the studio execs made it sound like she did the vast, vast majority of the dancing, when all the major dancing (the footwork) was actually done by the professional. Since she was making such a big deal of the dancing, it was only fair to be transparent about the who did how much of the dancing.

ydpubs

  • Has a fine singing voice.
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3357
  • Reading the threads here makes me hungry.
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #101 on: May 26, 2011, 07:26:36 PM »
I looked up her bio. It says, from an interview in 2004 that Portman started dancing lesson at age 4 and performed with a troop for a while,from 4 to 13 from what I've read. So she started out in life as a dancer. So at the very least, she didn't go in to this with no knowledge of dancing or what it takes to be a dancer. Certainly the stand-in did some of the more difficult moves, but Portman did have a considerable amount of experience before this film was made.

As for not giving all sorts of accolades to the double, what actor/actress ever did so? I don't expect them to make a pointed remark on Oscar night about their stand-ins.
No matter where you go, there you are...

Ceiling Fan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2236
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #102 on: May 26, 2011, 07:31:50 PM »
As someone who trained for over a decade to become a ballet dancer, I absolutely do NOT believe that Portman learned this extremely challenging role in under a year. Not gonna happen.  ::) And it's unethical as well as insulting to professional dancers to suggest that you can master the technique just by working "really hard" for a year.  ::) The obvious lying really gets to me, and it goes way beyond etiquette. It's about ethics. I don't think that Portman needed to acknowledge the double in the speech, but the studio shouldn't have tried to obfuscate the truth.

ETA: While the dancing wasn't everything to the role, it was very important in setting the mood. After all, if the dancing didn't matter and only the acting was important, why have the dancing at all? I thought that the dance sequences and the expressiveness of the movements played a large part in character development.

I don't believe that Natalie ever said that she did every single move and learned en pointe, in a year. But she did work hard and did learn basic ballet moves.

Like stuntdoubles. Most people realize that many actors don't do their own stunts. But you don't hear stuntdoubles upset that they aren't talked about or given credit all the time.

A ballet dancer isn't the same as a stunt double IMO, because it takes decades of very intense training from a young age, as well as a great deal of talent, to get to that level. A stunt double doing some tricks, while still challenging, is just not on the same level. The stunt double probably hasn't dedicated their entire life to learning the stunts, while the dancer has spent many hours a day in the studio and given up a LOT for their chosen career. Also, the dancing wasn't peripheral to this movie like a stunt would be - it was the major element.

Also, my problem is that Portman and the studio execs made it sound like she did the vast, vast majority of the dancing, when all the major dancing (the footwork) was actually done by the professional. Since she was making such a big deal of the dancing, it was only fair to be transparent about the who did how much of the dancing.

Seriously? Not many people care. This was a movie. People came to see the stars. If Lane is *that amazing* as a dancer, them maybe someday, someone will make her career into a movie, but until then, she picked up a nice chunk of change for being a dance double in a movie, and is now being unprofessional to kvetch about the credit she didn't get.

People go to the ballet to see dancers. People go to movies to see actors. Expecting movie-goers to give a darn about the behind the scenes stuff (even to stunt doubles and dance doubles) is asking too much. Most people go for the illusion. If you want to get all real about it, it wasn't that believable a story, and neither was Harry Potter. But the dancing was OK.

ydpubs

  • Has a fine singing voice.
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3357
  • Reading the threads here makes me hungry.
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #103 on: May 26, 2011, 07:39:42 PM »
I have to agree with the above. I got to a film with a good dose of suspension of disbelief. I go for the compelling story or performance or any number of things that attract me to a film.

Hey if Mikhail Baryshnikov is dancing in the film. I know he did it. Cool. But if the person in question isn't necessarily known for being a dancer or say a musician, I pretty much assume a double or dubbing is involved. And some actors do have prior training, like Christopher Walken and as it turns out, Natalie Portman. But I don't go to see them for the dancing, it's just a bonus for them if their role happens to include it. 
No matter where you go, there you are...

ArizonaGirl77

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 185
Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #104 on: May 26, 2011, 07:45:14 PM »
I loved, loved LOVED this movie as did my wife and Mother! I feel it was very well done and deserved the accolades it received.

Having said that, the dancing double is acting like a child. I've never, that I can recall, heard an actor/ress talk about their stunt doubles at awards shows. A movie, as others have said, is about the ACTING not the stunts. If you choose to be a stunt double then you need to realize that you may never get the accolades the ACTORS receive as they are front and center and you have chosen to be behind the scenes.