As for Ms. Portman's performance, I also agree with Weaverman that it's good -- never bad -- in fact, it's the most "acting" I've ever seen her do. Granted, the things she's called for to do require all the subtlety of a mack truck running over a . . . well, a swan, I suppose. Did she deserve the Best Actress Oscar? Well, I still haven't seen all the performances but I bet there's a better performance out there. I also agree that there is MUCH too much of the "homage" element to the film; it lifts bits of business from THE RED SHOES (a TRULY great film), AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, THE SHINING and all the other films Weaverman's mentioned. However, he hasn't even mentioned them all; including the heavy influence of Brian DePalma's CARRIE (no stranger to "homage" himself) in the Barbara Hershey "stage mother" set piece. Methinks the "assemblers" of this movie (I hesitate to call them "creators") also have a passing familiarity with Edward Gorey's "THE GILDED BAT". Be that as it may, the best performance in the film I found to be Winona Ryder who was the most interesting to watch in her all too few scenes; maybe the camera's should've followed Winona around for the actual movie instead of that nitwit Nina; at least we would've gotten some interesting shoplifting scenes.
When all is said and done, I would also reiterate that the movie is probably worth watching. For a laugh. Because it's definitely a trashy hunk of fromage and good silly (if pretentious) fun. But art? Or Oscar-worthy? I don't think so. It's good for the comic factor but certainly not as a representative of great cinematic art. Much like the ridiculously over-praised THE KING'S SPEECH (which I always refer to as "THE EMPEROR'S NEW SPEECH" now because there's really nothing to it), this film is a case of "THE EMPEROR'S NEW TUTU".