I thought the trailer looked terrible, so I didn’t see it in theaters. Seeing Black Swan nominated for an Oscar only made me feel more confident my decision was correct, since the critics always seem to get it wrong (Traffic and more recently King’s Speech both got acclaim and were both awful). Tommy D bought the DVD and gave it multiple recommendations, so I finally gave in and watched it all the way through.
I think if Tommy wasn’t sitting next to me I would have bailed an hour in. The entire premise of the movie was simply to watch a ballerina’s (Natalie Portman) surreal mental breakdown. It was just too weird. Too creative. Too overdone. Too much!
It tried too hard to do something special with a very bland premise. At one point her arms turn into black wings to symbolize her embodiment of the character she plays in the ballet. At another point she imagines her knees snapping backward as she becomes the swan.
Black Swan is an abstract painting of a movie, and I don’t recommend it. I’ll leave it at that.
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I’m disappointed that you couldn’t appreciate this movie. Extremely well-done…the ballet was a backdrop for Nina’s psychological breakdown; in fact, her breakdown paralleled the ballet production in many ways. The movie also has great symbolism about black vs. white, and shows that white isn’t always perfect, and black isn’t always purely bad. That is why Nina could not achieve perfection, at least not without a steep price (presumably her life). The film teaches a great lesson about the dangers of being a perfectionist. As for it having some seemingly over-the-top sequences, I also think that was clearly intended, if for nothing else to mimic the melodrama of a theatrical production.
What also makes this movie great is that the surface plot is not overly complex in the sense that it is easy to follow, but that does not take away from the depth of the film…it is quite layered. Not to mention the acting, directing, cinematography, and music are top-notch.
Too creative? I don’t think there is such a thing. The artist expressed the entire creative process which is so raw and personal. I think to love this movie one must appreciate the art.
Thank you, Bethany.
Pretty artsy-fartsy if you ask me, but different strokes for different folks.
Some people just don’t get it.
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