Sunday, January 02, 2011

Black Swan

I can't really say I'm a Darren Aronofsky fan. I've seen a few of his movies but nothing really drives me to watch one. I heard about the double dildo scene with Jennifer Connelly in Requiem for a Dream so I checked that out and it was excellent, but extremely depressing. Pi I slept through but some of it was decent, if not a little dry. Haven't seen the Wrestler yet but I have it borrowed from a friend, and the Fountain we tried to watch but the disc crapped out and we took it as a sign as it wasn't really very engaging from what I saw. Never wanted to see more of it. Black Swan I wasn't really keen on seeing but my wife wanted to so we watched it. What did I think? Not bad.

Not being a ballet fan, I'm sure some of the subtlety of the dancing was lost on my heathen mind, but the drama was there and it was good, if not a little uneven. The first two acts are build up, but almost too much build up. We cover a lot of the same territory that we are familiar with from the first scene, much less the third or fourth where we find out that Natalie Portman doesn't have the passion for the Black Swan part of the ballet and that her mother is a little obsessed with her daughter. Once you hit the third act it moves at a brisk and frantic pace to the end, which is probably the best part of the movie.

The basic premise is that Natalie Portman is competing for the lead in a new production of Swan Lake, after the previous lead of the troupe retires because she's Winona Ryder, or too old. Something like that. Well, she get it, but then weird shit starts happening and she isn't sure if she's going crazy or if everyone is conspiring to get her, which is possible considering that in a movie like Showgirls they kick people down the stairs to be the lead, so in ballet, I could imagine hunting someone down like they were in an Argento film for it. But is it her rival, her friends, her mother, the director or an evil swan that is responsible for it? The answer is pretty obvious but still ends up being vague enough to keep you guessing.

It's shot well and acted well enough, with Natalie Portman taking the majority of the screen time by herself. Vincent Cassel and Mila Kunis own their parts too, with Mila's almost flighty, manic pixie girl helping Natalie along her way in a dizzying, crazy quest to be the perfect Swan Queen.

I think the best part of these movies are the sexual situation he puts some of the women that fanboys love into. In Requiem Jennifer Connelly does almost anything for her fix. I hear Marisa Tomei is a bit bare in the Wrestler and in this one, we get not only Natalie Portman but also Mila Kunis in compromising positions. I have to give him props for that. Indeed, it's almost from that part that the movie really hits its stride and makes a break for the end. A shame that there isn't a bit less in the beginning to make getting to the latter parts a bit quicker or more exciting. Still, it's not a bad time and worth checking out as it'll probably have a ton of Oscar buzz too.

But more importantly, I found out this weekend I get THIS TV and thus the Elvira Movie Macabre show. Awesome. Check it out.

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