Black Swan Reviews
"Black Swan" is a beautiful film that delivers the thrills with one of the (if not the) best performance of 2010. The filmmakers explore deep into character, distancing itself from a plot that focuses more on the story to a plot that makes its main character the central piece, the plot. The film's main theme is the study of Nina's psychological and physical struggles, as she tries and achieves perfection in her role as The Black Swans. A metaphor of sorts, the film shows us Nina getting worst and worst, day by day, getting constant hallucinations, many times seeing a hostile, darker self (much like the Black Swan) trying to somehow take over her. This can be interpreted as simply Nina's obvious pressure for a difficult role. Nina being this fragile sweet girl, who's perfect for the role of White Swan, trying her hardest to become someone else. This other version of herself, in her dreams and hallucinations, is the Black Swan, slowly taking over Nina, Nina embraces this other self, aiming for perfection, which comes with its price. Her hallucinations in which Lily appears could represent the possible sexual attraction Nina had towards her, that would later transform into a feeling of anger and rivalry as Lily eventually becomes Nina's alternate in Swan Lake. It could be that Nina never had any hallucinations, it was simply the beauty of filmmaking, as Nina's humongous pressure is shown through visual imagery or hallucinations.
Aronofsky captures the film's scenes greatly, the ballet scenes being especially beautiful. Using Light, sound, fantastic music and amazing camera work to his favor, Aronofsky shoots beautiful scenes, that I wish lasted longer in the film. The film's music is beautiful with both Aronofsky and the film's original composer, Clint Mansell, basing the film's music on the ballet's original music composed by legendary composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. But none of these scenes would be so great without the inclusion of the beautiful ballet, with gorgeous choreography and beautiful costume designs with the camera playing a fundamental part in these scenes, as Aronofsky puts us up close to the actors making the scenes even better with that extra touch of directing.
Tough the one thing that overcomes all, the complicated, well putt together theme, the beautifully staged scenes, and everything else is, Natalie Portman. The actress is here, how no one has seen her before. Already growing up doing hard demanding roles since the beginning of her career with the likes of "Léon: the professional" and "Heat" to then get older and act in even more complex features such as "V for Vendetta", "Closer" and "Brothers" to only then, get to what in my opinion is her best work to date in "Black Swan". Portman is simply fantastic in here, the actress is flawless playing the fragile, complex and great character of Nina, doing great in every scene including the beautiful ballet scenes for which the actress took lessons to perform. Opposite to Vicent Cassel, in some of the film's most memorable, character-driving and sensual scenes in the film, the actress does great, and the duo shines in some of the film's best scenes. Also opposite to Portman is Mila Kunis, the actress that usually puts her talents to work in comedy, surprises, too giving a great performance, with some scenes alongside Portman showing the actress' undoubtable talent for drama.
"Black Swan" is, as said, a beautiful film with great character study, beautiful production design, fantastic directing of Darren Aronofsky, a stellar cast that does a fantastic job and Natalie Portman in her best performance yet, one that will be hard to be beaten, that only makes me even more excited for Portman's future work. 4.5/5.
I don't mind allegorical stories or movies where the play they're putting on mirrors what's happening in reality, either. But you just do it without mentioning it. To literally have the actress turn into the Black Swan from Swan Lake is insulting to your audience. That's saying, "You're probably too dumb to realise that the movie is actually exactly like the ballet they're performing it, so we'll spell it out for you at every turn." Thanks movie. Then don't make this film if you're going to insult your audience's intelligence like that. It's pompous. Could be one of the worst movies I've seen in a while, because of it's gross arrogance and the way they treated the audience.