B is for Black Swan

I figured I would start my entrance into blogging with the most recent movie I’ve seen, Black Swan. I completely agree with the radio interview I heard with The Current’s “Movie Maven,” who said the film was intense and the effect grew on her more and more after the screening. Natalie Portman stars as ballerina Nina, who has her mind set on getting the lead role in Swan Lake. But, it’s evident pretty early on that she is only competing with herself. Aronofsky portrays this through focusing the camera on Nina’s face in mirrors and through visions she thinks are other people but then finds herself looking back. Any interaction she has with other characters are twisted in her mind and further show the damage Nina has done to her psyche by striving to be the Swan Queen. She struggles more to reach the depths of the enemy Black Swan in the ballet. When I left the theater I thought seeing Black Swan again would not be necessary to further understand the plot and plight of Nina. But, since it is more in the vein of Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, which I have seen many times, I may be wrong. I enjoyed my first viewing and appreciate the director’s vision and Portman’s portrayal of a difficult, complex character. She’ll get some nominations for the role, I hope. Maybe seeing it again will keep the bizarre scenes and images of Black Swan in my mind, but I’ll take that risk. (I did have to look away during some involving the painful preparation a ballerina does to get into toe shoes and when Nina or her mother take a scissors to her fingernails). But those are topped by a scene when Nina’s legs buckle at the knees and she hits her head on a bedpost, which for a ballerina could ruin her career. But it turns out to be all in her head. Hmmmmm. I had the chance to share why I ventured out to see Black Swan and my rating of the film on a ballot handed out at the theater. My rating is a B. Whether you’re a fan of Darren Aronofsky or not I recommend opening your eyes to this one, maybe twice.

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