EXTRA!! EXTRA!! READ ALL ABOUT IT!!! Natalie Portman wins Best Actress Oscar for Black Swan!!!
This is my 100% fully backed Oscar Prediction for the Academy Award bonanza of 2010. Simply put, I was on the edge of my seat, unblinkingly entranced. The captivating control; the introverted reserve yet internal festering emotional burn of Natalie Portman’s portrayal of Nina Sayers’ on the brink of madness is absolutely riveting. Moreover, Portman’s embodiment of delusional composure prisioned behind a fragile, psychological tissue paper wall results in a performance that is nothing but pure brilliance. Take this from someone who has never heralded Mrs. Portman for any achievement in acting (her last memorable film worthy of my kudos was 2004’s Garden State). Portman lost 20 pounds from her already petite frame to play the stardom seeking ballerina. The result is a physical presence perfectly tethered to the mentally exhaustive roller coaster bashing which Nina goes through. Even though on the surface this movie is about the life of a Ballerina, Black Swan transcends any “girlie movie” label to showcase how grueling, cutthroat, and essentially abusive the ballet industry truly is. Strong supporting work from Mila Kunis (still semi-reminiscent of her That 70 Show days), Vincent Cassel and psycho-smuthering mom Barbara Hershey, the acting deserves ensemble praise.
What keeps your eyes glued to the screen is Matthew Libatique’s dark, mind bending, “is it real or is it illusional” bleak cinematography.
What keeps your attention fixated on Natalie Portman is Darren Aronofsky’s masterful direction. Let me bluntly state that I would take Darren Aronofsky as a director over the likes of James Cameron, Ridley Scott , Steven Spielberg, or Ron Howard any day. Last year Aronofsky hit a home run with the male equivalent of Black Swan, The Wrestler. Black Swan is more cinematically inventive and psychologically profound, raising it slightly above the acclaim for The Wrestler. For all of the forgettable director shellacking we had to sit through in 2010, I would consider Aronofsky to be the dark horse for Best Director of 2010.