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Women on the Brink of an Academy Award

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Posted on Feb 1, 2011
foxsearchlight.com/blackswan/

Bird, interrupted: Natalie Portman plays an unraveling Nina Sayers in “Black Swan.”

The tone of this Daily Beast article—starting with the title, “Crazy Chick Flicks”—is a tad flip with a touch of lad mag, but the idea that several actresses who’ve played women not fully in command of their mental faculties have been rewarded with Oscar gold does hold up under scrutiny. Natalie Portman could be next.  —KA

“Sexy Beast” in The Daily Beast:

It goes without saying that, in real life, mental illness is a significant medical problem. Almost one in five Americans suffered some form of it in 2009, according to a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and 11 million had a serious mental illness. Nonetheless, very few people seem to get offended when Hollywood uses mental illness as a plot point. While other Oscar contenders like The Social Network and The King’s Speech have come under fire for questions about historical accuracy, the mental-health community hasn’t voiced any qualms about Black Swan yet. “Does it do damage?” asks Packer, the New York psychiatrist. “I think it brings attention to how prevalent eating disorders are or how perfection can drive someone to the brink. The psychiatric disorders do the damage.”

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