Movie Review: Black Swan

Yesterday evening, I ended my lazy Sunday with a movie. I wanted to see Black Swan when it was out in theaters, but never quite made the time. Good thing, because I had to cover my eyes/turn away more than once!

I originally wanted to see the movie because 1.) I used to dance, 2.) Natalie Portman rarely chooses a bad role (she won an Academy Award for this one) and 3.) the movie was nominated for Best Picture in 2010. At the height of my dancing career (if you can call it that), I was taking ballet, modern, pointe and jazz classes. I figured I would like the movie because the plot is based around a dance company. Center Stage, anyone?

Now, I’m not naive enough to think that Black Swan would be ANYTHING remotely like Center Stage. However, it proved to be a bit more disturbing and graphic than I had prepared myself for. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, here’s the plot, courtesy of the Netflix package:

In director Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller, ambitious New York City ballet dancer Nina Sayers (Portman) lands the lead in “Swan Lake” but soon thinks her dreams of stardom are threatened by a rival ballerina (Mila Kunis).  As opening night nears and the pressure to be perfect builds, Nina’s obsession descends into paranoia and delusion.

And here are my thoughts:

  • Nina’s off from the beginning. She steals lipstick from a fellow dancer’s dressing room and covets it like a prized possession. Creepy!
  • How old is her character supposed to be? She still lives with her extremely controlling mother and uses a music box to calm her down/get her to sleep
  • Her mother is also obsessive. I mean, this woman is off her rocker – cutting Nina’s fingernails, sleeping in her room, where does it end?
  • The score is phenomenal. The orchestral tunes fit with the ballet theme and provide an eerie, disturbing tone

I don’t normally do scary/thriller type movies, but this was riveting. Portman’s portrayal of a tortured soul, driven to perfectionism and consumed with the idea that someone’s out to get her, is incredible. She totally deserved the Oscar. Mila Kunis is a convincing supporting role and it’s nice to see her in something other than a comedic role. She proves herself as a decent dramatic actress. The story grabs you from the beginning and keeps you guessing as to what will happen next.

Another plus for the movie? It didn’t give me nightmares!! Usually after watching a thriller (or even the Wire) I would have some fun-ky dreams. Not so much this time. Two thumbs up!

Do you enjoy thrillers/horror movies? I can deal with a suspenseful movie every now and again, but they are certainly not my movie of choice.

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One thought on “Movie Review: Black Swan

  1. i just had a conversation about thriller/horror movies with someone less than 24 hours ago! and we saw black swan together. and both loved it. and never thought to ask the other why we like such things. this movie was “dank sauce” (no i dont really talk like that, but people near me do.)

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