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Dec 26

Black Swan. {Film review/preview}

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Black Swan is a horror film. But a quiet one. You are not sure what is real, what is not. Neither does the protagonist, Nina, played to the hilt by Natalie Portman. It’s the role – and performance- of a lifetime. Portman does not let it down. She trained for 5 hours a day, for 10 months to take the role. She plays the anorexic, self harming, psychologically unravelling ballerina so well, at times, it is hard to watch. Though, a lesbian sex scene (in which Portman actually has sex with herself; a scene that is rumoured to have upset her father) should draw the crowds in.

Like Darren Aronofsky’s previous films, Black Swan is a head fuck. Nina lives with her mother. Her life is controlled by her mother and ballet. She is desperate to be perfect. Barbara Hershey is great as her mother. Vincent Cassel effortlessly brilliant as the cruel, cold artistic director. Winona Ryder is stellar as the retiring, washed up ballerina forced into retirement. Dealing with the winding down of the body clock, replaced by the younger model. It’s uncomfortable to watch, and important to note that there is only 10 years between Portman and Ryder. The truisms that strike with reality are painful. Times has let her down. The industry she has given her life to has tossed her out.

The brutality of pushing your body is heard in the film. The cracking of bones, the splintering toenails. This is a dark, gothic film. It’s not just about ballet. It’s also about an ageist society and an artist trying to lose themselves to the role. It is darkly beautiful, scarily apt and even just that little bit depressing. It’s definitely one to see.

  • dody

    What a stupid movie, highly overrated. It couldn’t seem to make up it’s mind what it wanted to be about–the socially underdeveloped dancer; her crippling, frustrated mother; the good/bad director; the evil/admiring rival; mental illness; sexual fantasy…it tossed it all in and didn’t develop any of it fully or well. Portman is so talented, she pulled off the dancing amazingly well, but I walked out wishing I’d gone to see True Grit.

  • Wow what an unreal movie. Truly the only one of its kind in theatres right now. Natalie Portman was Fantastic.