Oscar Darling Natalie Portman Tweaked, Tucked in Revised Black Swan Poster

That striking, haunting poster for Black Swan -- featuring a wing-eyed, facepainted, selectively focused Natalie Portman -- has been revised just in time for the long Oscar haul to come. You could expect nothing less from the micromanaging marketers at Fox Searchlight, especially after the lightning strike of Oscar hype that greeted Black Swan's premiere this week in Venice. But: Is it actually any better? Judge for yourself after the jump.

"There have been some revisions to the credits on this new one-sheet for Black Swan," says Searchlight's note accompanying the new poster, and that's true -- no longer does "Academy Award Nominee Natalie Portman" have to slum horizontally with co-stars Vincent Cassel and Mila Kunis. More intriguingly, Portman has been given a narrower face, a more defined neck, slightly downgraded cheekbones, and -- this is the bummer for me -- lighter, clearer eyes that steal some of the mystery in her darker, redder peepers in the original. It's like she's trying to make eye contact -- more vulnerable than predatory, which, having not seen the film, may be the point. But I liked predatory, for what that's worth, which is... well, nothing.

Anyway, this happened. Thoughts? (Click for bigger.)



  • sweetbiscuit says:

    I like the newer one because I guess I like photos like this to be, you know, in focus.

  • Heather R says:

    When I first saw the first one, I couldn't tell that it was Natalie Portman. It's almost like they took Natalie, Winona and Mila and made a composite out of the three women. Maybe that's what they were going for. The second one is clearly Natalie Portman. Less creepy looking, easier to bank on her image. And a bit more vulnerable in appearance.

  • Slain says:

    The new poster is MUCH better. I read the script and have been so excited for the release since then, but the first poster was so disappointing. It looked like a bad horror film. Specifically, the first poster says "about a creepy situation involving a person", where the new poster says "about a person involved in a creepy situation." Much, much better.

  • Antarctica Starts Here says:

    It seems to me they just used a sharper version of the first image. I feel like the first poster emphasized the "mask" of the Black Swan, while the new poster emphasizes Natalie as the lead (and the character she portrays). I don't think I'll know which version I prefer until after I've seen the film.

  • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

    I love your commenter handle! I'm going to go listen to that song right now.

  • jmaharry says:

    Looking a little closer, I'd bet that this is a different shot. On the new, much better version:
    • Crown is rotated to the left
    • Crown is in focus (this could be PS retouching)
    • Much more of her hairline is showing, and lighting is different
    • Hairline is in focus
    • Wing makeup is entirely different: more upward arch, lighter blues, touches hairline
    • Tops of ears on same horizontal line (older version they were tilted down left)
    • Jaw more defined, shadow under neck
    • Face/head dimensions are, as noted, narrower, as if new shot was taken with a longer focal length, say 100mm vs. 50mm.
    Sure, this could have been done in Photoshop – re-doing the eye makeup would have been very time consuming. And it's hard to tell from this very low res comparison. But it feels to me like a new shot.
    If now, kudos to the art director and retoucher for a great job!

  • karennina says:

    I prefer the original eyes. More mysterious and seductive-looking. The new eyes make her look like an attack-zombie swan. The new crown is better, too.
    Differences = Mixed bag....

  • Rob says:

    I prefer the first poster. It's haunting. Her features almost float in space. The new one's a bit of a surprise. It'll take getting used to, but I see what they were going for. The movie is what matters though and the movie looks AMAZING. I look forward to anything Aronofsky puts out. This one looks like a combination of The Turning Point and Single White Female!

  • mrgomrx says:

    jmaharry is right - it's a totally different shot..

  • YY says:

    To me, it seems like the second poster is less photoshopped than the first, so I don't understand why people are saying they reshaped her neck and face in the second one. For me, there was something really off about the first one and the second one looks much more natural. I think the biggest improvement is the shadow on her neck. Without it, her head just blends into the rest of her body and her neck and shoulders look very masculine. And the hairline of the first one looks very unnatural like they shaved off part of her head to make it smaller.

  • Shawn says:

    I like the 2nd one better as it looks more natural, but I do like the red eyes better. In the first she looks like a playstation character with her deformed head shape and blurred, cartoon-like neck with no shadow. I see what they were going for, but honestly to me it seems like after the Oscar buzz fox gave the film a budget boost in marketing so they were able to make the poster they probably originally wanted to but did not have the budget to make.