Natalie Portman’s Black Swan Acceptance Speech at the Oscars

So what did you guys think of it? I tried to find a YouTube video but couldn’t find a free one. Interesting that companies are going to start charging for subscriptions for that kind of thing… Anyway, I love that she thanked and named all the professional dancers who trained her this time, and that she expressed how wonderful and enlightening it was to work with them all. She honestly elevated the film with her speech in my opinion.

And how sweet was it for her to try to bring Millepied up with her onstage! I watched E!’s red carpet show – mainly to see her – but she arrived last and seemingly without Millepied (since she was interviewed alone). I was like, where is he?! But he was there, of course.

Speaking of the red carpet show, I loved Mila Kunis’s dress.

And Scarlett Johansson’s, though it didn’t seem to go over too well with Kelly Osbourne and the other woman who was hosting the show:

And Helena Bonham Carter noted that her dress was by Colleen Atwood, who is the costume designer who ended up winning best costume design for Alice in Wonderland. She said she preferred to celebrate the movies rather than fashion on this night:

I thought all of the best actor and best supporting actor speeches were good. Loved Colin Firth’s, loved him in King’s Speech, but still love Jesse Eisenberg as well. Love that in her excitement, Melissa Leo used profanity. How’d they bleep that out so quickly? And did Kirk Douglas actually grab her butt? Someone on Twitter said they thought they saw that. He was kind of acting in an antiquated sexist kind of way, with all his flirting with Hathaway and all, so I totally believe he may have. He would have made me so nervous if I were Leo. Poor Leo, I thought. This is her moment, not his. Interesting (and proper) move, to include Douglas as a presenter, because Anne Hathaway and James Franco seemed to keep sending the message that they were invited to host because they represented the young, hip generation. Is that true? She seemed like a big, clumsy, awkward goof – probably the nerves, and he seemed to have taken a bit too much Valium (or something else) to calm his. Does Hollywood feel the need to pander to the young ‘uns too? Like ballet and the opera? How odd – movies are generally for the younger generations, I’d thought… Anyway, they bored me, those hosts. And Kirk Douglas scared me. Isn’t there, like, someone in between, who’s not too unsophisticated to take on that kind of role but who can also keep from violating current-day boundaries?

Anyway, overall a decent night. The end of the evening speeches made up for the poor hosting. Kind of.


  1. I thought Benjamin walked her to the stairs but did not come up on stage with her? The film is silly, she is not a great actress (“furrow brow, quiver lower lip”) and it’s starting to look like Ben will be thought of as Mr. Portman rather than as a fine dancer and choreographer. I wonder how long they will last? This is Ben’s third ‘big’ relationship in a decade-span (the past two were real ballerinas)…

    I’ve heard that there is a seven-second delay in the transmission of the show so that words like “fuck” can be deleted before they reach America’s virgin ears.

    My suggestion for Oscar host is Kathy Bates. She presented a couple years ago and she was genuinely hilarious in her brief time onstage.

    Kirk Douglas was pathetic. Anne Hathaway should stick to singing. Lots of people hated Gwyneth Paltrow’s song but as country-style voices go, she wasn’t so bad. The best thing was the kids singing Over The Rainbow at the end with some very interesting harmonies. Scarlett Johanssen has short legs which is why high fashion doesn’t flatter her.

  2. Jonathan Wallach

    Wow. I can’t reply to that reply without seeming nasty because there isn’t one thing you said that I agree with even a little. As a singer myself Gwyneth Paltrow is as insulting to me as Natalie Portman is to you dance people. I’m supposed to be enraptured because she’s not quite tone deaf (she sorta almost is though) and her voice isn’t embarrassing (which it sorta is).

    And sorry, but Portman was magnificent in that movie, and obviously a ton of professional ACTORS and professional film critics agree. She did win the Oscar after all. But I guess dancers are the final arbiters of all things artistic. . . . . NOT.

    And Tonya, I really don’t know how you can say she elevated the film with the content of her acceptance speech. The film is the film and it speaks for itself. She could have farted on stage accepting her Oscar and it would have been exactly the same. I sat next to you when you saw it and you didn’t like it. Her acceptance speech really shouldn’t change that. I’m not trying to be contrary here but “Black Swan” was just a movie that takes place in the context of ballet. I really don’t know what you thought it was supposed to be. It was not a documentary and it wasn’t even supposed to be remotely realistic. It was a bizarre psychological horror movie. If more people in the dance world had just accepted it for what it was then maybe they wouldn’t have been so disappointed. Everybody else I know absolutely loved the film, from my 20-year old son who hates everything, to my friend who only goes to see action films.

    As for the demographic of movie goers: there was an article in the New York Times today that basically disputed the idea that movies are for the young. With baby boomers all now over 50 there were a slew of classic small films that all made over $100 million that were geared to older audiences. The truth is that young people, except for a few blockbusters, watch on video or stay home.

  3. I think Kathy Bates would be awesome! It would be totally refreshing to have a strong, independent woman of a certain age as next year’s host! Let’s all start a campaign!

    Jonathan, I gave an opinion as to why dancers are so bent out of shape about “Black Swan” on the “Misty Copeland” post. Now, understanding why they are so upset, I do agree with you it’s time to move on to something else! It’s just one movie, after all.

    Speaking of demographics: Another study that was done showed that audiences tend to skew older for the classical performing arts as well. People just don’t get the “bug” for the ballet or the opera until they are around 40. So, therefore, I don’t think it’s that NYCB’s audiences are dying off, per se. It’s just that the audience that wants to go can’t relate to what is being offered. Which is mainly a world viewpoint of someone half their age. Or ballets that were created before they were even born. Think about it.

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