Movie Review: Black Swan

I made one of my rare trips to the movies to see Black Swan, a film I’ve been excited about ever since the first promotional pictures came out over the summer.  She’s getting major Oscar buzz for her role as a childlike, uptight ballerina having a mental breakdown as she tries to encompass both the Black and White Swans of the ballet Swan Lake.  After seeing the film, that buzz is fully deserved.  If she doesn’t sweep the Best Actress awards over the next few months, she’ll have been robbed.  It was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen — period.

It’s a very intense film– a bit of a mind trip.  You experience the film through Natalie Portman’s character’s perspective, which means you see the things she sees, which are increasingly hallucinations as the film progresses.  It’s brilliantly done, though, and even as cringe-worthy as some scenes were (in the split toenail/bloody cuticles way), it was all shot, acted, and written beautifully.  I’m still a bit in awe of how wonderfully it all was put together.

Keep in mind, this is a hard R.  It is very sexual (there’s a pretty intense sex scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, and the ballet director tells NP to ‘touch herself’ — which she does), and violent.  Not a film to bring your kids to; the three-year-old that was dragged along to my showing left the theater screaming and crying.  But I have a feeling it will be the film to beat at the Oscars.

6 thoughts on “Movie Review: Black Swan

  1. LeeB.

    I’ve read that Annette Bening’s performance in The Kids Are All Right is a leading contender for the Oscar but I thought it was just okay. Looking forward to seeing Black Swan.

  2. Susan/DC

    I too thought Natalie Portman was amazing in this role. She is in almost every frame of the film, and she is believable both as a ballet dancer at the top of her form (all her training means her body looks and moves like a dancer’s) and as a young woman in the midst of a breakdown. I thought all the actors did a very good job. Vincent Cassel was domineering but sexy, Barbara Hershey was believably villainous as the over-controlling mother (my friend said that part of the tragedy was that she probably saw herself as a wonderful parent), and there is a funny scene where Cassel asks Benjamin Millepied, who plays the lead male dancer, if he’d want to have sex with Nina. The answer in the movie is clearly no, but in real life he is her fiance and she is pregnant, so a very different outcome.

    As you say, this is not the movie to watch with your 8 year old, ballet obsessed niece.

  3. Jane AAR Post author

    That’s funny you mentioned that, Susan/DC… I noticed that line as well, and figured that that dancer was her fiance. And you’re right, while Natalie is receiving the bulk of the praise, all of her costars also did wonderfully.

  4. Lina

    This sort of wanting to come to a difference in her or his lifestyle, initial typically Los angeles Excess weight weightloss scheme can be a large running in as it reached that strive. weight loss

Comments are closed.