Friday, November 25, 2011

Mini movie review: Black Swan

Is there really anything left to say about Black Swan?  I mean, everyone - EVERYONE - was talking about it last year when it came out, and Natalie Portman won an Oscar for her role as the delicate ballerina slowly quickly driven mad by her quest for perfection as the White Swan/Black Swan lead in Swan Lake.  Since I knew I wouldn't see the movie until it came out on DVD, and then I knew I wouldn't see the movie until we got a decent television, I ended up reading far too many reviews and critiques beforehand, although I suppose it's not like I really got spoiled for anything.  And as I was watching the film, I felt distracted, mostly by what I'd read about real ballerinas critiquing the film: Portman's poor arm movement, the fact that no company director would act like Vincent Cassell did.

But after the movie was over, the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.  It was beautiful, not overwhelming in terms of plot but not boring.  Portman was fantastic and so was Mila Kunis, who was dead sexy.  I did get a not-what-the-director-planned chuckle when Cassell's character asked the character played by Benjamin Millipied, the lead male dancer, if he would ever sleep with Portman's character Nina (no, was the answer) - when in real life Portman and Millipied are having/have had a baby together.  But far and away the scariest part of this movie, far more disturbing than Portman's descent into madness, real or hallucinated, was Barbara Hershey's character, Nina's mother, herself a failed ballerina who had to leave dance to raise her daughter as a single mom.  Hershey was twisted and intense, scarily abusing her poor tender waif of a daughter both physically and emotionally, all in the name of love.  Scary stuff, that.

No comments:

Post a Comment