I saw Black Swan a few weeks ago but for some reason haven’t been able to get my thoughts together on this film. But it’s time to get this done.
Black Swan (2010)
In [this] psychological thriller, ambitious New York City ballet dancer Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) lands the lead role in "Swan Lake" but soon thinks her dreams of stardom are threatened by a rival ballerina (Mila Kunis). As opening night approaches and the pressure to be perfect builds, Nina's obsession descends into paranoia and delusion.
In talking with my friends that are cinephiles, I discovered that they didn’t love it.
I did like it. I enjoyed the intensity and how the director really got us into her head, even though it was a scary confused place. The sexuality in its stunted, subtle, and not-so-subtle forms was almost a character in and of itself. The filming added to the intensity; the viewer was so close to the main character – literally. The camera kept us bouncing behind her as she walked, focused on her super slim face as she struggled to achieve perfection yet spontaneity.
The director, Darren Aronofsky, who is known for Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and The Wrestler, is not a man who goes after cheery, happy-ending stories. The themes of battling with oneself, violence, and confusion are present in Black Swan as they are in his other films. So, in that way this movie was similar to previous movies, but I didn’t feel it was so similar as to be a tired, too familiar effort.
There’s an interview on Fresh Air with Natalie Portman that is fascinating in its description of her 1-year training for the film and all the things she had to do to get her small body to be ballerina-like.