Author Topic: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In  (Read 13480 times)

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June24

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #105 on: May 29, 2011, 07:53:12 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.

No need to be snarky. I don't care that "not many people care". I'm saying what I think the ETHICAL approach would be. Ethics has nothing to do with people's desire to suspend disbelief.

kschmid5

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #106 on: May 29, 2011, 08:39:27 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.


I was a serious figure skater for about 15 years, and this is my major peeve with the movie/tv industry.  They regularly have narravtives about how plucky characters "just try real hard" and get to the highest levels of sport in no time.  For instance; Ice Princess, The Cutting Edge, Mighty Ducks and so on and so forth. I personally could not watch a commercial for Ice Princess without SEETHING about how many years my doubles (and almost one triple) jump took me. Physics lessons my tush. (grumble, grumble) 

It's just another take on the common myth that hard work is always rewarded promptly. (a very common theme in fairy tales too) I just remind myself that movies and tv are modern day fairy tales, and normally are not remotely realistic on any topic, whether it be a chef show, Dancing with the Stars, or Glee. 

:) Back to the topic at hand, I say that the dancer is understandably surprised at the studio's actions, but that Natalie Portman didn't actually do anything wrong at the Oscars. Though it would have been nice of her to thank Ms. Lane, it's not rude that she didn't.

Eisa

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #107 on: May 29, 2011, 11:37:13 PM »
I haven't actually seen the movie because I'm 99% sure it will be too triggering, but I did read a few blog entries on it that the thing that isn't *explicitly* stated is that her mother is sexually abusing her and that's why she breaks down like that.

It seems like the media decided to make up the outrage for Sarah Lane--or at least a good part of it, and that casts her in a nasty light that she doesn't deserve. I also would count the dancing as more of the difficult stuff. I took dance basics last year, and we did only a tiny bit of ballet, but I know there is no way that I personally could ever learn ballet. I can't even do a grand plie. :-[ The dancing is a big part of the movie. Not to say what Natalie did wasn't great, but her dance double DID do, well...a lot of the dancing.
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Sharnita

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #108 on: May 30, 2011, 11:18:59 AM »
There seems to be a whole lot of talk and attention when actors do their own stunts.  They seem very enthusiastic to share what it was like, why they did it, how much they trained, etc.  It seems reasonable then that they give some attention to the people whoare doing the stunts/dancung/etc that they can/will not.  I can't remember how many times I've heard Tom Cruise talking about doing stunts but very rarely do stars give credit to the stunt people doing the stunts for them.

Twik

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #109 on: May 30, 2011, 05:10:28 PM »
Stunt people are basically no different from makeup artists, SFX crews, and sound technicians. They are talented people who put a lot of effort into creating a finished movie. However, when someone wins an award for, say, sound production, I doubt it would occur to them to thank the stars for having such easy voices to record.

Natalie Portman did the *acting*, and won an award for *acting*. Really, unless we want every winner to read off the credits to their films, they are entitled to figure the award concentrates on their work, not everyone's. If anyone were to thank Ms. Lane, I think it should be the director and producers, who oversee the entire production.
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ydpubs

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Re: Natalie Portman and her Stand-In
« Reply #110 on: May 30, 2011, 05:16:44 PM »
Stunt people are basically no different from makeup artists, SFX crews, and sound technicians. They are talented people who put a lot of effort into creating a finished movie. However, when someone wins an award for, say, sound production, I doubt it would occur to them to thank the stars for having such easy voices to record.

Natalie Portman did the *acting*, and won an award for *acting*. Really, unless we want every winner to read off the credits to their films, they are entitled to figure the award concentrates on their work, not everyone's. If anyone were to thank Ms. Lane, I think it should be the director and producers, who oversee the entire production.

Agreed. If she got some huge accolade for dance, then I could understand Lane's upset. But this is clearly not the case.
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