Tag Archives: black swan

Black Swan

It’s not just that some of my all time favorite music is Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake that this movie was absolutely stunning. And it is just that, stunning.

The movie opens with ballet, but if you think you’re in for just a run of the mill dance movie, you are oh so wrong. Unlike it’s predecessors such as The Company, this movie goes beyond ballet, and into the realms of a psychological thriller. I can tell you it’s not for the faint of heart.

The movie, directed by Darren Aronofsky, circles around Natalie Portman, a dedicated ballet dancer who is striving for the part of the Swan Queen in her company’s production of Swan Lake. After she gets it though, is the pressure too much for her? Another dancer joins the company as well, played by Mila Kunis who she believes is out to get her, and her mother is overbearing and frightening. Vincent Cassel plays the company’s director, who pushes Portman to her limits. In addition, a wrecked, drunk and injured Winona Ryder floats around as an old, pushed out of work ballet dancer. She’s good, but flighty and seemingly irrelevant.

The movie is gorgeous–the images are beautiful, Natalie Portman is beautiful, the dancing is gorgeous, as are the costumes and the sets. It’s darkness gives it not only a frightening nature, but also a beautiful chiaroscurro that delights the eye and the mind. Although I am terrified of movies that even hint at being horror, this movie isn’t exactly scary. As it goes, you know it’s being imagined, and although the ending is a twist (which I promise I won’t give away), as you go, it’s not as if you are completely lost in a guessing of what’s happening.

It’s not a perfect film though–I wish they had explored more of the mother’s role, her own psychological issues and her problems. Immediately you know there’s something wrong when a woman in her late 20s is living with her mother when she clearly is making her own salary, and in addition, her room is covered in stuffed animals from her past, pink frills from her adolescent years and music boxes. There’s a scene with a cake which seems a little out of place and awkward, although it’s never addressed and I wish they had.

What I will say is that it reminds me of Fatal Attraction–don’t worry, none of the plot is the same at all, and in tone or spectacle it is not the same, but in the same way that in the film they are huge fans of Madame Butterfly, the opera, and the plot lines follows this basic story giving it an overall and grander meaning, so does Black Swan in it’s essence of Swan Lake. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking comparison, but also one which is perfectly apropos and fitting.

The movie is simply stunning, a definite must-see of the season. Although I had my doubts, they were put aside quickly and definitively.

Overall: Not your typical run of the mill ballet movie, more of a psychological thriller, but absolutely stunning. Portman gives one of her absolute best performances.

Rating: I’m stopping this. I hate ratings and it makes people not read my review. If you want a rating, go to rottentomatoes.com.


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Holiday Movie Season

Finally, the post I have been talking about!! Of course I will get to the actual movies, but just a quick little plug for my marching band: http://www.wickedlocal.com/needham/news/lifestyle/x1617321173/Needham-High-School-marching-band-set-to-perform-on-Thanksgiving-Day. Go read 🙂

Alright, NOW on to the movies:

Burlesque: I’m not really sure about this one. Starring Christinia Agueliria and Cher, it could be either be a fun fluff movie filled with some great music, singing and dancing, or a movie that takes itself far too seriously and completely flops. Preview here!

Love and Other Drugs: So far, the reviews haven’t been great. I’m going to try to not go off of reviews for this thing and just say how it looked in the previews because I think it’s more fun that way. I love Jake but I’m not such a huge fan of Anne. Overall, I AM a fan of the rom com, but again not sure about this. I haven’t seen a good rom com in awhile, so it’ll be risky but worth seeing. Preview here!

The King’s Speech: Huge fan of Colin Firth and many are saying this could be his Oscar year. Helena Bonham Carter also stars. Definitely one to check out if you’re in the mood for something serious and Oscar-like (which we all know means a little artsy, a little preachy [sometimes] and always very serious). It actually looks kind of funny, and I think that there should be a great balance between serious and humor. This is a personal must-see. Preview here!

Black Swan: I have read some reviews of this too weirdly since it doesn’t come out until December 1st, and I’m not sure what to think. The ad looks interesting–a combo between a fairy tale and a nightmare. Natalie Portman is usually great, and it’s definitely artsy if you’re in the mood for again, something Oscar-y, then this is the movie for you. Preview here!

How Do You Know: The ads for this one haven’t been great, but Paul Rudd is hilarious, Reese Witherspoon can be good (although sometimes I find her a tad annoying), Owen Wilson is also funny, and Jack Nicholson is classic. This is a rom com that I’ll definitely be heading out to see (maybe more com than rom…). Preview here!

Tangled: I know, I know, I’m five. But I do generally enjoy cartoons. This one, to be honest, looks a little repulsive and I’m not sure that I’ll go see it, considering there are so many other ones out there, but it’s kind of a cute idea so if you have some young ones I’d say yes. Preview here!

The Fighter: Every one who grows up in working-class Boston, grows up, makes a movie ABOUT working-class Boston and it’s their best film (coughBENAFFLECKcough). So here’s Mark Wahlbergs! Being from Boston it’s always kind of fun though. All I have to say about that one. Oh, and Christian Bale is in it too. Solid. Preview here!

Of course, there are considerably more movies coming out in the upcoming months, and lots more beyond that. These are just kind of the ones that have been in the spotlight and also a few of the ones that I plan on seeing. For me, The King’s Speech, Black Swan, and Love and Other Drugs are ones that if not definitely plan on seeing than are just generally on my list. What movies are you guys heading out to see this holiday season?

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