Tuesday Morning review
Black Swan (2010)
R 108 min
Full disclosure: I know less than nothing about ballet. Maybe it’s because I am a red-blooded, pot-bellied, beer guzzling American male but I didn’t even know the story surrounding “Swan Lake”.
I do now.
Or at least as much as I need in order to understand Black Swan.
Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers won the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role and she richly deserved it. In this film she becomes evil incarnate and goes to the depths of human depravity and back again.
The films build-up borders on tedious. Stay with it, as I think this is by intent. Darren Aronofsky (Machine Man -2012 2008 The Wrestler 2006 The Fountain 2000 Requiem for a Dream) builds to the climax languorously but with frequent, brief, quick roller coaster rides. The climax, the last ten minutes or so, is absolutely riveting. Without being too much of a spoiler here let me say that you will believe that Portman becomes the Black Swan. It is a bravura melding of acting and CGI that shows what movie making can be now.
Milena “Mila” Markovna Kunis as Lily is note perfect, a considerable feat as listening you hear Family Guy’s Meg and at first I couldn’t help but see Jackie Burkhart from That 70’s Show. Recently I saw Laura Prepon (Donna Pinciotti in That 70’s Show) in Karla and she didn’t ever make me forget her TV roots. Kunis did and then some. She has a torrid sex scene (a dream sequence) with Portman that is extremely convincing and her reaction when Portman confesses it is priceless.
Vincent Cassel as Thomas Leroy, the egoistical, sex maniac director is also strong and is perfect when he becomes overpowered in the end, although it is subtle.
Barbara Hershey as the deranged Mother Erica Sayers is probably the weakest note in the cast, but she is so far out-classed by Portman that maybe it is only by comparison.
Who gets killed? Who dies at the end? Great reasons to rent or buy the film now.
A fairly low Budget of $13,000,000 shows that films of taste, quality and popularity (Gross:$106,948,143) can still be made.
The Rant D’Jour is about image.
Image is everything. You can make all sort of changes in a country…more