'Black Swan': Can Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis both score Oscar nods?

It’s almost D-Day for Black Swan, which finally hits theaters next Friday, Dec. 3 after dominating the film-festival circuit over the past three months. It’s a foregone conclusion that star Natalie Portman will earn a Best Actress nomination for her career-best performance as a mentally-unstable ballerina. What’s less clear are the film’s chances in the Best Supporting Actress category. The film boasts strong secondary turns from Barbara Hershey, as Portman’s overbearing stage mom, and Mila Kunis, as a new arrival to Portman’s ballet company who soon becomes her biggest competition. I suspect both actresses will have signficant fan bases in the critical community and within the Academy; the question is whether one (or both) of them can amass enough support to score a spot over probable nominees like The King’s Speech costar Helena Bonham Carter, Rabbit Hole‘s Dianne Wiest, and the impressive duo from The Fighter, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. Whatever happens, one of the most memorable aspects of the film is the rapport between Portman’s Nina and Kunis’ Lily, two very different women who eventually strike up a combustible friendship. In this exclusive clip (which spotlights Portman’s formidable dancing skills and director Darren Aronofsky’s impressively dizzy camerawork), Portman and Kunis’ characters encounter each other for the first time.

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  • alex

    cannot wait for this movie!!! ballet and crazy-ness!

    • Tarc

      “which spotlights Portman’s formidable dancing skills”

      Right. Cuz it’s not a stunt double for the long shots and fancy camera positioning at all, right?

      • the ives unplugged

        If you actual bother to learn before you type, you’d know that Portman was a trained dancer and did 90% of her own dancing.

      • acamp123

        No kidding! I was expecting to see some actual dancing after reading that…what a stupid thing for Karger to have written.

      • therainhouse

        But Natalie Portman did do some of the stunts herself. That footwork might not be hers.. I guess they should interview her about the stunts she did.

      • rchill

        ok – poor clip to demonstrate. but wait till you see the film to judge. i really think it was at least 90% actually her dancing. she was brilliant!

      • AK

        Of course there were dance doubles. But Portman also trained in ballet for six months before shooting the movie, so a lot of it is definitely her.

      • Beau

        She’s been dancing since age 4. She trained FOR THIS MOVIE for a year!

      • Debi

        She trained for this movie for more than a year & does all her own dancing.

      • battyrubble

        She trained a LOT! but for the really difficult stuff that take years to master, it was a stunt double.

      • LeeLee

        Unless she’s been training ONLY since she was 4, it’s a stunt double. It’s takes YEARS and YEARS and YEARS of eating, sleeping and living ballet to be a premeir ballerina.

      • LeeLee


      • Tye-Grr

        She does indeed sometimes use a stunt double, but some of it is actually her as she trained for the role for a year, and had previous dance experience from her youth. She also followed the training and eating regimen of the ballet group they worked with for that year.

      • Jaded1

        Natalie Portman’s dance double is Sarah Lane, a soloist from the American Ballet Theater. They bear a striking resemblance to each other. Crafty camera work though.

      • anna

        Sorry but your answers are making me smile. If you have ever done ballet for real you would know that the what Natalie Portman’s character danced in the movie would take at least 20 years of ballet training, just to be able to get up on the point shoes takes 5 years of prior training, so no guys 6 months will not turn a 28 years old woman in to a ballerina, most of the dance shot were done by the double, sorry to dissapoint… Have to say Natalie did an exclusive job portraying the character.

  • The Dude

    While I’m hearing good things about Kunis, those who have seen the movie say that it’s basically Portman’s show and that Kunis (and Hershey) have minimal roles in it. Considering how strong Best Supporting Actress is this year, I think they both may miss out. But I agree about Portman…right now she’s a lock for a nom and she actually has a very good chance at taking the big prize (right now I think her biggest competition are the girls from “The Kids are Alright”)

    • alex

      am i the only person who did not think The Kids Are Alright was the greatest?

      • tracy bluth

        The whole “Julianne Moore has an affair with Mark Ruffalo!” thing seemed unnecessary to me….I think if they went another direction with the story I would’ve liked it as much as everyone else.

      • A-K87

        cheers for the spoiler, Tracy.

        Let’s please keep these boards spoiler free. Not everyone comes from the Land Of The ‘Free’.

      • Trill

        @ A-K87: The Kids Are Alright came out MONTHS ago. You think people should stop discussing the details of a movie just because you haven’t seen it yet?

      • Jose

        A-K87, that “spoiler” is given away in the trailer, stop complaning.

      • Jose

        You’re not Alex, I will say though that Moore deserves the attention that Bening is getting though. Moore gave the best performance of the film.

      • eric

        Actresses in their 50’s do not win Best Actress (well, except Shirley Booth for Come Back Little Sheeba). It’s just too boring a period to garner praise. Portman will get the prize. Bening is too old.

      • Stephanie

        You are not! That was the worst movie I have seen in a very long time! Being a huge Annette Bening fan I was very disappointed. I hated all the characters and wish I had those 2 hrs back!!

      • LeeLee

        thanks, Tracy. Had not seen the movie yet and was looking forward ot it. Thanks for ruining what I’m guessing was a major plot twist.

  • harry

    that was awesome!!!!

  • danielle

    Who is playing the choreographer, what do I know him from?

    • Danny

      Vincent Cassell. French Actor. Could have seen him in tons of different things. Check him out on Imdb.com to see where you know him from.

      • A-K87

        If you want to see how fantastic this guy is watch La Haine. It is the Parisian equivalent of Do The Right Thing. For an actor who comes from the upper reaches of Upper Class, he portrays the lowest of society so convincingly. Great film.

      • Celimene

        Yeah. “La Haine” is where Cassel really started to get noticed. It’s a great film, really fantastic. He’s done a ton of stuff in English as well – Ocean’s 12, Elizabeth, Eastern Promises – he’s really superb.

      • NH

        He was also in Derailed with Jennifer Aniston & that was a great movie.

    • Chris

      His name is Vincent Cassel – he’s a French actor. He’s been in a bunch of movies, but probably one of his better known roles was in Oceans 12 – he was the Master Thief (the Fox I think?) who George Clooney and gang were matching wits with in that movie. He’s also married to Monica Bellucci, the Italian actress from the Matrix Sequels (the Merovingian’s wife)

    • Altair

      It’s Vincent Cassell, he’s a French actor. He’s been in lots of films; ‘La Haine’ and ‘Mesrine’ to name a couple.
      You’re welcome.

    • LoveBug68

      I looks like Rand Paul which totally freaked me out for a minute!

      • justjack

        LoveBug you totally made me LOL, because he DOES! At least until he opens his mouth :)

      • sarah d

        That’s totally what I thought! I did a double take!

    • B

      Vincent Cassell was in Eastern Promises with Viggo Mortensen.

  • Miss Dragon

    Looking forward to seeing this film! Natalie is on top form.

  • Thomas

    Vincent Cassel – He’s in Irreversible

    • TruFan

      I had to watch that one with my eyes closed! Yes, one can watch a movie with their eyes closed.

  • aussiedave

    Who does Winona Ryder play ? And can EW please do a good comprehensive Oscar prediction/tips list. The first lot of critics awards start next week dont they? National Board of Review I think ?

  • yvan

    i was actually really surprised by kunis in this and hope she gets a nom.

  • MP

    Danielle…he is Vince Cassel. I first noticed him in the french Crimson River movies..but he is more well known for roles in Oceans 12,13 and Eastern Promises

  • bamalam

    Go Mila Kunis!!! Who knew Jackie from “That ’70s Show” and Meg from “Family Guy” could possibly earn herself an Oscar nod?

    • Lori

      Agreed! But no matter how busy and her incredibly increasing famousness, I hope she will stay on as “Meg.”

  • darkprince

    Black Swan is a wonderful, insanely, melodramatic head trip. Portman nails down her part, even the way she dances transforms throughout the film as she delves into insanity or symbolic womanhood (depending on the viewer’s interpretation). Mila is fine, but nothing amazing. Barbara is good, but her role is somewhat one note. Black Swan is a dark, occasionlly comic tour-de-force.

  • sparkle the gym bag

    this is going to rock…nat and mila get Very CLOSE..i am sure that scene will be on pause more than any other in a long time..nat was on letterman last night and was so funny..wore a great yellow dress…talked about training..dropping 20 lbs..great interview worth a look

  • Kiki

    This looks REALLY good! Can’t wait.

  • brian

    Mark it down, Mila Kunis will be this generation’s Angelina Jolie. She is sharp, an excellent actress, with that smokey, exotic sultriness about her. All she needs is the right vehicle for a breakout, and she will be a superstar.

    • Will

      I thot this generations Jolie was Jolie

      • Me

        Will, generations in Hollywood are only about 5 years.

    • LoveBug68

      I love her. I agree that she can be the next big thing. She’s gorgeous, can do comedy as easily as drama and is also pretty bad a$$ when she needs to be. In short, I adore her!

    • Di

      She did play a young Jolie in Gia, so I guess it’s a foregone conclusion.

  • KC

    I may have to pull a Paul Reubens if I see this in the theater.

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