Sunday, 23 January 2011

Black Swan

It’s not often that a movie comes along that is virtually impossible to review based on a single viewing therefore today that wonderfully incompetent combination of lack of talent and lack of understanding will collide in order to created an even more incoherent than usual review - it is the turn of the Black Swan.

PLOT: Natalie Portman plays Nina a talented ballerina who has been given the coveted role of The Swan Queen in a new performance of Swan Lake. Things of course are not that simple as Nina a grown woman in her twenties lives in an apartment with her sinisterly overprotective and domineering mother but is in every sense of the word a child. Nina is able to play the innocent White Queen with ease but struggles when it comes to the darker Black Queen. After striking up a friendship with the new girl Lily (Mila Kunas) Nina starts to unleash her adult side and explore her sexuality which enables her to throw out her stuffed animals and get to know herself on an intimate level. As Nina gets to grips with adulthood and grows into her role as the Black Queen she becomes paranoid and believes that Lily is trying to steal her role. Nina’s mental state is called into question as she prepares for opening night and gives the performance of a lifetime. END PLOT

Natalie Portman is one of my favourite actresses and even before I watched the movie I was all for giving her the Oscar based on that reason alone but in the Black Swan she is simply fantastic. She plays the innocent Nina well and her transformation over to her darker side is just amazing to watch.

As good as Natalie Portman was she was almost out shone by Barbara Hersey who played Nina’s mother who was over bearing and down right creepy as the over protective parent. There were some very disturbing glimpses into their relationship which implied on occasions that the mothers relationship and obsession with her daughter was deeply inappropriate.

The supporting cast were all strong with the exception of the perennial weakest link that is Winona Ryder who popped up in a miscast cameo.

The plot was fine although it was Natalie Portman’s performance helped strengthen the usual “she is out to get me” side of the story. The Black Swan is more about Portman than plot.

I really liked that the colour was sapped and the hand held shaky camera helped to emphasise that Nina’s panic and paranoia. I loved ever present use of mirrors and that they were used to show the White Queen/Black Queen face off.

The Black Swan is the first Darren Aronofsky film I have ever watched and I’m impressed and I am sure that Mr Aronofsky will rest easy knowing this. I will finally give in and watch The Wrestler and Requiem for a Dream and all his other movies which don’t actually appeal to me but will now be given the benefit of the doubt due to Black Swan.

The Nerdy Trio left the Black Swan with one loving it, one hating it and the other on the fence - for a trio we managed to split ourselves right down the middle on this one but as the member who loved it I am the one who is correct.

The Black Swan is a great movie which follows the progression of a woman finally becoming an adult which ultimately leads to her to find freedom in the most tragic of ways……or it shows that masturbation leads to craziness either way it deserves to be viewed more than once to be fully appreciated. 9/10.


  1. She is gonna get crazy paid this year! Two movies coming out at the same time...AND THEY BOTH ARE GETTING GREAT REVIEWS...she must have an amazing publicist!

  2. I love Natalie Portman - she is just fantastic in The Black Swan although I will probably skip the Aston Kutcher comedy

  3. Great write up K, Black Swan is totally worth rewatching. Great call on Hershey, I think most of the major awards are overlooking her and it's a shame because I'm still not sure what Mila Kunis (who I like) did to get supporting actress buzz.

    Consider yourself lucky if you never see a single frame of NO STRINGS ATTACHED!

  4. Thank you!

    I have no opinion on Mila Kunis before Black Swan but she was fine in it - the movie for me was about Portman and Hershey

  5. I agree with you, Hershey gave off a serious Carrie-esque mother vibe!

  6. Natalie is poised to get her first Oscar this year. The Oscar's best actress awards in recent years seem like a beauty contest. Pretty actresses are winning it, and I'm including Helen Mirren here. :) But you're right, Natalie owns this film and she does deserve to win.

  7. Fingers crossed for her she is so awesome in this!