December 19, 2010
Review - " Black Swan " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed By: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barabara
Hershey, Winona Ryder
This 107-minute Ballet movie will enchant women and many ballet
patrons and put most male audience members to sleep. If a person
liked the previews or trailers of the film, they will probably enjoy the
actual film. If they found the previews and ads boring, then the actual
film is even more so.
The basic plot is “Swan Lake.” It’s difficult to say more about the plot
without giving away too much of the story. Natalie Portman plays Nina
Sayers the Swan Queen. Mila Kunis is Lily her understudy and back-up
principal dancer for the role. Vincent Cassel plays Thomas Leroy the
ballet director who is worried that Nina isn’t passionate enough to play
the role of the Black Swan and considers having Lily dance that role
even though the same ballerina who performs as the white swan usually
dances it. Lily oozes sex appeal and passion and is anxious to take
over the Swan Queen’s role or at least an equal share of it.
Barbara Hershey does a sterling job as Nina’s smothering, pushy stage
mother/ex-ballerina mom. Her’s is one of the most memorable
Winona Ryder also does a memorable job playing Beth Macintyre, the
Dying Swan. Like the two guys Nina and Lily hook up with in a noisy
nightclub Andrew played by Sebastian Stan and Tom played by Toby
Hemingway most of the young guys in the general public couldn’t care
less about the ballet.
While the females in the audience may be identifying with the women cast members, most of the men will probably be
nodding off for most of the slow moving action. There is one scene in the movie that will perk up those sleepy males in the
audience. However, that may be the only highlight for men in this chick film. Are Portman and Kunis two exceedingly fine
ladies that we’d love to see get down? Of course. But the scene is more than just an ecstasy-fueled lesbian love scene, it’s
an exploration of the protagonist’s suppressed psyche. OK it's an ecstasy-fueled lesbian love scene - and hot as hell.
Couples seeing the film together should make and agreement in advance to be certain their date is fully awake for this
The supporting cast does a professional job and there are some excellent ballet dancers included in motion picture.
Naturally the music is superb as well.
The thriller part of this movie description is mostly the fact that Nina is having major trouble separating reality for fantasy. The
audience will also be wondering what parts of the movie’s scenes were real and which were imagined. They’ll probably leave
the theater asking themselves or their companions just which scenes really happened?
When awards season rolls
around, and even for months
beforehand, we’re subjected to
a lot of hyperbole, where every
picture is breathtakingly touted
as “best of the year!” and every
performance is called Oscar
-worthy. More often than not,
this is a lot of hogwash but
sometimes it turns out a
particular piece of work has
warranted the buzz. For this
reviewer, Black Swan is one of
the former. While Natalie
Portman's performance is
excellent it's not quite award
caliber and the film as a whole
is .... disappointing.