This is a typical Colleenie move. After watching the trailer for Black Swan, I couldn’t wait to see the film. I even went as far as to go to San Francisco to see it two weeks before its wide release, but then did I rush home and write a review? No. Instead, I’ve sat on my butt and let this movie get old.
Forget Inception, The Social Network and all those other buzz films. Black Swan kicks all of their asses! A true movie-movie is rare and Black Swan fits the bill. What’s a true movie-movie? For me there are certain stories that only work 100% in Movieland. It’s the craft of movie making that takes you on a journey to somewhere you would otherwise never go. As much as I love independent, slice-of-life fare, sometimes, you want to be in a movie world with completely unrealistic people you would never meet in reality. Black Swan has an old movie feel. The acting is dramatic and the direction ominous. Something is constantly bubbling beneath the surface and the journey is a fantastic roller coaster ride.
Natalie Portman plays the overly competent ballerina, Nina. She knows all the moves and her technique is flawless. However, what holds Nina back is her lack of artistic raw energy that can only be achieved if she allows herself to let go. Early on, we see Nina wound so tight it’s easy to she is going to lose it big time! She works hard to be cast as the coveted Swan Queen in Swan Lake. However, the director is riding her ass the whole time because he’s worried she will not be able to pull off the sexy and free Black Swan portion of her role. Nina is furthered threatened by new ballerina Lily who has just flown in from San Francisco (oh, they’re always from San Francisco!) and embodies everything Nina lacks. Nina has her mother on her back, her director, now this Lily keeps popping up, how can Nina not crack?
I think everyone would be shocked if Portman does not bring home the Oscar on Sunday. No other performance comes close to what Portman has done here. The role was such a tight rope that could have easily fallen into camp if left in the wrong hands. Maybe it’s Portman’s lovely face that allows you to be taken in by anything she brings you. Her vulnerability is so intense that you want to jump into the screen and rescue her. The camera loves her face and there are so many close-ups and opportunities to simply gaze upon her loveliness.
This film had it all for me. It’s cool and edgy, yet it has a film noir feel. I can’t wait to buy this On DVD and watch it a million times. It’s truly one of those films that doesn’t come around all the time.