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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Black Swan (2010)


Now I know I’m not taking any dance lessons any time soon.

In director Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller, ambitious New York City ballet dancer Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) lands the lead role in “Swan Lake” but soon thinks her dreams of stardom are threatened by a rival ballerina (Mila Kunis). As opening night approaches and the pressure to be perfect builds, Nina’s obsession descends into paranoia and delusion.

If anybody is going to make me feel totally creeped out, and utterly confused of my surroundings, Darren Aronofsky is the man to do it. He directs this film perfectly. It’s so tense at times that you don’t know quite exactly what’s going on, but you know something is bound to just happen, and you can’t take your eyes off the screen.

The one thing that glued me into this story was the fact that it really does mess with your mind., which you will rarely get in the theaters nowadays. You can’t really tell what’s real, or what’s dream-like, but you know it’s not all good. There are certain images that just give you that huge sense of paranoia, and have you know that nothing is going right. I was creeped out by a lot of the crap that was going on, but most of all I was effected.

I had one problem with this film, and it was the story at hand. I liked how the story touches on themes such as obsession over one’s work, and perfection, but the story had me pretty bummed. The film tells us the story of the play within this film, Swan Lake, which is all fine and dandy, until we start to realize that the play itself almost mirrors exactly what’s going to happen to these characters in real life. So the idea of not knowing what’s going to happen next was almost dead for me, except for some parts, that actually did throw me off, so the film wasn’t totally doomed.

Natalie Portman is probably what really has this film kicking. I think she is a good actress when she needs to be, but we still have never gotten that role from her, that just ultimately sticks out in our mind, other than the one from Closer. But here, she changes all of that, and gives the best performance of her career. Her character is so completley delusional, weak, and overly obsessive with being the best, that you sympathize with her in the beginning, but then you start to see her go through this transformation to a very bad, living on the edge kind of girl, and the transition is believable. You can feel the stress coming from her character, and when she let’s it all out, you know it for sure. I also enjoyed how she really did fight for this role, probably being about 90 pounds for the role, as well as mastering all the dance moves that were needed. She looks very legit for this role, when she is, and even when she isn’t dancing. Hopefully an Oscar will be coming her way soon.

The supporting cast is also something to talk about as well. I have never really liked Mila Kunis when she’s playing those dramatic roles she does, because I can never fully believer her at all, but here she does a very good job at it, probably because her character isn’t all that serious which I liked. She’s cool, sexy, and funny, which brings a lot to the film, as well as competition to Portman’s character who is so sheltered, its cool to see these to interact with one another. Vincent Cassel is also very creepy, but good as this sly, manipulative show director, that takes every advantage he can find. Barbara Hershey was also very good as Portman’s mother, that has a lot of creepiness to her, but it all works, because shes good at playing that. Winona Ryder shows up and has a good scene here and there, and it’s always good to see her back and working.

Consensus: The story may not be all that there, but Black Swan makes you feel paranoia, suspense, and erotic themes, mainly from the tight direction of Aronofsky, and the amazing performance from Portman, among others.

9/10=Full Pricee!!!

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16 responses to “Black Swan (2010)

  1. Fitz December 27, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Ugh. I’d really like for this to come near any area by me. All this love is making the wait feel even longer.

    Good to hear you liked it. Maybe an Oscar nod for Kunis?

    • CMrok93 December 28, 2010 at 4:35 am

      Hey, I just streamed it online, I don’t know if that’s a crime. For some reason I think she could get one my man.

      • Fitz December 29, 2010 at 1:51 am

        I’m not big on streaming (if simply just because of the virus hazards)

      • JL December 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm

        Where can you even stream stuff like this online?

        I got lucky and ONE theater in my entire area finally picked it up this past week, so I definitely had to go see it. It’s one everybody should check out when you get the chance. Even if that means waiting for the DVD. Though, from what I understand, the movie will be getting a wider release in January.

        Good review, though. Glad you enjoyed it. Portman was amazing in this. Showing range in one film, that most can’t even dream of achieving in their entire career. Unlike you though, I actually thought the way Nina’s life ended up mimicking the Swan Lake story was almost genius really. It gave that whole “life imitates art” element to the movie with added even more depth to the multiple underlying points of the film. Granted it does take away some of the mystery if you know the Swan Lake story, but I think even then you’ll find yourself so entranced that it won’t matter.

        Also @Fitz, I seriously doubt Mila will win. Maybe a nod, but that might even be pushing it considering other competition. I think she did a good job, but at the same time I wasn’t too impressed, and feel some of the appeal of the role might have just been the character itself. So, nod? Maybe. Winning? No way. One of The Fighter women should pick that one up.

  2. paolocase December 28, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    The story and the plot does seem like a lesser filmmaker/writer would have come up with.
    But the performances. Kunis deserves every praise she gets in this movie.

  3. Franz Patrick January 3, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Portman vs. Bening, your pick to win?

  4. Dan Bell January 10, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    how do you get the money to go see all these movies? also, my mom wanted to see this movie but then she heard it’s all about lesbians or something.

  5. B. January 23, 2011 at 4:51 am

    I don’t know what I feel after watching this movie…I just finished it and I think above all Natalie Portman’s performance is the one thing I will walk away from this movie and remember. I don’t know if its simply a good vs. evil movie or if it goes deeper than that. More taboo, as in her suggested bulimia and eating disorder….is the fact that she is not healthy what contributes to her breakdown? I do feel as if I am walking away heavy hearted…so the movie does have an effect on you and in the end, isn’t that every director’s intention?

    • CMrok93 January 23, 2011 at 5:57 am

      It signifies her breakdown of character, and being the best to her ability in order to complete this role.

      • Isaac March 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm

        … but their approach was totally unrealistic and went completely unexplained. Anxiety, sickness, depression… yes. Having lesbian dreams and hallucinations that your bones are snapping in half? no. I think not.

        This felt like a horror flick to me. The best horror flick ever made, probably, but definitely in the “we’re going to mess with your mind BECAUSE I LIKE IT” genre.

  6. Pingback: Top 10 of 2010 | Dan The Man's Movie Reviews

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