Thursday, February 3, 2011

Black Swan review

Almost done!  I have almost seen all the Best Picture nominees for this year's Oscars.  This one.. Black Swan.  So I think everyone is familiar with the movie by now.  Natalie Portman stars in Darren Aronofsky's mind screw.  A dark movie that explores one woman's battle with her inner demons.  The film, Aronofsky and Portman have all been nominated for Academy Awards.  The film co-stars Mila Kunis as Portman's alternate to the ballet.  Barbara Hershey plays Portman's mother, and Vincent Cassel plays Portman's instructor.  There is also a small, but impressive role starring Winona Ryder

Portman is a hands down favorite for Best Actress; but I just don't see why anything else was nominated for this film.  You all may be surprised by this review.  Let's begin.

What I liked about the film:
Natalie Portman
Her performance is as good as you've read.  She is a force to be reckoned with.  She plays a ballerina that has been cast in the famous "Swan Lake" ballet.  She must play the timid, innocent white swan, as well as the evil, seductive black swan.  We can see Portman discovering her character's dark side.  At the beginning of the film, her character Nina is very delicate.  She's a calm and sweet girl who is sheltered by her mother.  As the film progresses, we see Portman becoming the metaphorical Black Swan.  I have no doubt in my mind she will win the Oscar.  Amazing!

The Score
Clint Mansell's score is the reason the movie could even be considered a thriller.  The music carries every scene, particularly those where Portman is acting alone.  She can act like no other with her eyes, no dialogue at all.  Mansell's score does the talking for her.  It's heart pounding, edge of your seat suspense that is second to none.  Great job!

Barbara Hershey
Wow, I did NOT see this one coming.  Barbara Hershey plays Portman's mother in the film.  At the beginning of the film, we see her as an overbearing, controlling monster.  But as Portman makes her decent into evil, she appears to be protecting Portman from herself.  There is a lot of stuff I want to mention, but it will spoil the film, if interested, leave a comment.

What I didn't like about the film:
The Contrast
Really?  Like really?  I need to see Portman wear light colors the entire film and Kunis wearing black to realize the contrast?!  Really?  He should take a note from The Sixth Sense, subtlety is best!  In that film, the director used reds as a sign of death and evil, usually in the form of something small like a blanket or a door knob.  Aronofsky wanted to say to the audience 'HEY LOOK... PORTMAN IS THE WHITE SWAN AND KUNIS IS THE BLACK SWAN'.  So stupid, give the audience more credit.

Darren Aronofsky
The man is nominated for an Oscar and he's an aspect of the movie I didn't like?  Yes, that's exactly right.  I don't like the art school canvas he's created.  I don't like his choice of lighting (yes I know that's the cinematographer's job).  I didn't like the OBVIOUS contrasts between Portman and Mila Kunis' character.  I didn't like the shaky cam for every freakin' shot.  I didn't like the fact that the film was essentially The Wrestler Part 2.  I seriously didn't like a damn thing about his directing.  I'm sure Portman benefited by Aronofsky directing.  Her performance along with Hershey's are what struck me as successes, not his directing.  Seriously, what the hell am I missing; I don't understand what the hell the hype is all about with this guy.  I've actually praised his visual style before, but this movie was just flat out bad to me.

The Verdict:
There will always be bad movies with amazing performances, this will be one of them.  I honestly have no clue how it was nominated for as many Oscars as it was.  I guess all I can say is; The Tourist was nominated for multiple Golden Globes this year.  Um, yeah, no more explanation is needed.  I know I'm going to get a lot of crap for this review, but I don't care.  It's my opinion and your on my blog, so you obviously are interested.  Secondly, it's art, and everyone reads art differently.  I'm just trying to figure out how paintings by 5 year old kids are considered art... to me, Black Swan is the same equivalent. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I liked Wild Things so much better, as arty porn goes.