REVIEW: Black Swan – more than just hot girls kissing and dancing

Posted by under *like, Movies |

Last night, after sitting through what seemed like interminable CYO basketball games, the wife and I got to eat at Friendly’s (Kickin’ Buffalo Chicken and a Reese’s Pieces Sundae, thank you) and went to the movies to see Black Swan, the new Darren Aronofsky movie. Let me begin by saying that if you didn’t like Requiem for a Dream and want to dismiss the rest of Aronofsky’s films, go ahead, but you’ll be missing a film that has an almost perfect mix of crazy, funny and creepy with brilliant performances to boot.

Now, I didn’t think I’d necessarily care about a movie about ballerinas. I just wanted to see it because honestly, I think Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are hot. And I actually didn’t think Natalie Portman was that hot in this. She was almost skeletal, like Christian Bale in The Machinist skeletal. Skeletal is a turnoff. Eat a sandwich or three, lady. But I get it, and honestly, I have an incredible amount of respect for ballet dancers. Absolute athletes who punish their bodies in service of an art that occupies a space between tangible and intangible ideas and feelings. No words, just movement of bodies to music to tell a story. So much relies on the dancer, and that’s part of Nina’s struggle. Can she communicate innocence and lust to an audience in playing the dual roles of the white and black swans?

Nina Sayers, played by Natalie Portman, is an adult ballerina who still has this weird little-girl innocence about her, thanks to a really overbearing, perfectly creepy stage-mom in Barbara Hershey. Nina’s room has more pink than Victoria has secrets, and you secretly want to see that pink destroyed as the film progresses. But Aronofsky doesn’t give you that easy appeasement. Nope!

What he does give you is the increasing paranoia and surrealism that have come to define his movies like Pi and Requiem for a Dream, along with some of the shooting techniques, like hand-held camera work, that manage to make an audience dizzy and a little sea-sick. Watching Nina try to deal with the pressure of dancing the Swan Queen in Swan Lake and navigating a friendship/rivalry with new dancer Lily (played by the increasingly more excellent Mila Kunis) is mesmerizing. You think you know what’s going on, but you don’t, not really. Does that hot make-out scene everyone in the media’s been blabbering about even happen? Or was that a ploy to get people into the theater? Let’s just say this, the reaction to that in the theater was unlike any reaction I would have expected, including my own!

I’d see it again, but before I do, I finally want to watch the Aronofsky movies I have in my Netflix Instant queue first. The Fountain and The Wrestler, here I come!

Related Posts with Thumbnails