So I just finished watching Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan…
Black Swan tells the story of Nina, a young ballerina who gets the lead part in her company’s production of Swan Lake. Dealing with an obsessive helicopter mom, a rival ballerina who just arrived, and the perverted director of the show, Nina becomes paranoid and her mental health deteriorates. Nina must then try to keep herself in check and put on the performance of a lifetime.
Hell of a film by Aronofsky. A good take on the cut throat world of performing arts.
Decent script, great characters and performances (Natalie Portman was…just wow. She was fucking incredible as Nina. Also, Mila Kunis turns in a great performance as well), good cinematography and editing, great score and soundtrack, great imagery, etc.
I believe this film’s technical aspects make the movie. The decision to shoot on 16mm film gave the film this interesting aesthetic. It looked like a 70s movie, but its shot composition and camera movements are that of a modern one. Further, the score and Swan Lake soundtrack enhance so many scenes and create so many visceral emotions. Plus, that third act was absolutely brilliant and took the film to another level.
However, much of the script, despite that brilliant crescendo of the end, was quite predictable and by the numbers. Aside from Natalie Portman’s character, everyone else and their story beats were so stock and predictable. I knew Mila Kunis was coming for Natalie Portman’s spot the minute she walked on screen, I knew the director was a sex pervert the minute Natalie Portman walked in his office, I knew we were gonna have some defiance conflict between Portman and her mom, I knew where they were going with it all. It really made the first two acts hard to get through despite the technical prowess of it.
Overall, this was a solid outing by Aronofsky. It rewards your patience, and despite its predictable nature in the first two acts, it pays it off in the third beautifully. Recommended.
8.5 out of 10 (A generous 8.5 to be quite honest, but it really earned it in the home stretch)