Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Black Swan (2010) - Darren Aronofsky

Black Swan (2010)
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writers: Mark Heyman (Screenplay), Andres Heinz (Screenplay & Story), John J. McLaughlin (Screenplay)
Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder

As one of my two or three loyal readers, you may have noticed that I have not posted anything in quite some time. I have seen plenty of really good movies but just haven't had the energy to write about them. If you hadn't heard the news, I am getting married. Now, weddings are expensive so I decided to take a second job in order to help pay for it. I was able to take a job at a  movie theater near where I live. One of the nice ones that shows independent and foreign films, not one of those giant multiplex deals. So far, I am really enjoying the job and one of my favorite parts is the number of people that stop and talk to me about the movies they have just watched.

One of the best comments I have heard so far was from a gentlemen that had just walked out of Black Swan (2010). He just looked at me as he walked out and said, "I no longer want to be a ballerina." I'm not sure why, but the comment made me laugh and really just made my day. Another times a woman came out of Black Swan and stopped to talk to me for a few minutes about the movie. Apparently she was a psychologist and was very impressed with how the film portrayed Nina's (Natalie Portman) descent into madness.

The best word she used to describe the film was "visceral." I honestly thought that this was a perfect description of the film. This is one of those films that you really need to just feel your way through. I don't see it as one that should be intellectually picked apart. It is one that you just need to allow to take you over emotionally. Sure, you could point out the flaws in the ballet or some of the weird special effects used when Nina is literally turning into a swan but that doesn't matter. This is a movie that succeeds excellently at hitting you on an emotional level and that is how it should be judged.

Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis both portray their characters perfectly. I was actually quite surprised by Mila Kunis, while I had never thought of her as a bad actor I never would have imagined that she would be able to keep step with Natalie Portman. There were several instances in the film where Mila Kunis completely stole the show because of how expertly she portrays Lily. They both put in very emotional performances that really helped to make Nina's journey seem that much more real.

Darren Aronofsky did an excellent job telling this story that was in many ways an update to the ballet, Swan Lake. There were many things in this film (such as Nina's literal transformation) that could have seemed hokey under another director but Aronofsky manages to make everything believable. He earned that Best Director Oscar Nomination that was announced this morning and I certainly wouldn't be opposed to a win.

Now, I can't say I am completely back to blogging on a regular basis. I am not sure how often I will have the time and the energy to write up a review. So for awhile my reviews may be few and far between, or they may be less in depth. I will continue seeing movies though and I will write about them when I have the time and the energy.

Rating: 9/10

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