How could Thor be so lucky?
though as much as I love Natalie, Jaime wins this round.
MARIO MAURER (HOHOHO):
That’s what the brilliant but forceful ballet director Thomas Leroy kept screaming at Nina Sayers, the virtuoso chosen to play the Swan Queen, as she pirouettes over and over again like the crazy bird she is.
The whole film is pretty much on the offense. The director attacks you with sharp and tight images, the actors attack you with intense performances and the music lulls you into a false sense of security with soft tunes then attacks you with creepy orchestrations when you’re complacent.
As written in the official site, Black Swan follows the story of Nina (Portman), a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her retired ballerina mother Erica (Barbara Hershey) who zealously supports her daughter’s professional ambition. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.
If you want a pitifully attempted complex analysis, Black Swan takes us into the psyche of a ballerina who is consumed by the dream to be perfect. We watch as she pushes herself beyond belief and undergoes a metamorphosis into something unrecognizable just to be able to achieve that dream. In the end, the film makes us question ourselves. How far will we go to achieve our dream? Are we willing to sacrifice everything to achieve this dream? How far do we push ourselves? And the most important question of all: is it worth it?
Simply put though, Black Swan is a story of a mentally whacked ballerina who goes off the deep end so she can become a bird.
Having seen Requiem for a Dream, a film that required me to swallow 3 Exedrins, 2 liters of water and a raw egg, I had high expectations for Black Swan. While not as powerful and mind blowing as Requiem, Black Swan didn’t disappoint. Aronofsky’s ability to create dreamlike sequences that is both fast and slow at the same time makes this film immensely enjoyable in an intense sort of way. Couple that with brilliant performances from the actors and you get a pretty good psychological suspense movie.
I firmly believe that Barbara Hershey and Vincent Cassel were robbed of nominations. Hershey plays the overbearing mother to Nina and she portrays the role with such understated creepiness that I can understand how Nina turned out the way she was. Being a former ballet dancer who failed to make it big as well being a single mother who has nothing going on in her life, her whole world revolves around her daughter and she lives vicariously through her. Hershey managed to evoke from the viewer any grudge they have ever felt for their parents because of pressure. Cassel also portrays his role such magnetism that it’s no wonder Nina is always so fidgety when he’s around. He’s domineering, sexual and in control and there is really no doubt how he can make puppets out of people. Mila Kunis is appropriately cast as the girl who personifies what the black swan should be since she oozes sensuality without even trying. Those big green eyes, the smirk and the slightly gravelly voice and she can have any man wrapped around her little finger, and in this case, any girl too. She acts so natural that you have to wonder if she is acting at all.
As terrific as all the other actors are, this movie, no doubt belongs to Natalie Portman. Aside from this one scene where she puts her hands to her ears and screams which came off as awkward, she was pitch perfect throughout. This role had Oscar written all over it and I’m willing to bet that she knew that when she signed up for it. Why wouldn’t she? Portman finally found a role that was made for her. I’ve been a HUGE fan of Natalie ever since I first saw her in Leon which is one of my favorite movies. As the Lolita in Leon, Natalie showed the world that she was an ingénue and would be one of the best leading actresses of her generation. But with the exception of Garden State and her minor role in Cold Mountain, all her movies have been less than brilliant and that includes Closer, the movie where she earned her first Oscar nomination. Don’t get me wrong, she was pretty good in all her films but she was kind of stuck in a rut and none of her subsequent films gave her the opportunity to really create an impression as powerful as the one she made in her debut film. Also, as much as I love her, Natalie doesn’t really have the versatility of say, Meryl Streep or even some of her contemporaries such as Rachel Mcadams or Amy Adams who both can jump from light romcoms to heavy drama. Almost all the roles Natalie portrays are usually smart, serious and mature. Judging from the interviews I’ve seen, most of the roles she chooses are somewhat close to who she really is. But in this movie, Natalie portrays Nina with such immense passion that all we see is a vulnerable girl whose world is crumbling around her.
I’m biased about this movie though because it stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis but if you’re not a fan of either, Black Swan would just be an overhyped film that somehow drags at times and while worth watching, not worth the hype.
“I would never be in a horror movie or any other “Jennifer Love Hewitt type” film”
- I love Natalie Portman to bits and I look forward to watching this movie but methinks that this is one of those “Jennifer Love Hewitt type” films that she quoted she would never be in. Still though, I can’t wait to watch her in a fluffy romcom.
GODDESS ON EARTH.
THE HOTNESS OVERFLOWS.
I have a last minute addition to my christmas list, and while I’d be happy to unwrap either Natalie or Winona, I’m referring to that Olympia Le-Tan Lolita Clutch.
You have no idea how badly I want to stash an eight ball and a pair of panties in that sexy little fucker.