Noah Forrest is a bit of a Natalie fan and his Black Swan review is definitely worth checking out for some great passages about Natalie’s performances. Here’s a taster.
It’s nearly impossible to discuss Black Swan without discussing the lead performance by Natalie Portman. I don’t want to sound too hyperbolic, but with just a few weeks left in the year and only a few more movies left for me to see, I don’t think there’s a very good chance that there is another performance – male or female, supporting or lead – that will match Portman’s. It’s true that she was lucky enough to be gifted with what is the role of a lifetime, but what she brings to the role – the way she speaks and carries herself – goes way beyond what is on the page. This is the performance of the year.
Our relationship to her winds up being that of a parent of a depressed child: we just want her to be happy, even if it’s only for a moment. Portman enables us to feel this way by the way she moves, the way she covers herself or avoids eye contact, never comfortable in any situation. Even when she dances, she seems close to collapse, because she gives everything to it. In a way, it reminded me of every great artist we’ve ever heard of who views their art as a duty more than a passion, whose craft actually hurts them – Vincent Van Gogh, Breece D’J Pancake, David Foster Wallace, the list is endless.