In an unprecedented Oscar scandal, the battle between Natalie Portman, Fox Searchlight and dancer Sarah Lane has evolved into a courtroom-like showdown in a they-said, she-said scenario.
Fox Searchlight has issued a statement claiming, "Natalie herself did most of the dancing featured in the final film."
But again, Lane countered, saying she did "basically all of the dancing."
Coincidentally, the video we posted on Friday showing the facial replacement has been removed across the internet due to Fox copyright, and a new video has been issued, sans face replacement.
So who's right? Is Lane a fame-hungry dancer trying to steal Natalie's spotlight, or did the smell of an Oscar make the studio psychotic?
For her part, Lane is speaking out again, and this time to the Wall Street Journal, about how little dancing Natalie did.
She insists that she and Natalie shared shots and asserts that many of the moves would be impossible without a trained dancer.
As for the reports that Sarah is greedy or jealous of Nat for attention, Ms. Lane says this is entirely untrue: "I don't want people to think that I'm here to trash Natalie and get fame for myself."
So what is her motivation for speaking out? Well, Sarah insists it's the same as it's always been:
"I do want people to know that you cannot absolutely become a professional ballet dancer in a year and a half no matter how hard you work. I've been doing this for 22 years […] Ballet dancers don't get the credit they deserve generally."
But if Sarah's intentions are as pure as she insists, the question still remains: How much dancing did Natalie do, and more importantly, does she still deserve the Oscar?
Director Aronofsky would like to take that one, as he tells E! News:
"Here is the reality. I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math that's 80 percent Natalie Portman. What about duration? The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second. There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time over 90% would be Natalie Portman. And to be clear Natalie did dance on pointe in pointe shoes. If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds, and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe. That is completely her without any digital magic. I am responding to this to put this to rest and to defend my actor. Natalie sweated long and hard to deliver a great physical and emotional performance. And I don't want anyone to think that's not her they are watching. It is."
That said, it's not hard to appreciate Sarah's take on the issue, after all, she reveals that producer Ari Handel called her directly and asked her not to do more interviews. Lane wasn't surprised:
"I had read a lot of articles that Natalie had done where she said she did 90 percent of the dancing. And never mentioned my name once. Nobody ever mentioned my name hardly ever. I'm not stupid, I got the idea that they really want to make it look like she had accomplished something incredible."
We have calls out to Lane to comment on the extreme discrepancy Aronofsky has created regarding how much dancing was done by her, as opposed to Portman.
Who's telling the truth here?