Friday, December 3, 2010

Portman v. Bening for Oscar

Perhaps the Academy Award will go to the actress with the hottest lesbian kiss. There is already Oscar buzz for both Natalie Portman and Annette Bening, each of whom gave very special performances this year kissing girls onscreen. The difference? Portman in Black Swan reportedly has a steamy sex scene with her gorgeous co-star, and, sadly, Bening does not.

The sapphic community launched bitter criticism of Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right for portraying lesbians as passionless frumps who are just waiting for a real man to unleash their carnal desires. While I liked the film, the criticism was valid. In contrast, Portman's onscreen relationship with Mila Kunis promises to be very passionate and very physical, if also possibly sinister. Hey, I'm not saying I like the lesbian predator stereotype any better than the frumpy sexless lesbian stereotype. But one is indeed more fun to watch. For her sapphic efforts—oh, and probably some exquisite acting—Portman is already being considered the clear winner for the Oscar, and this is before the film has even opened. "Portman will win every award in sight for this including the Heisman Trophy," according to one Academy Award voter who is quoted on Nikki Finke's website The piece goes on to say that if Portman loses, it will be to Bening. I do agree—as I have said before —Bening's performance is worthy of an Oscar.

Of course, I'm also excited to see Winona Ryder in Black Swan playing a boozy wreck. Wino Forever, indeed. I think I speak for all of us when I say I'm so ready for Winona's comeback.


Anonymous said...

Is it only me, or have other SG readers noticed that lesbians on screen kiss each other while holding their hands over their loved ones ears/side of head. SG's photos above are but just one example of this. I've always felt this was a bit of homophobic camera work--like protecting the viewer from too much unadulterated girl-girl action without the backs of hands to provide a buffer.

Sapphist Gazetteer said...

I never noticed it before, but you are so right! Even Garbo is doing it in 1933 (see post:

Anonymous said...

An online search for "Bette and Tina kissing" reveals many such images of recent vintage. Methinks it is more than coincidence. Perhaps the SG community could informally poll itself to see whether we kiss this way. Is this really happening in lesbian homes across the country, or is this just how we are portrayed by the media?

Sapphist Gazetteer said...

Yes, let's hear it. Do any of you lesbians out there actually kiss this way?

M said...

I don't think we kiss that way anymore than het couples do.

It seems to me that het-women playing lesbos never really engage each other in the kissing scenes. Perhaps holding each other by the ears prevents one from truly getting into it and allows one to control the intensity of the kiss.

It also shows the viewers where your hands are, as in "It's OK, my hands are not on her tatas or down her pants -- they are right here where you can see them!"

Sapphist Gazetteer said...

Good analysis, M.