- Directed by Darren Aronofsky
- Fox Searchlight Pictures
- Currently screening in theaters across the US
- 1 hour, 50 minutes
Billed as “a psychological thriller set in the world of New York City ballet,” this mainstream feature is just as slim as the dancers who move through it. It’s quite forgettable and, though very startling at times, will not stick with me for very long.
Just because there is lesbian sex in the film—and there is—doesn’t necessarily make the movie interesting to lesbians. The psychological mind-f**k of this flick is thorough yet totally unsubstantiated. We see maybe four weeks in ballet star Nina’s (Natalie Portman’s) young life, and in that short span of time, her world falls apart. But we are left wondering why.
Without much backstory for any of the characters, including rival dancer Lily (Mila Kunis), Nina’s overbearing stage-mother (Barbara Hershey) or Vincent Cassel’s controlling choreographer, Thomas Leroy, I could not become invested in (or believe) anyone’s story. And, there is no rhyme or reason to what motivates Nina, which is a gaping hole in the movie’s narrative
Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis at the Black Swan opening in NYC.© the karpel group
The camera shots were interesting in how certain perspectives were shown, first with a stationary camera to establish a shot and then a handheld camera to zoom in and show, rather then tell, the emotions of the characters. However, I had to close my eyes a lot a lot so I didn’t vomit from the jerky motion of the handheld shots…I kept getting dizzy.
See it, Just to Say You Did
My Rating: 3 stars. The acting, in toto, is superb. The splendor of the ballet scenes is terrific, but the intense focus (thematically and pictorially) on teenage pubes was a major turnoff. And, I knew it was trouble when the choreographer, a slimy, self-satisfied lothario, who is, in Lily’s words, “a prick,” was the most interesting character in the film.