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Black Swan

Black Swan

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating
User Rating 3 Star Rating (3 Reviews)


Black Swan

Natalie Portman in Black Swan.

the karpel group
  • Directed by Darren Aronofsky
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures
  • Currently screening in theaters across the US
  • 2010
  • 1 hour, 50 minutes

Psychological Killer

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

Motion Sickness

Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis from Black Swan

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.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Black Swan Gets A Yes From Me, Member Redseaparter

Although it is true that Black Swan doesn't take one by the hand and give pointed reason for the ""Swan's"" difficulties. The overbearing mother, the fact that she herself is a perfectionist and the competitiveness of the New York ballet scene; all made this an intriguing movie experience for me. Add to that the sexual repression, that her ""personality of perfectionism"" jades Swan with, and you have the makings of a very uptight and schizophrenic young woman. The sexual tensions between her choreographer and later the lesbian scene just highlighted the depth of darkness her mental illness was ultimately taking her to. I'd give this movie a B!

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