Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Movie Review: BLACK SWAN is one messed up bird
Black Swan tells the story of a ballerina's descent into madness and it's a riveting and engrossing fall into that madness. I couldn't look away from Natalie Portman's Nina who is obsessed with perfecting the role of the Swan Queen while trying to keep her limited grip on reality. Was she crazy before she got the role, or did the role make her mad? It's safe to say that Nina had major issues beforehand: She scratches herself leaving scars, she lives with her mother who smothers her (we question whether her mother is a good or bad influence and well, she's both), she questions her sexuality, she vomits up her food, she rehearses day and night until she bleeds. Portman does a great job in her role. She immersed herself. The supporting players are pitch perfect as well and create a ballet world that is fierce and lonely at its core. A world this spinster is glad she never participated in. Those dancers are much too thin, but their bodies are, at times, works of art and well crafted.
Winona Ryder has a small role as an aging ballerina, but if you blink you might miss her. It's weird seeing Winona on screen again. An actress who ruled the 90's on screen doesn't have the same sort of presence now. A shame. Mila Kunis is great as well. She is slowly shedding her persona as the spoiled loud mouthed Jackie from That 70's Show. Also, Barbara Hershey plays Nina's mother, and nails the stage mother role perfectly and shows the many layers this former ballerina has and at times, it's frightening. She deserves an Oscar nomination.
The film requires attention as we are taken on this reality bending ride and the payoff is well worth it. I loved the ending. Nina wanted to be "perfect" and I believe the ending was perfect because it makes you think and question, and ultimately, you are relieved that you survived this tale without having to give up your favourite junk food.